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Murder Your Darlings (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #1)

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  383 ratings  ·  106 reviews
One morning legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. A little early for a passed out drunk, isn't it? But he's not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by New American Library
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Judith Starkston
J.J. Murphy’s first in his Algonquin Round Table series, Murder Your Darlings (January 2011) is a thoroughly delightful read. Part screwball comedy, part literary spoof, this mystery stars Dorothy Parker, William Faulkner, Robert Benchley and others solving a murder when a prominent drama critic is found stabbed with a fountain pen under the famous Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel. Don’t be put off if you’ve never heard of the Algonquin Round Table—Murphy supplies whatever background you need, ...more
Rick F.
What a delightful old-fashioned mystery- JJ Murphy has succeed so wonderfully in utilizing the larger than life personalities..Parker, Benchley, Woolcott, FPA ect into a veritable front row seat at the most famous "Table" in history!! Full of quirky characters and laugh out loud humor...combined with a super plot- Murder Your Darlings: Algonquin Round Table Mystery is an unqualified winner!!
Mar 27, 2011 Ellie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans; fans of the sophisticated banter & Dorothy Parker
Recommended to Ellie by: my past
When I was in my early-mid teens, I was infatuated with the Algonquin Table & specifically Dorothy Parker. I read everything of her, as well as Robert Benchley and the rest of the crew. I fancied myself (for reasons unfathomable to me now) as one of them. And I went through a period later on of loving William Faulkner (now, not so much but tomorrow...who knows?).
And for genre reading, mystery is my favorite.

So imagine my excitement at learning of a new series, based on The Algonquin Table, f
Riccarla Roman
"Murder Your Darlings" by J. J. Murphy is a murder mystery set at the beginning of the Depression and featuring some of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. A body is discovered under the table used by the famous Algonquin Round Table. The victim is a critic that none of them liked. But did they dislike him enough to stab him through the heart with the pen he used (and shilled for)?

The solving of the mystery is secondary in a novel so rich with characters, it's hard to keep up.
MURDER YOUR DARLINGS (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery) is available from Penguin/Obsidian.

One morning, legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan’s famed Algonquin Round Table. But he’s not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.

It’s up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit—preferably before cocktail hour—an

Read in January, 2013

"Murder Your Darlings" was fun, refreshingly new and totally original.

This story brings into the roaring 20's. The days of prohibition and flappers.
These were the days when Dorothy Parker and her liaison Robert Benchley were a strategic part of the Algonquin Round table. The members of this elite group were writers and critics living in a world of their own.
Their world consisted of quick and witty remarks that brought humor into the most ghastly situations. Dorothy Parker
Suspense Magazine
Dorothy Parker—satirist, poet and one of the greatest wits of the twentieth century—is the feisty heroine of this delightful mystery by J.J. Murphy. If her name is not a readily familiar one, shame on you. One of her most quoted lines is, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” Got it? Great.
A writer for Vanity Fair back in the roaring twenties, Parker was one of the founding members of the Vicious Circle, a stellar group of writers including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." That well-known line is used to describe the members of the Algonquin Round Table in Murder Your Darlings. I was unable to chase down the exact origin of the quote - it's attributed to a variety of sources - but it fits this book and it's cast of characters perfectly. Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchly, William Faulkner and company are, of course, real people portrayed in a fictitious murder mystery. The author admits taking liberties with the ti ...more
Ooh, the members of the Algonquin Round Table are witty and smart and CLEVER. They are more clever than you, me, the NYPD and just about anyone else you can think of. The rest of the world are just dumb nitwits. And in case you hadn’t realized that fact, not to worry. The point will be made repeatedly, lest you forget.

If you enjoy constant one-liners uttered at totally inappropriate times, then this is the book for you. If you enjoy completely asinine and unbelievable plots fueled by CLEVER, smu
After I finished reading this book, I wanted to go to a murder mystery dinner!! This was a great "first in a new series" featuring Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table gang. Filled with smart remarks full of wit and some could say heart, this story had me smiling and wanting more! This is a great read for those that enjoy literary figures and the time period of prohibition and New York in the 1920's. I wasn't familiar with many of the characters prior to beginning this story, but wanted ...more
M. Newman
I loved this madcap mystery starring Dorothy Parker, the 20th Century's "Queen of the Quip," her colleagues at the famed Algonquin Round Table and sundry famous contemporaries. This book was wonderfully witty and often hilarious and was a delight to read.
Arriving at the Algonquin dining room a bit early for lunch, Ms. Parker discovers under the table, the body of a literary rival stabbed to death with a fountain pen. With the help of her cohorts, she sets out to solve the case. Despite many up
Martha Bullen
A clever historical mystery starring the key members of the famous Algonquin Round Table -- such prominent writers, critics and humorists as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Wolcott and other well-known Manhattan literati.

Set in the roaring 20s, this novel features sparkling prose, an enjoyable, twisty plot, many actual quotes from Parker and Benchley, and even a starring role for a young up-and-coming writer from Mississippi, Billy Faulkner. Prohiibtion-era NYC comes alive, with frequ
Murder Your Darling, the first Algonquin Round Table Mystery, by J.J. Murphy is an excellent whodunnit staring some of New York's most elite writers of the 1920s. After a prominent drama critic is murdered and left under the famous Algonquin Round Table, it is up to Dorothy Park, Robert Benchley and their witty crew to uncover the real murderer before a young William Faulkner takes the fall for the crime.

The novel is a really fun read, not only because the story is well written, but the wittici
I don't know if this book is going anywhere, but it's so funny that I don't care either. Lunch, anyone?

Edited to say:
I give this book 3 and a half stars. It got four stars for being a pretty good book, but there's a gratuitous and extreme animal cruelty scene for which I'm penalizing it half a star.

