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The James Joyce Murder
Amanda Cross
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The James Joyce Murder (A Kate Fansler Mystery #2)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  463 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Um den Nachlaß des amerikanischen Verlegers von James Joyce zu ordnen, zieht sich Kate Fansler in sein Haus auf dem Land zurück. Doch im ländlichen Idyll von Araby ist nicht alles so friedlich, wie es den Anschein hat: Als eine Bauersfrau aus der Umgebung erschossen aufgefunden wird, läßt Kate ihre Papiere liegen und macht sich an die Arbeit....
Mass Market Paperback, 0 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Ballantine Books (first published 1967)
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(showing 1-30)
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This is my 2nd Kate Fansler novel and I enjoyed it a lot. Even though I have never read Joyce, this was still enjoyable (or enjoyce-able as it were--har!)As always I learn a lot and keep the internet at hand for all the latin phrases and other literary terms she throws our there! I had no problem reading this despite not being a joyce fan. I may pick up a short story or two in the near future.
Also,in her 2nd Kate Fansler novel, Cross has developed some delightfully witty dialogue between Kate
Sep 06, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How uncomfortable to be quietly vacationing in the Berkshires when your next-door neighbor is found murdered and all of your friends staying with you are the prime suspects? Yep, better figure out who did it before this vacation goes south.
Victoria Mixon
I wanted to like this one really badly. How could a vintage mystery addict bibilophilic professional fiction editor not love a 1960s mystery based on the letters between James Joyce and his publisher/editor?

But it was just simply too precious. And the plot itself makes you think Cross had never read a mystery in her life.

"As famous writer #37 said," nobody ever got off a manslaughter conviction for teaching a child to point a gun at the head of a living person they don't like and pull the trigge
M. White
Jan 30, 2017 M. White rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have long been an Amanda Cross fan, and had thoroughly enjoyed every one that I'd read. This one, however, disappointed me. In place of her usually clever plots was this farce that was just too far-fetched to be believable.
Ploni Almoni
Not particularly well written, and not very interesting. But at least it got me to read Dubliners.
Ilana Merhav
Jan 03, 2017 Ilana Merhav rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it very much, though I guessed quite early who the real murderer was (no spoilers).
Anna Ligtenberg
ISBN 0345346866 - As a mystery fan, I opened this one happily. I was far happier to close it. Most of the book is written in a very pretentious way - paragraphs such as "She's gone, though not without collecting a bottle of vinegar, expressing inchoate horror at the use of wine vinegar at twice the price of ordinary, asking if she could borrow the house for her garden club's tea, informing me she was busier than anyone else on earth, and wondering, with barely concealed salaciousness, what were ...more
I'm not sure if I would have liked this book better if I'd read the first Kate Fansler mystery beforehand -- perhaps the characters would have felt less thin? The romance between Kate and Reed, obviously modeled after Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, didn't work for me at all because I had no investment in either of them as characters. Some of the dialogue/concerns of the book, especially around academic womanhood, really reflected the late 1960s publication and felt unavoidably dated.

I did apprec
I read this novel years ago in French. I had no memories of the plot but remembered the style, the wit, the finesse of the author. Amanda Cross is as sharp as I remembered. Kate Fansler still interesting and fun in a upper class, intello way. The nice things : the quotes from others detectives series like Lord Peter Wimsley, mentioned twice at least, and since it's James Joyce lots of Ulysses and Dubliners. In this novel, Kate ends up in the country for the summer with her precocious nephew Leo, ...more
Kate Eklund
Apr 26, 2012 Kate Eklund rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The book was a light read, and I would have enjoyed it, had the
mystery been more compelling. The mystery came second to the personal dramas of the main characters; while many of the moments between characters were riddled with subtle clues, many moments seemed completely out of place and seemed only later justified by being tied to the mystery. It was a very top-heavy narrative, plodding through exposition for the first 60-odd pages, then getting mired in discussions of little import to the rea
Peggi Warner-lalonde
A great read by a favourite author!
Lesly H
Feb 03, 2014 Lesly H rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I bought this at a charity shop, on a whim. I was intrigued by the synopsis, and impressed by the published recommendations.
However, the book did not live up to my expectation. I felt that Amanda Cross (Carolyn Heilbrun) was attempting to emulate the likes of Oscar Wilde or Noel Coward, but lacked the style or wit. The plot is thin, but in retrospect that is probably essential, given the artificial conversation which is the real meat of the book.
The characters all seem to 'discourse' in the same
I found this to be well enough written, although once again the dialogue is often unrealistic to the point of annoyance; people just do not talk in paragraphs, and to have so many people who talk so similarly takes away much of the charm of Kate's overly pedantic manner. But there were many things I liked; it had a certain precision to it, here and there, and I enjoy books in which the characters talk about different ways of being in the world. The mystery was a little odd, but servicable enough ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The James Joyce Murder by Amanda Cross, the second of the Kate Fansler mysteries, takes place at a farmhouse in the Berkshires where Kate is spending her summer supervising her nephew as well as the sorting of the papers left by a publisher among whose correspondents, James Joyce looms large. Kate has hired two grad students: one to tutor the nephew and one to sort the papers. Reed arrives to find Kate presiding over this household of young males, not to mention the bellowing cow or the boys’ ca ...more
A small mystery book of the old type, without conspiracies and movie heroes or too many killings. Professors of English literature, postgraduate students, a district attorney and a child are mixed up in a strange murder (accidental?) and the strange rural life of Araby, a small village in the middle of nowhere as far as I am concerned.
English literature is coming up all the time with James Joyce in the middle of everything. The end is unpredictable!!!

