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The Corpse Wore Pasties (Hard Case Crime, #62)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  286 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Usually, when you call a burlesque act a "show stopper," you don't mean it quite so literally. But this time, that's just what happened: The show stopped dead, and so did the girl. And as I looked at her nearly naked and completely lifeless body and the bottle of poison in her hand with my fingerprints all over it, I thought to myself: Porkpie, you're in for it this time…
Mass Market Paperback, 223 pages
Published December 24th 2009 by Hard Crime Case (first published December 2009)
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Dan Schwent
When Victoria Vice, widely hated in the burlesque world for being a blatant plagiarist, winds up dead, none other than Jonny Porkpie ends up being blamed. After all, he's the one that the entire audience saw hand her the prop bottle containing real poison. In order to clear his name, Porkpie goes on a quest through the burlesque world to find out who framed him. Only, maybe things aren't exactly as they seem...

The Corse Wore Pasties, aside from having one of the better titles in the Hard Case Cr
Jun 13, 2011 Kemper rated it liked it
As soon as I saw this title, I knew I'd give the book at least 3 stars based on it alone. It's a bonus that it's actually a humorous and entertaining story.

Jonny Porkpie is the self proclaimed Burlesque Mayor of New York City. Not only did he write this, he's the main character. It reminded me of the Kinky Friedman mysteries, with an eccentric New Yorker making a funny fictional story out of his real life.

Porkpie is a producer and host for burlesque shows. While guest-hosting a show for a friend
Sep 16, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unique voices. I love ’em. Give me a unique voice any day of the week, and twice on Thursdays, and I’ll follow it around like an oversexed twenty-one year old with a fistful of ones might follow a big-breasted blonde stripper named Trixie. And that’s what I love most about the hard-boiled mystery genre: we’re never short on unique voices. And if we are, we just conjure up a few fedoras from the past with our fistful of ones, and we’re bound to have ourselves a banging good time.

And then there’s
A very fun murder mystery. I'd never heard of the author before, who is also the hero of this story. A humorous look at the raunchier side of NYC without a lot of violence or explicit sex - although lots of the latter are implied & of course someone did get killed. It was hard not to laugh out loud while reading many times.
Jonny Porkpie: The Burlesque Mayor of New York City, candidate for "actual" mayor of NYC, co-producer of Pinchbottom Burlesque the "Best Burle
Angus McKeogh
Aug 12, 2015 Angus McKeogh rated it really liked it
This one was a surprise. Very entertaining. Funny. Written pretty well. Better than a lot of trash I've read recently. I'd definitely recommend it.
Doug Beatty
Jan 12, 2010 Doug Beatty rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This was quite a lively romp! I had never read a hard case crime before, and this was a fun little treat. It seems the world of burlesque is dangerous, especially if you are Victoria Vice and notorious for stealing the acts from your fellow performers. It appears that Victoria steals one act too many, and manages to die onstage with various onlookers. It is up to the author, Jonny Porkpie, the mayor of burlesque, to take the case, because his fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. His ...more
Adam Carter
Jan 03, 2015 Adam Carter rated it really liked it
Great title, great cover, and an odd little read. It's not unusual to find a book where the main character is actually the writer, and usually I loathe them. But there's something charming about this book, possibly because the writer does not make himself out to be something he isn't. Reluctant hero Jonny Porkpie sets off to solve a crime and along the way he stumbles more than he solves.

It's difficult to work out whether this is meant to be part satire of the genre, but whether intentional or
Feb 02, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing
Classic pulp in the Carter Brown tradition. The competitive world of burlesque is exposed as an unpopular performer is murdered on stage seemingly by her own prop with the self proclaimed Burlesque Mayor of New York City the prime suspect. Throughout the novel, Jonny Porkpie (author and protagonist) sets out to clear his name and find the true killer in typical who-done-it fashion. A very enjoyable, fast paced read. 5 stars.
Aug 26, 2011 Jodi rated it really liked it
Highly enjoyable!! I definitely recommend this to anyone who is into burlesque and/or pulp ;) He's cheeky, that one!
David Baldwin
May 13, 2013 David Baldwin rated it did not like it
Very terrible. A garbage story, poorly structured and full of painful humor. Easily the worst "Hard Case Crime" I've read. Great title though.
Sep 08, 2014 Matt rated it liked it
The 62nd entry in the Hard Case Crime Series, Jonny Porkpie's The Corpse Wore Pasties is an amusing distraction within a normally hard edged, hardboiled collection of novels.

