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Dead Politician Society (Clare Vengel Undercover #1)

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  471 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
When the mayor keels over dead in the middle of a speech, a clandestine student society immediately takes credit for his demise. Their mission is to create a perfect political system by any means at their disposal. Clare Vengel, a rookie officer fresh from the police academy and beyond bored with her routine as a beat cop, volunteers to go undercover as a student to infilt ...more
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by ECW Press
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Brian DiMattia
Apr 03, 2012 Brian DiMattia rated it it was ok
Only read part of this book, so in fairness I should say that it may get better. But the writing wasn't good enough to keep going.

There was no subtlety, and no nuance. Have you ever been around a group of people where everyone there is convinced that they are either the smartest person in the room, or the cleverest, or both? That's what it was like reading these characters. They were all either self-important and arrogant, or cliched and two-dimensional...set decoration to give the poser charact
Casey (The Bookish Type)
Aug 19, 2010 Casey (The Bookish Type) rated it really liked it
The most compelling aspect of Dead Politician Society is the bizarre cast of characters. Every character Robin Spano crafts sparks strong emotions in the reader - but whether they be positive or negative is an entirely different question. Clare herself is tenacious and determined, always willing to enter the fray head-on. While her recklessness tends to get her in trouble at work, it makes her a winning character that readers will eagerly cheer on. Susannah, one of Clare's political science clas ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Su rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting to like this book, because it's not a genre I generally enjoy. However, Robin Spano's writing style is fun to read and engaging, and the plot was paced well enough to raise tension about whodunit while also keeping me interested. It's definitely not rated PG, so if you're looking for a family-friendly read, this isn't it. It's definitely one that I enjoyed enough to re-read.
Colleen Cross
Jul 29, 2011 Colleen Cross rated it it was amazing
Clare Vengel is very cool and I hope I can read the next book in the series soon! Robin Spano's characters are quirky and original, and her political revenge premise is fresh and interesting. Looking forward to more!
Jan 08, 2012 Jack rated it it was amazing
My first read of this upcoming author was 100% first rate. This is a start of something very special. Loved this book.
Kari Anderson
Sep 06, 2010 Kari Anderson rated it it was amazing
Politician’s are dropping like flies and rookie cop Clare Vengel finally gets her break to go undercover and show the world what she’s got. Her first gig, a college poli-sci student trying to find who is poisoning the politicians.

Dead Politician Society is written through the eyes of Clare, Matthew, Annabelle, Laura and Jonathan. Clare of course is our leading lady. Matthew is her new poli-sci “teacher”, who may also be in charge of the secret society that claims to be killing the politicians. A
Filled with twists and turns, shadowy characters and situations that are not as they seem, Dead Politician Society is what one expects from a mystery. Yet, it is so much more. Subtle in its intricacies, each character peels back the layers of the mystery, unveiling a welcome depth to the story.

Dead Politician Society is told from the point of view of multiple characters. While this can be a bit confusing in the beginning, it allows the story to become character-driven rather than action-driven.
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Oct 01, 2010 I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat} rated it really liked it
Have you ever changed purses for the season and unexpectedly found a twenty dollar bill in the bottom of your old purse? Whenever that happens to me I immediately spend the money on something totally frivolous like Godiva chocolate or a manicure. It's the best guilty pleasure, isn't it?

I had that same feeling reading Dead Politician Society. This was an unexpected find and I really enjoyed it. I discovered this book when I read an interview with Robin Spano on Daisy Chain Book Reviews and left a
Alexander Inglis
I have lived in Toronto almost my entire life, and vaguely in downtown Toronto my entire adult life. I love this city, warts and all ... so I am sucker for new writers setting their tales in my front yard. And back yard. If "The Streets of Toronto" doesn't have quite the same ring to it as if that ended in "San Francisco", my heart skips a beat, nonetheless, every time. So what a joy to discover the work of Robin Spano and her first novel Dead Politician Society starts out with murder of the may ...more
CoffeeBook Chick
Mar 03, 2011 CoffeeBook Chick rated it really liked it
With its almost vintage 1950s mystery cover, a la graphic novel, I was intrigued.

Clare is just past the age of twenty-one and is a police officer working boring breaking and entering cases and somehow gets a crack at going undercover when the local mayor dies at a political event. Reasons abound for Clare to become a student at the University of Toronto, and her Political Science class offers more than enough suspects to find a killer who has made killing politicians a priority to spread the wor
Jason Brown (Toastx2)
Jul 22, 2010 Jason Brown (Toastx2) rated it really liked it
Robin Spano’s “Dead Politician Society”.. How to put this.. I was happy but not surprised.

Let me explain.

Dead Politician Society (DPS) is an undercover detective novel. The Mayor is poisoned and dies on stage during a speech. A cryptic untraceable email from the killer is received by the Toronto star, it is signed by a rumored Utopian secret society on the local college campus. The police send in Clare under cover to see if she can fish for more details. they have no other leads.

