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Paco Ignacio Taibo II
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An Easy Thing: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Mystery (Héctor Belascoarán Shayne #2)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  282 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Set amidst the political turbulence and social unrest of contemporary Mexico City, An Easy Thing introduces English-speaking readers to Taibo's human and world-weary protagonist, independent detective Hector Belascoaran Shayne. In this debut outing, our hero, who, incidentally, possesses an insatiable appetite for Coca Cola and cigarettes, tackles three cases simultaneousl ...more
ebook, 241 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 451)
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Andy
Nov 28, 2007 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban somnambulists, radical socialists, soda drinkers
In which the half-radical/half-romantic Taibo wrestles with the idea that there could never be a "Mexican detective" and then perversely creates one: the unforgettable Hector Belascoarán Shayne, a bleeding-heart, often-bleeding, pepsi-swigging, sleep-avoiding, sad-sack with an unpronounceable half-Basque, half-Irish name. The "Easy Thing" in the title is a three-headed mystery that involves saving a sad Catholic school girl with a broken arm, solving the political murder of a gay engineer, and p ...more
Linda
The second in the Héctor Belascoarán Shayne series, from 70s Mexico. This book finds our detective hired to solve three cases simultaneously: 1)to protect the teenaged daughter of a famous actress, 2)to find Emiliano Zapata, hero of the Mexican Revolution who wasn't really killed by traitors back in Chinameca, and 3) to figure out who killed the manager at a large manufacturing plant.
Our detective is still the same as he was in the first novel: pensive, sentimental, trying to figure out where l
...more
Stan
Mar 26, 2015 Stan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Cada ciudad tenía el detective que merecía"; "los finales felices no se hicieron para este país"; "en este país no pasa nada, y aunque pase, tampoco". In the first of the series about private detective Belascoarán Shayne, there was a lot of unevenness as Taibo got his "sea legs". In this novel, however, he has pretty much mastered, conquered, and overwhelmed the genre of the detective novel. While inspired by the Hollywood and novelistic P.I.'s of the 30's, 40's, 50's, he has created a genre wh ...more
Ivonne Rovira
In a novel first published in 1977, half-Irish, half-Basque investigator Héctor Belascoarán Shayne gets presented with an intriguing premise: that Mexican Revolutionary icon Emiliano Zapata did not die at the Hacienda de San Juan in Chinamarca in 1919, but had instead cheated death when an emissary had gone instead. According to the tale Belascoarán is spun, Zapata, now in his 90s, remains very much alive, hiding out in a cave on the outskirts of Mexico City. Who could resist searching for Zapat ...more
Arturo Del Rosal
Paco Ignacio Taibo II siempre ha sido uno de mis autores predilectos, cuando lei la primer novela de esta serie (dias de combate)lo hice con grandes expectativas sobre todo porque los antecedentes que tenia sobre los trabajos pasados del autor y la premisa de la serie de Belascoaran Shayne, y al principio no me defraudo pero al final de la primer novela senti que el final fue un poco apresurado y esto me decepciono un poco. Pero con Cosa Facil se reinvidico y nos entrego una novela que emociona ...more
Rene Arellano gutierrez
Héctor el imposible, el desfasado, el lunático persiguiendo fantasmas en un país de jodidos, fumando a cada dos páginas y haciendo conjeturas con lo que le dictan sus entrañas, esquivando a la muerte mientras busca destruir mitos y joder a empresarios deshonestos... Como no querer a nuestro gran detective mexicano.

Mas apasionante que el primero, por las tramas múltiples y las noches de insomnio escuchando la radio de el cuervo ( será un programa real? -averiguar-) paco Ignacio taíbo ii y su mara
...more
Marty
Dec 20, 2014 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It's a great premise: cynical 2nd generation immigrant of Basque-Irish descent quits his professional job and becomes (he believes) quite possibly the first private eye in Mexico City. Working on three cases at once (one of which involved, improbably, a search for the 92-year old Emiliano Zapata) while simultaneously learning about his late father's heretofore hidden past as a partisan in the Spanish Revolution and French Underground, and getting involved in a chaotic strike - our sleep-deprived ...more
Maddy
Dec 13, 2015 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
PROTAGONIST: Hector Belascoaran Shayne
SETTING: Mexico
SERIES: #1 of 5
RATING: 3.5
WHY: Hector Belascoaran Shayne has a unique job for a Mexican, a private detective. He shares office space with a plumber, a sewer specialist and an upholsterer. He has 3 cases come in at the same time, one involving a legendary Mexican hero, another a teen contemplating suicide and a third having to do with a corporate murder. Belascoaran Shayne expends all his energies, never getting any sleep, investigating all 3 a
...more
Dawn Lorien
I enjoyed this, a rather different style of mystery than most (American writers), but not the Mexican fabulist/magical realism either. A good solid contemporary-issues mystery in central urban Mexico City, the side tourists don't see. Well, 3 very different cases the "independent investigator" takes on simultaneously. The inextricable social commentary with the characters and settings was what I enjoyed most, along with the easy, natural interactions of Hector's family and friends (especially th ...more
Maritza Buendia
Aunque la novela policiaca no es un género narrativo de mi preferencia, Cosa fácil del autor Paco Ignacio Taibo II me mantuvo interesada y despertó mi curiosidad por leer más novelas de este estilo. Cosa fácil (“En esta vida, morir es cosa fácil. Hacer vida, es mucho más difícil”, cita de V. Maiakovsky) pertenece al subgénero de la novela negra donde además de narrar las peripecias de un detective, en este caso Héctor Belascorán Shayre, en su misión para resolver un crimen, también se desarrolla ...more
Abraham Salas
Jul 17, 2013 Abraham Salas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Varios años después de leer Retornamos como sombras, me topo con este libro acerca de las andanzas de Héctor Belascoaran Shayne. Y debo decir que reafirmo el gusto por la forma de narrar de Taibo. Cuando era niño me hicieron creer que en mi país no podía haber detectives, ni superhéroes, ni científicos, partiendo de la idea que había de que "lo que está hecho en México está mal hecho". Así que quienes intentaban crear este tipo de personajes (los cineastas, por ejemplo) fracasaban porque se auto ...more
Tom R.
May 26, 2014 Tom R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is translated from Spanish and I got it from the library because I wanted to learn more about its setting, Mexico City. In a lot of ways it's very different from most English detective novels and you learn a lot about society in Mexico's capital city.
Jason
This is second book of the Héctor Belascoarán Shayne series (counting the not-translated-to-english "Dia de Combante" as first) and I think it is one of the best. It was very interesting to see in retrospective how some parts of Héctor’s life were developed (can't say more without spoilers).

