The Highly Effective Detective (Teddy Ruzak, #1)
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The Highly Effective Detective (The Highly Effective Detective #1)

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  338 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Meet Teddy Ruzak. After his mother dies, Teddy quits his job as a night watchman to fulfill his childhood dream of being a detective. With little planning and even less foresight, he hangs up his shingle and hires his favorite waitress from the local diner to be his Girl Friday.

And his first case? Bringing to justice the thoughtless driver who mows down six baby geese. Not...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 2nd 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published 2006)
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My beloved sister-in-law has been berating me for buying books (even when I buy them used at the library: $1 for hardcovers, 50¢ for paperbacks), so the last time I got a book catalog I picked out a couple books I thought I would like to read but then instead of sending in an order went down to the library to see if the library had them on the shelves or at least some book(s) by the sane author ... which is how I came across this volume, which turns out to be the first in a series. I had never r...more
Despite picking up a copy of this book in the Teen Mystery section, I wouldn't call it a teen book. Sure, you could argue that the lead character has the maturity of a 19 year old, but he is in fact 33. There is a big difference between a 19 year old and a 33 year old who'd been working the same security guard job (he flunked out of the Police Academy), having no relationships, social or otherwise, and still living with his mom. The result is a man-child with an emphasis on the CHILD. Our main c...more
Oct 25, 2010 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I'm happy that I read this book, but I found that my impression of it was more uneven than most. While some passages seemed good and "tight", others either left "long" or just tedious. That's not a very charitable thing to say, but overall I liked it enough to consider reading the next book in the series.

Why? Well, for two reasons:

a) has the author pulled the next book together better (yes, I know it's not his first novel) and
b) having waded through a lot of the "who are our leading characters a...more
Well, at the beginning I had my doubts. But as it went on it kept getting better. As any good mystery should, by the end the plot had taken many surprising twists and turns that weren't predictable (at least not to me, anyway). This qualifies quite nicely for something that's quick reading, light, and entertaining. If the series continues I'll read more of them.
Humorous mystery about a sweet lunkhead and failed police academy cadet, Teddy, who decides to become a real detective by opening up shop as a private detective. He rents office space above a dry cleaners and recruits smart aleck waitress, Felicia, who looks "just like Lauren Bacall" as his secretary/girl Friday and presto(!), he's a detective. His first case: finding The Gosling Killer (he ran over six baby ducks with his SUV.)

Three things saved this series from being a run of the mill Stephani...more
In Chapter One, I found Teddy Ruzak to be totally sympathetic and likable. Teddy loved Sherlock Holmes. I loved Sherlock Holmes. Teddy wanted to be just like Encyclopedia Brown. I wanted to be just like Encyclopedia Brown. (I had to look at the back of the book, too.) Teddy read the dictionary. I read the dictionary!

But then Teddy got older, but not any more mature, and I'm afraid he made me regress to teenage eye-rolling, and resort to such contemptuous expressions as "How stoopid are you?" an...more
Stephanie Livingston Thornton
This book is just plain funny! The main character, Teddy Ruzak, has led a fairly uninteresting life as a security guard/night watchman for several years when his mother dies and leaves him enough money that he can focus on his dream job of being a private investigator. This book is the tale of his first case.

Teddy is a wordsmith who uses lots of words to say something that could easily be said with fewer words. He also uses words that are fairly uncommon due to his childhood pastime of reading...more
What a surprising book! I chose this one for my "A to Z" challenge, needing an author name that began with a Y. Turns out it was a very enjoyable choice.

Ted Ruzak is not the smartest or most handsome PI you'll ever meet. He talks WAY to much and "makes sense without making sense". In other words, he is entirely lovable. He can't figure out his assistant, Felicia, but she reads him like a book - making for a very interesting work relationship.

