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The Pearl Harbor Murders (Disaster Series, #3)
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The Pearl Harbor Murders (Disaster #3)

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  188 ratings  ·  26 reviews
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor took the United States by surprise. But what if someone saw it coming?

Many believe that a war with Japan is imminent--and unavoidable--but world-famous author Edgar Rice Burroughs is too busy basking in the Hawaiian sun to pay the rumors much mind. That is, until he finds Pearl Harada--a popular Japanese-American sin
Paperback, 254 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Berkley
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Cathy DuPont
Max Allan Collins has written much better, much, much better.

Set in Honolulu December 7, 1941, Edgar Rice Burroughs (writer of Tarzan fame) and his son set out to discover who murdered the talented Japanese singer just days before the infamous attack.

Part fiction, part non-fiction, glad I didn't buy it but listened in the car.
An entertaining historical mystery featuring a famous author, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and an infamous day in history. Listened to the audio version which was narrated by Dan John Miller who gave a steady performance.
Harold Shaver
Feb 05, 2015 Harold Shaver rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery fans and historical fiction fans.
This book, the third in the author's "Disaster" series, follow the fictional exploits of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his son Hulbert (Hully) Burroughs as they attempt to unravel the mysterious death of Pearl Hanada, a singer in the lounge at their hotel on Oahu. Unlike the stoies told in his first two "Disaster" books, "The Titanic Murders" and "The Hindenburg Murders" the events in this book span only two days time, from December 5 - 7 1941. By contrast both the voyages of the Titanic and the Hind ...more
The time: The few days leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941
The place: Honolulu
The top of the cast: Edgar Rice Burroughs and his son, Hulbert, as amateur detectives
The caper: Several murders of people the Burroughs know in Honolulu get them involved in matters relating to our conflict with Japan.

This is the first of Collins' "Disaster Series" that I have read. As usual, his research is impeccable and he gives us a fascinating picture of the mix of cultures, religions, citizens, visit
I really enjoyed the Titanic and Hindenburg mysteries in this series, but for some reason I just couldn't connect with this one. I think part of the challenge was that Pearl wasn't interesting as a character to me at all. Overall, the story wasn't even all that mysterious. A number of the characters were just a bit too "cardboard" to me. Having Edgar Rice Burroughs as a character was initially very intriguing, but then the story jumped between him and his son Hully so much, that I didn't really ...more
This novel takes place from Dec 5 - 7, 1941 on Oahu, Hawaii. The main characters are Edgar Rice Burroughs and his son Hulburt (Hully), staying at the Niumalu guest houses on the edge of Waikiki. Nearby cabins were occupied by FBI agent Adam Sterling and German (spy) Otto Kuhn and his wife. Burroughs hears a scream from the beach and discovers the young band singer dead with the band leader leaning over her. The band leader is arrested, although he claims he had just discovered her and didn't kil ...more
Vikas Datta
Absolutely brilliant... should serve as a textbook for those who want to write with real people and against a backdrop of historical events. Mr Collins presents a very plausible and nail-biting account of the run-up to the 'day of infamy' and though we know what is going to happen and every effort will be futile, the author succeeds in inducing a suspension of disbelief in some part of us that this will not come to pass.....
Todd Stockslager
A bit thin compared to his other historical mysteries. After all, Pearl Harbor isn't really a mystery. This is just some pseudo-historical speculation about whether the US military and government knew it in advance, and what we could have done about it if we had.