From a crime story standpoint, this is only a two-star book (the actual murder, while graphic, isn't weighty with shock or dread or suspense, but rather described like performance art because it's mistaken for just that during a burlesque show). I gave it three stars, however, because of the entertainment value. Set in the
Neil McCrea
Mar 05, 2015 Neil McCrea rated it really liked it
Kinda dumb, completely ridiculous, and remarkably entertaining

The experience of reading the Corpse Wore Pasties is not unlike watching an episode of a mid 80's detective show (Murder, She Wrote or Simon and Simon) with all of the most ribald and censor taunting humor of Three's Company added, except of course the novel is far more self aware than the television fare.

Hard Case has not only dedicated themselves to publishing hardboiled pulp tales both old and new, but they also make an effort to c
Amelia Mangan
Feb 02, 2012 Amelia Mangan rated it it was amazing
If this book's title alone doesn't pique your interest, perhaps a summary of its overall tone as "the Thin Man series, with gratuitous nudity" will do the trick. It's a murder mystery set in the world of modern NYC burlesque (of which the author is a star IRL), in which a mean dancer whom nobody liked drops dead onstage during a routine - doing a faceplant into one of the cups of her shucked brassiere, no less - and the fictionalized version of Porkpie is forced to find out who's responsible. ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Teri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
Yes, I read this because the title was too good to pass up. With Hard Case Crime publishing authors such as Stephen King and Max Allen Collins, how bad could it be, right? I was expecting campy pulp fiction with tired cliches, and didn't expect to finish reading it. What I got was a clever, deftly written mystery novel with solid comedic turns that I read in pretty much one sitting. The characters are fantastic and each have their own distinct voice despite the story being told in the first ...more
Ariel Lynn
I was all set to dislike this book. I was prepared for it to be trite &, if I might be brutally honest, unreadable. I have to say now that I've torn through this book in some 2-3 days, that I was pleasantly surprised & I'm fully prepared to admit I was mistaken. (Also, on the off chance that the author reads this review, I humbly ask for forgiveness for my previous assumptions.)

I obtained this book when I saw Jonny Porkpie perform at a burlesque show a few towns over from where I live. I
Michael Mallory
Dec 29, 2012 Michael Mallory rated it liked it
With this title, I had to buy it, but now I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's not quite a spoof, but I can't imagine that this was meant to be taken seriously, either. "The Corpse Wore Pasties" reads like one of those ghosted 1940s celebrity mystery novels in which George Sanders or Joan Leslie or, more pertinently, Gypsy Rose Lee appeared as the author and protagonist (though there is some evidence that Gypsy actually wrote "The G-String Murders" with minimal help). Jonny Porkpie, the ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
Male burlesque performer becomes the main suspect when a female performer dies on stage. He has to go clear his name. In an amateurish, hit and miss kind of way.

This was lots of fun. The author plays himself in the book, so the narrative voice was strong. The supporting cast were played for stereotype but were clearly drawn and filled their roles effectively. The language was workmanlike for most of the length but had gems come through to the surface often enough to add a general sparkle to the
Dec 14, 2009 Randy rated it really liked it
Jonny Porkpie, the self-professed Burlesque Mayor of New York, watched the stripper die right in the middle of her act, taking real poison instead of what she thought was fake, in her suicide act.

Now he is the only suspect in her murder. Never mind the fact that every other stripper hated her because she liked to steal other women's acts, in fact having done so this very night. She cleverly connived to get Jonny to get her slot in the show moved up so that she'd perform the act first. And she'd
Matthew Lipson
Aug 17, 2016 Matthew Lipson rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-case-crime
At first this book appears to be the typical PI style tale, but then Porkpie plants his tongue firmly in his cheek and off he runs ... literally.