While this book is entertaining, it isn't quite in the...more
This was fun in a way I didn't expect it to be. The detective is an overweight, lonely, earnest man who didn't think before quitting his job the moment he came into some money and opening a detective agency called "THE DIC". But there's an upshot - it's that he knows he was hasty. And despite him thinking of himself as a dimwit, he's actually not. He does solve two murders, and his working theories are sound and rationally thought out. After reading a ton of cozies where the main characters call...more
This was a really hard book to rate. I gave it two stars only because they don't have 1/2. So really I rated it 2 1/2 stars. Now down to the nitty gritty, first I loved the story and could not figure out who did it. Great twists. Ending was also great. Now for the not so great, I very much disliked Felicia. Yes she had family issues but come on, she is just out right a mean person and I don't like her at all! Unfortunately I will read the second book and will have to deal with her again. Second,...more
I was alerted to this book (now a short series) by a friend, and I'm glad I was. I'm also glad she warned me that it starts slowly. It does, and if I hadn't been warned, I might have given up. This first person narrator, not-quite a private eye, seems too much of a doofus to be believed; but gradually you warm to him, and gradually his wild stream-of-consciousness method of interacting with people begins to bear fruit: clues are generated, and crimes are solved. Near the end, one of the other ch...more
The first of The Highly Effective Detective series. Teddy Ruzak is an underachieving, lazy schmuck. The book follows Teddy through solving his first case, an internal debate as to whether or not he has the moral character required to apply for a private investigators license in the state of Tennessee and the resulting evolution of character. While I really enjoyed the book, I felt the writing and characters were not entirely consistent. Parts of Teddy's development were more like flipping a swit...more
After Teddy Ruzack's mother passes away, he uses her money to hire his waitress-friend Felicia and launch his own private investigation firm. His first client is an elderly man who witnessed goslings being run down by an SUV. Teddy doesn't take it seriously until a link is revealed between the goslings' death and a missing woman. Richard Yancey's "The Highly Effective Detective" is a fun, easy-going, and humorous mystery full of male-banter. There is minimal crimes and no gore, making this very...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Entertaining read about a bumbling, not-too-bright security guard who decides to fulfill his lifetime dream (since he was a little boy reading Encyclopedia Brown) of opening his own detective agency. When his mother dies and leaves him some money, he's able to lease space, and hang his shingle. Never mind that he doesn't know the first thing about solving crimes. When a kind old man comes in with his first case--it's a murder mystery. Only what was murdered was a gaggle of goslings, in a hit-and...more
K.C. Shaw
A remarkably slow-moving, low-action book. I found it amusing and clever at first, but the lack of action and the main character's endless internal monologues got old fast. The only reason I'm keeping this on my shelves instead of dumping it at the used book store is because it's set in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. There's no other reason to read this book--certainly not for the mystery, which is lame. The author doesn't even let us follow along with the clues. Despite the fact that most...more
2006 1st in Teddy Ruzak series

Fulfilling his childhood dream, Teddy Ruzak opens a detective agency with money inherited from his mother. Ruzak hilariously narrates this story, full of entertaining characters, in a self-deprecating yet insightful way. Although he doesn’t have a license to be in business, he jumps right into his first case of finding the motorist who callously ran over six goslings crossing the road. The goslings, however, lead to a murder mystery that he plods through before solv...more
I randomly grabbed this over thanksgiving and thought it started pretty flimsily and insubstantial, but really started warming up to Teddy as the book went on, leading to a pretty obvious reveal that was still effective, and the author did a good job of changing my perception of Teddy (and everyone's perception of Teddy) as the book progressed. Not sure the Teddy in the final few chapters bears even a passing resemblance to how he was portrayed early on, but I guess that's why we have dramatic p...more
Good story. Writing not polished. I do believe the central character will develop into a more intriguing form in future books in the series. Teddy Ruzak has promise. An overweight, unfulfilled, single male, security guard, realizes his lifelong dream when he receives and inheritance, and opens a detective agency. Teddy feels like a fool, and acts like a fool, yet he's no way stupid. His first case begins with the hit and run killing of 'a gaggle of goslings' and develops into a complex murder my...more
I enjoyed this book although I can see where some people might find the main character annoying. He is an overweight, bumbling, rambling guy who somehow manages to solve the crime. He has long scenes where he thinks things out by association. It is humorous in an odd way. People ask him if he is purposely trying to annoy them or if he is just being obtuse.

