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Watch Me Die

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  626 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Harvey Mapes is a 26-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start... which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren.

The lowly security guard jumps at the oppo
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published June 8th 2011 by Adventures in Television (first published 2005)
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Betty G. Brown
Nov 06, 2014 Betty G. Brown rated it really liked it

I bought this book on my Kindle, and was in the middle of another book when I started reading it. The language and sex were a little much and sometimes I felt sorry for the lead character. He seemed to be "mentally challenged" and wanted to be a "PI," like mystery books portray, but instead he seemed to be more of a bumbling idiot. This author took this character and literally brought him to adulthood by the end of the book. He is not the same person in the end and I finished the book r
Evan Rail
Dec 09, 2014 Evan Rail rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's got a great premise whereby the "hero," such as he is, seems pretty damn close to a real person —a slovenly, underachieving, regular Joe who almost accidentally turns into a halfway-decent detective by the end. We're not talking about a superhero. We're talking about a guy who drives a beater and who gets beaten up. His transformation is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Truth be told, I'd probably give this 92 out of 100. One shortcoming: the ending kind of flops over the
Jan 27, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Watch Me Die is a mystery novel that draws you in. The story has plenty of twists and turns and the writer's droll and witty voice entertains throughout.
Sep 20, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing
You can't help loving Harvey Mapes! Life just passes him by while he sits in his security hut night after night, lost in fantasies fuelled by his love of detective novels and crime dramas. But a fluke P.I. job comes his way and in he jumps with both feet. This novel takes us on Harvey's journey of discovery and we all learn that real life is not quite the same as fiction. Harvey's brutal honesty at his many short-comings are what make this a rather charming tale that is well-told and humorous. I ...more
Nathan Shumate
"Watch Me Die" was originally published under the title "The Man With the Iron-On Badge," a title which better fits the serio-comic story of a security guard who wants to be the kind of private eye he’s read about in dozens of paperback novels. Goldberg, who’s one of the most credible voices of the new self-published revolution (credible because he was originally one of its detractors until the weight of evidence convinced him otherwise), originally self-republished the ebook version under the o ...more
Sep 10, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
This is what I would consider more of a 'mans' novel, but having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was quirky and humorous, and made me laugh out loud several times. If you've got a sense of humor and like contemporary books, give it a try!
Jan 25, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it
This was a fun book for mystery fans like me. The protagonist, Harvey Mapes, has a tedious job, working as a security guard in a super exclusive subdivision. The only thing that makes the job bearable is that he can lose himself in his favorite paperback mysteries. He's obsessed with Jim Rockford.

One of the rich residents hires Harvey to follow his wife, which seems like the beginning of his new and exciting Private Investigator career. It doesn't take much for Harvey to come up with an answer.
Jul 18, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the tone of this book more than the plot. The story was well-crafted, and the characters were at least theoretically plausible; but it was the painful vulnerability of the main character that drove the book. Goldberg did an excellent job of making Harvey's Walter Mitty persona lovable. I really enjoyed the frequent reference to some of my favorite fictitious detectives (Joe Mannix, Jim Rockford, Kinsey Milhone, Elvis Cole, and Travis McGee to name a few), whose activities and antics we ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Michaela rated it really liked it
Ein nicht mehr ganz junger Mann, lebt in seiner eigenen Welt. Als gescheiterter Student schiebt er Nachtschicht bei einem Wachdienst. Ein Job bei dem er ungestört einen Detektivroman nach dem anderen lesen kann. Das ist seine Welt, die der Detektive. Bis er selbst einen Auftrag bekommt, eine Frau zu beschatten. Er taucht ein in eine allzu reale Welt, versinkt, spürt das Adrenalin. Er riskiert viel, liest passend dazu weitere Romane. Er wird zusammengeschlagen, doch da kann ihn schon nichts mehr ...more
Sep 09, 2016 Jeanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Nice little mystery with an interesting wannabe detective.
Oct 17, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much and it was quite a quick read. It kept my interest and curiosity as to what would be happening next. I'm a fan of the comic Kick Ass and this book reminded me of it in many ways. There was an immature nobody type protagonist who develops through the acting out of his fantasies. He's not very good at what he does at first but is rather likable in his ineptness and transformation. There's a level and description of violence that will make some people uncomfortable but ...more
Robert Vaughan
Jul 19, 2014 Robert Vaughan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that likes Detective shows.
I found Lee Goldberg by reading his Monk series. This is the second non-Monk book by him I have read and it was very pleasing. A short book that rolled right along smoothly and kept me in it until the end. A great way to kill 2.5-3 hours and you won't even know the time had passed.