If you like Collins' historical mystery style, try these that I rated higher:

Stolen Away
The Hindenburg Murders
Perry Moore
Wonderful read. It made me look further into the history of what happened at Pearl Harbor, as well as into the history of the characters and Max Allan Collins.
John Brissette
Excellent historical fiction

Keeping a social second home there I bought this book because of my love for all things Hawaii. I expected an entertaining mystery. I did get that. But I also got a wonderful piece of historical fiction. Instead of inserting fictional characters into true events as most authors do, thus writer takes true characters, in the framework of a true & monumental historical event, and inserts a smaller fictional subplot. The idea is ingenious & you get a very enterta
Quick fun read. Historical fiction, if you will. Well done. I'll be forced to read more from Mr. Collins.
Another in Max Allan Collins disaster series. This time Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, is the detective. Story involves a murder that is eventually tied in to the Japanese attack o Pearl Harbor. It's worth it to read the book just to get the detailed description of the attack. It's so realistic. In the afterward to the novel Collins listed the reference books he used. He left no stone unturned.
Although in the way of novels he puts words into the mouths of Generals and Admirals etc, the
I really like his "Murder" series. I am a WWII buff so this appealed to me. The story is enriching and full of likable characters. I really felt as if Collins was channeling Edgar Rice Burrows.

Yes it is a fictional story but the amount of research made the reader feel as if they were truly there.

If you liked this one, definitely pick up Titanic Murders and the London Blitz Murders. You won't regret it!
#122 09/01/06
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF CD'S: Mystery, 2001, 6 CD's
TIME/PLACE: 1941, Pearl Harbor, HI
COMMENTS: A mix of history & mystery w/ fictional & some real characters. Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan author) & son are in Hawaii at the time of Pearl Harbor bombings & investigate the death of a young woman they both knew.
Pretty good, but not Collins' best.

Once again demonstrates Collins' facility with historic figures and events (the use of the author of Tarzan as a protagonist is an especially intersting device).

However the book lacks Collins' usual action (Road to Perdition series) or an alternate history to a major event (
The action starts on December 5, 1941. A lovely singer is found dead. It's OK, but a disappointment compared to other works by this author. In other books, there appeared an entertaining detective who lived 50-75 years ago. This character apparently never left the mainland.
Although not a wonderfully written book, the combination of a major historical event (bombing of Pearl Harbor) with all the real players during that time in Honolulu and a murder mystery (fiction), made it a very "readable" book (although I listened to it).
Karen Musser
I really enjoyed this combination of history and pop fiction. The characters were clearly drawn and, from what I know, accurately. The idea of a fiction writer solving a crime on the eve of a major world turning point is a 'novel' one!
If Edgar Rice Burroughs hadn't made his living as a writer, Max Allan Collins makes a good case that he could have been a first-rate detective! Intrigue in Hawaii just prior to - and during - the 1941 attack that drew the US into WW II.
Good enough to read all the way through. Interesting the way the author took real characters in a real place at a real event in history, but the story is made up.
I got a little impatient for someone to die already in the beginning. I appreciated the summary at the end sorting what was real from what was fictional.
Nancy Bennett
I agree with some other reviewers; while the book wasn't bad and I enjoyed it enough, it wasn't nearly as good as the previous books in this series.
I had trouble really getting excited about this book...there was more informaiton in it then I really think was necessary for the story...
Michael Rhode
A bit flatter than most of his historical mysteries, perhaps because he was working with a real person whose family is still alive.
Okay, no more. Edgar Rice Burroughs and son, who were there on the morning, best Jap spies.
Patricia Kerr
Patricia Kerr is currently reading it
Sep 27, 2015
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Received the Shamus Award, "The Eye" (Lifetime achievment award) in 2006.

He has also published under the name Patrick Culhane. He and his wife, Barbara Collins, have written several books together. Some of them are published under the name Barbara Allan.

Book Awards
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1984) : True Detective
Shamus Awards Best Novel winner (1992) : Stolen Away
Shamus Awards Best Novel nom
More about Max Allan Collins...

Other Books in the Series

Disaster (6 books)
  • The Titanic Murders (Disaster Series, #1)
  • The Hindenburg Murders (Disaster Series, #2)
  • The Lusitania Murders (Disaster Series, #4)
  • The London Blitz Murders (Disaster Series, #5)
  • The War of the Worlds Murder (Disaster Series, #6)
Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers #1) Road to Perdition Bones Buried Deep (Bones, #1) The Mummy Sin City (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, #2)

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