Using all the tropes of the noir mystery, we are introduced to character after character who takes their clothes off for money including our unwilling PI. Each one is more fun than the last. Porkpie shows off a respect for his trade -- Burlesque -- and the women he works with. He doesn't strip them of their intelligence. Indeed, the are smarter than he
Jason Seaver
Jan 14, 2010 Jason Seaver rated it liked it
I didn't connect this Hard Case Crime book to Christa Faust's "Money Shot" until I was a bit into it, although it does have some superficial similarities: Murder mystery taking place with a background of adult entertainment, written by someone with knowledge of the field. Burlesque's a different thing than porn, of course, so "Pasties" is distinctly lighter.

As murder mysteries go, it's not great; the solution is pretty obvious from the start, and the various suspects have a tendency to blur toge
Jan 24, 2016 Jure rated it did not like it
Agatha Christie kind of shitty set-up of some exotic environment where murder strikes unexpectedly and there’s closed circle of suspects, each of them of course having bulletproof alibi. I swear to god that in the middle of this crap I actually thought about “Murder on the Orient Express”. Because, you see, our victim wasn’t popular with any of the other protagonists because she stole their burlesque acts. Which is apparently such a big deal in the dirty, sinister and morally corrupted ...more
Sep 12, 2014 4cats rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I do enjoy the Hard Case Crime pulp reads. The covers are just the best, you know what you're getting and they are works of art! The title gives the subject matter away, a murder has occurred in the world of burlesque and Jonny Porkpie decides to investigate owing to a problem he has.....he's on the list of suspects and the list is one.

This reminded me of the wonderful Gypsy Rose Lee crime novels, I must say I prefer Gypsy's to this, the plotting is simple and I did work it out but you read it f
Patrick Hayes
Apr 15, 2012 Patrick Hayes rated it really liked it
It took about 40 pages for me to get into the book, but once I did it was a lot of fun. I liked the tone of the narrator and love his "interogations" of each girl. The solution to the crime was neat and smart. I don't know if Porkpie has written other novels, but I'd be more than willing to give them a try if they are as funny and cool as this one was. It took only about 90 minutes to read, but is worth the time.
Dec 10, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Scruffy and fun whodunnit set in the colorful world of pasties and g-strings. Not overly complex or gritty as some of the other Hard Case books, but it was a fun distraction for a few hours. You couldn't ask for anything else especially with a great title and cover like that. More of a 3 1/2 than a 4, really.
Oct 17, 2013 Robbin rated it it was ok
Kudos to the author for his mastery of noir writing, but the story was rather dull though not predictable. And, it definitely was not as flashy as I'd anticipated considering the backdrop is a burlesque show. This was my second pick from this publisher. Don't think I'll be reading any more of these. I'd rather stick to the classics.
Jul 09, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Very entertaining. The story and the characters are both suspenseful and funny. I read the whole book in one afternoon, when I should have been staining my deck.
Particularly, the way that the sections of the book begin is very amusing. They tell you what is going to happen at the end, and it works here.
Dec 29, 2009 Jesse rated it really liked it
I haven't read Gypsy Rose Lee's stripper mystery, so this is clearly the best one I've ever read. Zippy screwball-comedy dialogue, the ins and outs of life in this subculture, plus a decent mystery as well. OK, I guessed who it would be on p.183, the book being otherwise devoid of suspects at that point, but as retro-/ironic/pastiche detective fiction goes, pretty darn fun.
Frank Taranto
Jun 06, 2010 Frank Taranto rated it liked it
Pure and simply a fun book to read. A murder in a burlesque show starts the book, and our narrator, Johnny Porkpie is the lead suspect. The story is about him trying to find the murderer so he doesn't end up in Jail. The other suspects are all burlesque performers from the show, and his interactions with them and the two cops are funny and enjoyable.
Adam Campbell
Aug 03, 2014 Adam Campbell rated it it was amazing
This is a Great read. The story flows nicely throughout the book. And there are parts of the story that are so funny I had to put it down to giggle a little. The main character's wife, Filthy is a one of a kind girl. I liked her. All and all, a Fun read. I recommend it.
Feb 17, 2016 Chuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: burlesque
Burlesque romp through murder, mayhem written with the touch of a season novelist. Jonny can step down as Burlesque Mayor of New York and become Burlesque New York Times Best Seller.

More, Jonny, more !
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