Just started this book, so far so good. Light entertainment. The first in a series of mystery detective books. Always fun to find a new main c...more
Not my favorite but enjoyable enough to want to read the next in the series. Since I like to read a lot of mysteries, I found Teddy Ruzak to be a likeable guy. I often wonder what it would be like to be a detective and set up shop, yet I would never do it. So it was fun to watch him go about setting himself up as a detective without a license and really no clue about what to do. Then, when a client comes in and he has a case, it was pleasant to watch him grow into the job. He has introduced a lo...more
This author has won awards in several categories, including young adult. As far as I know, this is his first attempt at adult mystery. It may be wonderful but I don't know since I put it down after a few chapters. My problem is I'm not entranced by his sweet and lovable dweeb(named Teddy for a reason, I'll bet) who decides to become a detective. Teddy is clueless and I see no evidence that he will improve. My guess is he'll solve his mysteries by accident. Simply doesn't work for someone whose i...more
A likable goofball up and decides he wants to be a detective. Teddy's not the kind of guy who stops to wonder whether or not he needs a little thing like a license or anything. He just barrels ahead and bumbles his way through his one case The whole thing is pretty fun to watch, really, if you're the kind of reader who can endure a character who skates the line that divides endearing and annoying.

The dialog may be a rambling kind of rhetoric, but it works for me. I have this thing for accidental...more
Had it not been for a book-challenge, I don't think I would have had the patience to finish this book. It's only slightly better than boring and that's after you get over 100 pages into it. Teddy Ruzak, with the social skills of someone who's 12, is a 33 year old police officer wannabee who opens his own detective agency after inheriting scads of money from his mother when she dies of cancer. The plot unfolds v..e..r..y slowly and you have to be v...e...r...y patient in order to finish.
This series is about a lovable but kind of doofus-y guy who opens up his own detective agency. He always means well, but has no idea what he's doing. He tends to go off on tangents which drives people crazy but is one of his charming quirks (at least for the reader). This first book in the series meandered along at a fairly slow pace but really picked up toward the end. I'm not sure it's my kind of mystery but I'll definitely try another.
Not a fan of mysteries or detectives, I tried this because it takes place in and around Knoxville, where I've spent a bit of time. The story didn't do much for me, the bad guys were easy to spot and the ending was not at all a surprise, but the local references and the sporadic humor kept me interested. A very quick read. I'll probably try the next one in the series, which I believe is higher rated than this one...
It ended a bit different than I anticipated and the solution to the mystery was somewhat unexpected. But the real highlight of this book is the main character and his thoughts and conversations. The writer knows how to turn a phrase, or several phrases. His phone conversation with the buerocract at a government agency made me laugh, because it was so real, but what he said is what we all wish we could think to say.
This was a quick, light, funny mystery. Teddy Ruzak is a funny guy for a PI, and Yancey takes you on an enjoyable ride.

However, you have to like stream-of-consciousness, tangential dialogue a lot. In my case, I find in funny. For some, I could see where they would find it annoying.

I picked this up because I loved Yancey's Monstrumologist series. This is nothing like it! But still a fun find and read.
I liked this book - Ruzak is a slightly bumbling but sincere detective and a likeable character. The mystery was good - I liked that I wasn't sure what exactly was going on and who was involved altho a couple of parts were badly written and made things a little confusing - maybe intentionally but I think more like just trying to be sly but really just coming off as kinda wierd and not neccesary.
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aka Richard Yancey

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Ext...more
More about Rick Yancey...
The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1) The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2) The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp, #1) The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)

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