I like the constant references to the protagonists TV heroes and the fact that he never quite learns that he is not on TV. Not very realistic storytelling but, lets face it, Mr. Goldberg is a TV writer, it's to be exp
george burns
Dec 09, 2014 george burns rated it really liked it
Juvenile Fantasies

Harvey Mapes is a twenty-nine year-old security guard who mans the gatehouse at a wealthy, gated community. His thinking is strictly juvenile and he is obsessed with fictional private detectives and sex. Then, a resident asks him to follow his wife (an adult might be suspicious). Mapes is entranced by the prospect of living his dream. The first part of the book is an amusing parody of Male's make believe heroes, but he gradually starts to become an investigator (not a professio
Feb 21, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
This is a fun story about a security guard with a fondness for detectives like Spenser, Travis McGee, Jim Rockford and Thomas Magnum. The guy has a rich fantasy life until he gets the chance to live out his dream...sort of. Of course, things are not what they at first seem to be.
I should probably point out, the book isn't for everybody. It can be a bit crass. Despite this, I found the story enjoyable and the main character a likable, flawed guy. I'd like to see Goldberg write another of these,
Cheryl A. Lord
Apr 06, 2015 Cheryl A. Lord rated it liked it
Not bad, not great.

College dropout gets offered money under the table to follow a guy's wife. When he finishes the task to the customer's satisfaction he can't resist chasing the whole story down for his own edification. He finds some things about himself he didn't know and he doesn't like all of them. He realizes he's been living a life of quiet desperation and begins to craft a new future.

Not a bad read. Just not a great read. Finished reading to find out who done it. Felt like eating a sandwi
Nov 07, 2010 Linda rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, los-angeles
Harvey Mapes is a security guard for a gated community who is recruited by one of the tenants to follow his wife. Soon Mapes is finding himself in the situations he's read in mystery novels and seen on TV.
I almost didn't make it past the first couple chapters, because the head of an immature, slacker 26-year old boy is a really unpleasant place to be. However, the humor and the deft plotting pulled me through, and I am glad I stuck with it. Mapes does grow as a character, and the nods to some of
Michael Donnelly
Mar 11, 2014 Michael Donnelly rated it really liked it
Mystery/detective piece, lots of satire, very well done, and a nice surprise.

About halfway through the work I felt as if the writer had finished the book and was looking to fill words to make a novel, but I was happy I continued, as it picked up and ended with a nice twist.

This is not literary fiction, but for a snowy Saturday, or a getaway at the beach, this will do well.

The humor is done well also, which isn't common in novels, but pushes this from approachable to something worth picking up.
Edith English
Sep 04, 2016 Edith English rated it it was amazing
Excellent book

This mystery was exciting, with a twist of humor that worked very well. The characters were believable and down to earth and made the story even more interesting. An excellent story and writer.
Susan Wang
Jan 06, 2013 Susan Wang rated it it was ok
As a mystery/thriller fan, this book seemed rather a waste of time. The main character is an inexperienced security guard whose three-stooges-like personality goes on and on with needless narration that interferes with the storyline. His success as a newbie private investigator is all due to good luck, as the level of his IQ appears below average, and his needs for food, sex, money, and fame all seem to be at levels of desperation.

Take away all the daydreaming and the book would be left with ju
Jun 17, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
Harvey Mapes is a night guard in a shack at the gated entrance to a tony LA community. One of the residents wants to hire him to watch his wife. He wants to pay money. Harvey has seen all the detective shows on TV - how hard could it be?