PIT manages to create a very intriguing story in one of the most atmospheric cities (as usual), by mixing three different cases. Great suspense and very interesting view of the events through a social approac
...more
Sue Davis
Mar 19, 2014 Sue Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, mexico, fiction
Cosa Fácil
1. Is Emiliano Zapata still alive?
2. Corporate vs. union. Who killed the engineer?
3. Why are "they" after Elena?
Have read this two or three times.
Kate Picher
Plus: Lots of good charcters. Four mysteries in one book sure kept my attention. I will read more by this author.
Minus: I hated the ending. It seemed rushed. Did he really get his revenge?
Caroline
Jan 17, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Subversive Mexican detective novel, finely crafted, with self-referential winks.

Hector Belascoarán Shayne takes on three cases at once: an executive has been murdered, a teenage girl is being threatened, and Emiliano Zapata might still be alive. Belascoarán stumbles around 1976 Mexico City through a haze of sleep deprivation looking for clues, threatening baddies, getting into scrapes, admiring beautiful women, relying on a few stalwart friends, and regularly second-guessing his decisi
...more
Rabinovich Ed
Nov 22, 2014 Rabinovich Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy divertido.
Willo
Mar 21, 2014 Willo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gritty and entertaining.
Vilmos Kondor
Jul 16, 2013 Vilmos Kondor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hector Belascoarán Shayne is my most favourite PI of all times. Taibo might be uneven, he might be leftist (which is a-okay), he might write a lot (or not) - the fact remains that Shayne is the most interesting, intriguing and entertaining private eye. Mexico City as the background, his co-renters, his family, his rental car, his attitude - it's a perfect combination. Can't get enough of them.
J.R.
Jan 29, 2010 J.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This was the first of Taibo's detective novels to be published in English. It's a complex novel in which his hero Hector Belascoaran Shayne finds himself involved in three perplexing cases.
Taibo gives a Latin twist to the classic hard-boiled detective genre. His style is definitely different but entertaining with plenty of action, crackling dialogue and dark humor.
Rachael
Oct 21, 2013 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The ending was so interesting. I think I might have to write my paper on it. A detective taking the whole law into his own hands? What does that mean? Is it another form of social critic? Isn't that what socialism is doing anyways? Giving the law to the people? Interesting thoughts
Dan
Mar 14, 2010 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learn from reading these books (Taibo) that in my next life, I want to come back as a private detective.
Benjamin Plume
Jul 30, 2011 Benjamin Plume rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was OK, but not good enough to make me seek out Taibo's other writings.
David
The first book has not been translated to English as of 2015-07-05
mampdx
Dec 07, 2011 mampdx marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Comes recommended by Luis Alberto Urrea, so I shall have to read it!
Nora
Oct 17, 2011 Nora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure 4 stars is enough. Definitely 4.5.
David
Dec 06, 2008 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Silly Mexican noir. Avoid.
Nathaly
Sep 27, 2011 Nathaly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a really good book.
alma edmundo
alma edmundo marked it as to-read
Feb 01, 2016
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Paco Ignacio Taibo II, birth name Francisco Ignacio Taibo Mahojo, is a popular Mexican writer and novelist. He is the son of the late journalist Paco Ignacio Taibo I.
More about Paco Ignacio Taibo II...

Other Books in the Series

Héctor Belascoarán Shayne (9 books)
  • Días de Combate
  • Some Clouds: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Detective Novel
  • No Happy Ending: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Detective Novel
  • Return to the Same City: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Detective Novel
  • Amorosos fantasmas
  • Frontera Dreams
  • Svaniti nel nulla
  • Adiós, Madrid

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