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Murder in the Museum of Man (Norman de Ratour #1)

3.07  ·  Rating Details ·  71 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Dean Cranston Fessing, dispatched from Wainscott University to investigate finances of the neighboring Museum of Man, has been murdered. Not only that, but his grisly remains bear the unmistakable mark of haute cuisine. The police are baffled, and the media have a field day, dragging the name of the venerable museum through the mud. To get to the bottom of it all, and save ...more
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published March 11th 1997 by Zoland Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 12, 2014 Tricia rated it did not like it
After 1 week, only 25 pages. So boring. So. Very. Boring.
Aug 30, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written mystery and the quirky character of Norman de Ratour and intend to read all of the series. I am torn between donating it and keeping it on my bookshelf as a loaner, which I rarely do. The prose is tight and not for the faint of heart. The characters' names are a delight: Malachy Morin, Damon Drex, Corny Chard. I didn't want this one to end and I look forward to others in the series as I follow Norman in his sleuthing and his romance, such as they are ...more
May 03, 2014 Muddybear rated it liked it
Book started out slow...but I like the funny parts and I like Norman because he does not pretend to be the sleuth he truly is...again, did not like the part about the romantic interest, but this is a good read otherwise...:)
Julie H.
Apr 25, 2011 Julie H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Alfred Acorn's Murder in the Museum of Man, book #1 in the "Norman de Rateur" series, is the most erudite, hilarious send-up of pompous academics and museologists I have ever come across. Main character Norman de Rateur, begins the story as the Recording Secretary of the Museum of Man (MOM), daily mourning the missed opportunity some 30 years in his past of wedding his long-lost love, Elsbeth. Over the course of the unfolding mystery--told through the vehicle of the "unofficial" log in which he ...more
Dec 08, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
The opening of my Boston Globe review:

When pieces of Dean Cranston Fessing are discovered in a dumpster behind the gender-studies center at Wainscott University, having been roasted, sauteed, or baked in one delicate sauce or another, it is the best thing that ever happened to Norman de Ratour, mild-mannered recording secretary at the Museum of Man.

Dean Fessing, you see, was laying the groundwork to have the university swallow the museum, threatening not only to end the museum's sacred mission b
Jul 16, 2010 Anne rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ronald Wise
Aug 30, 2011 Ronald Wise rated it really liked it
A very amusing mystery novel, involving a power struggle over the fate of the Museum of Man, cannibalism, eugenics, and a chimpanzee writing project — all under one roof. Real chimp lit! The arguments of political correctness concerning the proposed Neanderthal diarama were hysterical enough to produce the third death of the story. I learned of it through the Seattle Public Library's reading list "If You Like Arturo Perez-Reverte...".
Feb 24, 2012 Carmen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
I thought this would be an interesting read. A professor missing, later found murdered. He was prepared as a delicacy. The horror! I certainly wanted to get to the bottom of this. However, I found this book to be a chore in having to work so hard to read it. I just could not get absorbed. The narrator has a dry intellectual voice that failed to generate any excitement on my end. I am a fast reader but the journey was slow. After a week, I've given up.
Jul 25, 2012 VeganMedusa rated it liked it
Shelves: bc-copy, mystery
It took me a hundred pages or so to get this book. I couldn't quite figure it out. But then I chuckled through it. They almost lost as many Deans as probation workers on Misfits. Nice having a narrator who's a bit clueless, so I can feel smart.
Jul 21, 2014 Kristy rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-lust
Meh. It took me forever to get through this book. Partly because I have a new baby and partly because this book was a little on the dry side. Being a mystery, I wanted to find out who the culprit was. Big whoop.
Syntactical Disruptorize
Mar 16, 2014 Syntactical Disruptorize rated it really liked it
A delicious mix of murder mystery, academic politics, satire, and cannibalism. Couldn't stop chuckling.
Hilarious, macabre murder mystery set in the Museum of Man and poking fun at academia and pedantic museum administrator types. It's a different kind of mystery. Really liked it.
Sep 28, 2012 Kdunbier rated it really liked it
Enjoyable mystery. Reminded me of Russo's Straight Man, but with cannibalism. Not really a mystery you can solve though, which I'm more used to, but still a fun ride. Will definitely read the rest.
Apr 01, 2016 Frederic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fict-mystery
Didn't like the writing, and as an academic I found the caricatures so extreme as to destroy any plausibility. Wanted to like it, so very disappointed.
Jan 14, 2010 Cassandra rated it it was ok
Too silly...
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Alfred Alcorn is the author of the second Norman de Ratour Mystery, The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man, and former director of travel at Harvard University's Museum of Natural History. He lives in Belmont, Masschusetts.
More about Alfred Alcorn...

Other Books in the Series

Norman de Ratour (3 books)
  • The Love Potion Murders in the Museum of Man (Norman de Ratour, #2)
  • The Counterfeit Murder in the Museum of Man (Norman de Ratour, #3)

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