Clare really lea
Dec 12, 2010 Debra rated it really liked it
Rookie police officer, Clare Vengel is on her first undercover assignment, which she is determined to get right. And really, how hard can it be? All her supervisor wants her to do is pose as a political science student, gather information, and report back to him. There’s to be no heroics or putting herself in dangerous situations. To accomplish this task, Clare needs to befriend some of her classmates, as one of them might be the serial killer who’s poisoning politicians. But in Clare’s world, r ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Pauline rated it it was amazing
I've never read a single Nancy Drew book in my puny 20-year existence, a fact which has been a cause for ridicule by one of the guys I used to date (he was big on The Hardy Boys, so it follows that he date girls who grew up reading Nancy Drew - but I was an exception, sorta). All I know is that she was this chick who solved crimes with coiffed hair. So to compare Clare Vengel - the protagonist of Robin Spano's first novel - to Nancy Drew would probably be a bit off, maybe even disappointing to t ...more
Catherine Astolfo
Dec 15, 2011 Catherine Astolfo rated it really liked it
Robin Spano is a master with dialogue. It’s intelligent, witty, charming, and revelatory all at once. Her characters are primarily young but regardless of age, they are all interesting and sympathetic. Each of them reveals a great deal about him or herself through their discussions, debates, word games or simple conversations.

This art of illuminating character through dialogue is difficult but Spano accomplishes it in her first novel like a seasoned pro. The plot is unique, somewhat tongue-in-ch
Another solid release from ECW Press! Dead Politician Society, the debut novel from Robin Spano, tells the tale of a young undercover police woman on her first assignment. The mayor dies suddenly at an event, poisoned by a secret society: Society for Political Utopia. Clare enrolls in the political sciences program at University of Toronto to learn more about the society and determine who is behind these murders.

I recommend this book for any mystery fan.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book
Dona Matthews
Jul 21, 2010 Dona Matthews rated it it was amazing
this book won't be available until september, 2010, but i've had the pleasure of reading it in manuscript--
robin spano has created a delightful new sleuth -- a smart, sweet, tough-talking young motorcyclist named clare vengel -- who tangles with a terrible situation involving politicians dying, university professors, students, and others, set mostly at the university of toronto

to see more about dead politician society, go to
to see a very cool trailer of this book: h
Nov 18, 2010 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, novel, e-book
Although I don't usually read mystery novels, I gave Dead Politician Society a try because it sounded interesting...and I knew the author! So while I can't compare it to many other mystery books, I can still say that this was an engaging story and a truly fantastic cast of characters. I may not have liked them all (in fact, some were downright annoying!), but each and every one of the book's characters was well crafted and intriguing, and it was because of this that I found the novel so involvin ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it
This was a new author for me, I have a nook which comes from Barnes and Nobels, so each Friday they have a free book you can download, this is how I came to read this book. Once again if you like the good old fashioned mystery, than you should read this book, I never could figure out " who done it ", it was a shock, so this is a good read.
Read On......
Jun 19, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it
Robin Spano did a wonderful job with this book The characters are well developed and fooling around with the protagonist as she finds her feet in the undercover world.
This is definitely a page turner. I finished it in 2 days of fascinated reading. I can't wait for the next book from Robin Spano.

Leslie Iskander
Aug 13, 2010 Grant rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a fun, one-day read. Very well written and planned out. It's the first "who-done-it" that I've read in a long time where the writer didn't give away the store early on.
Kim Moritsugu
Dec 31, 2010 Kim Moritsugu rated it it was amazing
A spritely contemporary mystery with a kick-ass sleuth and a well-handled plot.
Aug 11, 2010 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
One of the better mysteries I've read in awhile. The short chapters with shifting focus made it more of a page turner. I was even reading at my desk at work when I could spare a few minutes!
May 12, 2011 Joel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoying this quick read about a young undercover cop in Toronto, taking PoliSci classes to get to the bottom of the "Dead Politician Society". Catchy, clever dialog.
Toni ~married to a hunk~
Sep 20, 2011 Toni ~married to a hunk~ rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-read, bouchercon
I meet Robin at Bouchercon 2011 and had a great time talking to her so I had to get her books. Can't wait to read the next one and did not guess who did it. :-)
Aug 24, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Great Characters and a great storyline!
Aug 13, 2010 Carole rated it it was amazing
I guess I should read the books before I review them, but I just KNOW this will be great!!!
May 30, 2017 Jaclyn rated it really liked it
Funny and fun mystery!
Between the Covers
REVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:

Dead Politician Society is the debut novel by Robin Spano. A murder mystery, DPS introduces us to Clare Vengel, a 22-year-old rookie police officer with the Toronto police. When a politician is murdered Clare is given her first undercover assignment: to investigate a group called The Society for Political Utopia which has claimed credit for the murder. As the group appears to be linked to the political science classes at the local university, Clare
Sep 26, 2010 daisychainbooks rated it really liked it
You might not know this, but along with my often documented obsession with reading about secret societies and universities, I also love a good murder mystery. With Robin Spano’s debut novel combining all of these elements, I knew this would be my kind of book. This is a fast-paced, sassy debut that will both entertain and intrigue. I loved Robin’s writing style, and the characters she created. Let’s just say I became a fan of Clare Vengel pretty early on.

That’s not to say that Clare is entirely
Gwenyth Love
I received this book for review by Crazy Book Tours. It's not my typical kind of read, but it took place in Toronto, and I had the urge to participate in some book blog tours.

The first few chapters really confused and irritated me. So many characters were introduced and each chapter was told by a different narrator/character. It took me quite some time to get comfortable with the flow, and the characters in the story. I would say about half way through I was finally to the part where I didn't ha
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Robin is a mystery author from Toronto, living in Vancouver. She loves to chat about books with everyone except her husband, who hates reading. This is probably a good thing, in that it gets her outside doing things when she could happily lose herself in fiction.
More about Robin Spano...

Other Books in the Series

Clare Vengel Undercover (3 books)
  • Death Plays Poker (Clare Vengel Undercover, #2)
  • Death's Last Run (Clare Vengel Undercover, #3)

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