Under normal circumstances I would have give
I had some trepidation when I started this book that it would be as silly as the prior Kate Fansler mystery, but, now that I have finished it, I will say it was much better. At least the plot was credible, although much of it was obvious. This is still not a great story, but some of the dialogue and characters are fun at times. I own numbers 5 and 6 in this series, so will probably read numbers 3 and 4. Unless there continues to be vast improvement in the plots, I am not sure I will consider Ama ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Marti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
of the two kate fansler novels i have read so far, this was less of a mystery. apparently i picked up three one time at a book sale, so we'll see how that one is. kate lucks out when she is staying in the country as a favor to a friend in that there is a housekeeper and a cook. this one takes place before she has married the lawyer, or assistant district attorney, reed amherst, whose name seems to come from two colleges. the victim is not a beloved personage, and no one seems to miss her, least ...more
Jul 10, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
As usual, in my dorkiness, I was unaware that this is part of an ongoing series about English professor Kate Fanslaw so I've now read a book somewhere in the middle. Very short and succinct. Your standard "we're all out in a house in the country and uh oh! Somebody got murdered." Liked it. Didn't realize it was taking place in New York at first as it seemed very British to me. Very Agatha Christie.
Jul 19, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I'm not entirely sure that I understand all the references in an Amanda Cross novel, but I always come away wanting to know more. This one is a departure for the group from their New York setting, showing them to be far more metropolitan than even they might have imagined. And, it serves to show just how much activity actually occurs in the 'hinterlands'.
Katherine Rowland
Nov 06, 2015 Katherine Rowland rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Bloated, self-important language that neither elevated the mind nor moved the plot forward. Unpleasant people being unpleasant to one another, and unable to talk of anything but sex, which appeared as a concept every other page. I may try another Cross mystery, but this one is going in the rubbish bin with no regrets.
Mar 23, 2010 Rdonn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Kate Fansler Mystery. I have three to read that were given to me, and I do enjoy these literate mysteries. She is different from most sleuths I've read as she's an academic and the pages abound with literary references. I will happily read more of her.
Sonia Grgas
Feb 22, 2014 Sonia Grgas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After finishing all of the works of Agatha Christie and Rex Stout I despaired of finding a mystery writer that could compare. Amanda Cross fits the bill! This was better than the first in the series and I can't wait to read the next.
Apr 11, 2008 Samira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I do love an Amanda Cross. She is smart, snobbish, and terribly literary. I kind of enjoy reading about a heroine who would proably not give me the time of day, even though it makes me feel dreadfully inferior.
Sep 02, 2013 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captures the atmosphere of a rural Massachusetts country house brimming with colorful characters, but the literary references and murder mystery itself are secondary to the characters. Not exactly what I expected, but an enjoyable enough summer read.
Mar 06, 2008 Sandie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandie by: Mystery Book Group
An earlier Kate Fansler mystery, I liked some of the dialogue between Kate and Reed. Cross uses an interesting conceit of having the chapter names be the same as in Joyce's book of short stories, The Dead. It's a quick read, and was quite fun.
Oct 17, 2010 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mature-reads
Again, I don't like the characters much, but I read Cross for the literary references. All the voices in her fiction are the same, and her love of Virginia Woolf... which is not the problem... becomes the love of too many characters... which is the problem. No diversity.
Sure what else would you read for Bloomsday, if you don't fancy making another attempt at Ulysses? A Virago crime novel centered around Joyce!
Nov 13, 2008 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
for anyone who likes well-constructed sentences, literary allusions, and mysteries without excesses of gore, plus interesting characters.
Julie H.
Jun 14, 2009 Julie H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love Prof. Fansler almost as much as I love James Joyce, so it's a bit of a toss-up. Great mystery series with a literary and academic hook--always a good story, too.
Candace Wegner
Mar 20, 2013 Candace Wegner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe I am just discovering Amanda Cross. I actually started reading Joyce again --- and I never liked Joyce, even in grad school.
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A psuedonym of Carolyn G. Heilbrun.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Amanda Cross...

Other Books in the Series

A Kate Fansler Mystery (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • In the Last Analysis (A Kate Fansler Mystery #1)
  • Poetic Justice (A Kate Fansler Mystery #3)
  • The Theban Mysteries (A Kate Fansler Mystery #4)
  • The Question of Max (A Kate Fansler Mystery #5)
  • Death in a Tenured Position (A Kate Fansler Mystery #6)
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  • The Players Come Again (A Kate Fansler Mystery #10)
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