This is a great and easy read. I had it on my Kindle which I picked up only on weekends at brunch. Even at this sporadic schedule the store was easy to follow. This is my second of Golderg's novels an it won't be my last. Not important literature only very entert
Feb 09, 2013 Lianne rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, humour
This was quite a fun book, if a little lightweight. The main character is the fairly likeable Security Guard/PI Wannabe Harvey Mapes. I did find some of his daydreaming a bit irritating though, and not as funny as the author probably intended! It's a fairly straight forward story line with no great plot twist or in-depth investigating, but enjoyable all the same. I normally prefer darker thrillers, but this is fine for a light-hearted, easy read or those that prefer their mysteries a little ligh ...more
Kathy Manno
Aug 08, 2016 Kathy Manno rated it really liked it
Being a TV or book detective is not like being a real one

Harvey Mapes is a security guard for residential estate. He watches TV detective shows and reads detective novels. He is asked by one of residents to follow his wife. Harvey is excited because he is now a detective that he reads or watches. But this case is not a typical case, and Harvey will use what he learned from TV and books to solve it.

Nov 16, 2013 Robin rated it liked it
Harvey Mapes learns a thing or two in this first of the series, most of it not about detecting but being detected. Despite a vicious beating, Harvey escapes the hospital the way his novel and television private eye heroes do. There is a type of private eye who will not die...the one who lives in the imagination. A non-taxing read, made more enjoyable by the Harvey's ability to see his own flaws.
Chris Kurbjuhn
Aug 13, 2014 Chris Kurbjuhn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Handlung ist nicht unbedingt neu: Krimi-Fan mit Aushilfsjob mutiert zum Privatermittler, macht seine Romanvorbilder nach und entpuppt sich als sehr begabter Schnüffler.
Goldberg macht das höchst professionell, reißt ein paar sehr gute Witze, wechselt gekonnt von Schnoddrigkeit zu echter Tragik... sehr, sehr gute Hard-Boiled-Ware. Dicke Empfehlung.
Annie Bailey
Apr 30, 2011 Annie Bailey rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Annie by: Lee Goldberg Website
Shelves: favorites
What a great read! I was guessing the why up until almost the very end and talk about a shocker! Lee Goldberg did a fantastic job keeping the reader guessing the entire time and there were all the right twists and turns to make for a great read. I hope he brings back Harvey Mapes character in the future.
C. Clark
The humor, the mystery, the pure storytelling was spot on. It's been a long time since I chuckled during a book, and tried to read faster to fathom how the story would end. Wonderful job with a PI that's stupid enough to be funny and smart enough to be efficient. Fun reading. I have found a new author to binge on now.
Jan 09, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is a standard run of the mill detective novel however it separates itself by poking fun at your popular detective characters from page 1. While the main character isn't a detective he wishes he was. He is given the opportunity and the fun begins. It was a fun ride for myself. If you enjoy wise cracking traditional detective stories you will enjoy this book.
May 18, 2014 Chuckles rated it it was amazing
Mystery fanatic become private eye

This is my second book of this genre and it is a great book. there was a lot of cliché detective expected by Harvey and up in till he solved the crime, it was his reasoning and for any mystery readers. THIS IS A MUST!
Dec 05, 2011 GregP rated it really liked it
Lee Goldberg did a good job! He mixed a down-to-earth character, a wanna-be detective, added humor, and a kinda intense murder plot into a very interesting novel. I didn't realize that Goldberg wrote the Monk TV series based on his books. I recommend this writer!!
Jul 02, 2015 Tulay rated it liked it
Really enjoyed this book.

I never know what is coming when I start reading Lee Goldberg books. With this one laugh out loud so many times, slow moving, it's a sad but good book. Glad Mr Goldberg you are not Harvey Maples. Also narration by Luke Daniels was very good.
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New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include "Martial Law," "SeaQuest," "Diagnosis Murder,""Hunter," "Spenser: For Hire," "Nero Wolfe," "Missing." "Monk" and "The Glades." He's also the author of the Fox & O'Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), "The ...more
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