Other than that, I enjoyed hanging out at the 'Gonk with Parker and her literary friends. The mystery was good, the dialog was great. The animal cruelty appears towards the end in what I can only desc
As I am currently reading the Dorothy Parker biography as well as the Portable, the back-and-forth wisecracks in this book are very familiar. Dorothy and the whole Round Table gang appear here and when another theater critic is killed, they all become suspects. Parker and Benchley solve the crime of which Faulkner is accused.

Not a great mystery and sometimes there is just too much talking, but it can be enjoyed for what it is.
Jan C
Entertaining. Not one of the great works of art or even a great mystery. But entertaining. Captures the time period (even if he does shuffle it around a bit) and the real life characters.

Plus I didn't know that The Portable Dorothy Parker has never been out of print.
An enjoyable read about those urbane and witty writers and critics of the famed Algonquin Round Table. Dorothy Parker, the heroine and sassy amateur slueth, wisecracks throughout the novel. Still, the other characters, even my beloved William Faulkner (known as "Billy"), seemed to be far less appealed and sometimes hard to distiguish from one another. A fairly enjoyable but predictable storyline.
Laura Roberts
Great Dorothy Parker-inspired murder mystery for all those who love wit, wisecrackers and the literary lifestyle. Highly recommended. Looking forward to more in this series!
Daniel Marks
Quick and fun murder mystery set amongst the fictional literati of 20s New York. Dorothy Parker's snarky quotes are a character unto themselves!
Kathleen Freeman
I enjoyed this book, it was great fun to read. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Sharal Hunter
New to me author J.J. Murphy delivers a fresh and entertaining start to a historical mystery series that revolves around the Algonquin Round Table with Dorothy Parker front and center. Mr. Murphy does a commendable job of bringing the Depression-era time period to life and with plenty of snarky sarcasm and wisecrack dialogue from the characters. Though the mystery itself does not seem too complicated a case, I found myself so immersed in the story and the characters that I had a very difficult t ...more
"Murder Your Darlings" was fun, refreshingly new and totally original.

This story brings into the roaring 20's. The days of prohibition and flappers.
These were the days when Dorothy Parker and her liaison Robert Benchley were a strategic part of the Algonquin Round table. The members of this elite group were writers and critics living in a world of their own.
Their world consisted of quick and witty remarks that brought humor into the most ghastly situations. Dorothy Parker leads the cast of char
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
"In all reverence I say Heaven bless the Who-dunit, the soothing balm on the wound, the cooling hand on the brow, the opiate of the people." - Dorthy Parker

Dorthy Parker may be at the center of a vicious circle of writers in New York, in fact, THE Vicious Circle... that still doesn't mean that any of them are responsible for the appearance of a corpse under their celebrated round table at the Algonquin. But, as any good writer knows, that doesn't eliminate them from the suspect pool. The fact th
Murder Your Darlings by J. J. Murphy

This is the August 2011 read for my book club - Pikes Peak Bookworms.

From the back of the book:

On this particular morning, legendary wit Dorothy parker is not the one under the Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. Someone else is -- and he's not dead drunk, just dead.

When a charming aspiring writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting the help of tablemates Ro
This book was an absolute blast - I LOVED IT!!

The famed "Vicious Circle" of the 1920's drunken literati including Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and Robert Sherwood and Alexander Woolcott take centre stage here as reluctant murder investigators.

Unfortunately, due to their less than stellar work ethic, the gang is more like the Keystone Kops than Holmes and Watson. Luckily, what they lack in criminal investigative skills, they more than make up for in wit, scarcasm and dismissive ennui. The whol
Before technology was made, before television, radio, telephones in every home, there was social entertainment. There were the members of the Round Table. No really, there was...

I love how the end of this book tells that these people really lived and knew each other, and sat at the Algonquin Round Table and talked. The storyline was hilarious and I found myself chuckle quite a few times at what they said. In order to make light of any situation, Dorothy, Benchley, and the others would make up sm
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I have owned this book for quite awhile but hesitated beginning it as I am not familiar with the main character. Do not make this mistake, for what happened is that I now want to learn more about Mrs. Dorothy Parker.

I knew about the actor and enjoyed his work from the black and white movie days. Robert Benchley was in Fred Astaire movies, and so many others. I also knew about Monty Woolley whom I've learned from this book was really re-enacting Alexander Woollcott, in 'The Man Who Came to Dinner
Penny McGill
Maybe I need a new category of cozy on my Goodreads bookshelves? Amazing historical fiction + cozy? J. J. Murphy takes some in-depth research into Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table folks and makes a cozy that is better than average (and I tend to love them all) so I was thrilled to read this one over the long weekend.

There are very few missteps in her telling of this strange little murder mystery and she weaves in clever tidbits about the lives of Groucho and Harpo Marx, Douglas Fairb
Dorothy Parker was a woman who put the roar into the Roaring Twenties. She and a well-known group of authors met every day for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Dorothy arrives early for lunch and finds a body under their table. She also meets a young author who has just arrived in New York to try out his writing talents - a young "Billy" Faulkner. The police decide that Billy is the guilty party and Dorothy and her gang of Round Table buddies need to find out who did the crime before he ...more
I love Dorothy Parker, I love the whole idea of the Algonquin Round Table, and I love the ambiance of the free-for-all '20s. So what was not to love about this book? It was all of that, plus some other loveable historical characters, and a murder mystery! The wit and turns of phrase that the Round Table was famous for are very well represented in this book--I really felt like I was reading conversations between Parker and Benchley. While the murder was predictable, I don't think the whodunit was ...more
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Algonquin Round Table. 6 13 Nov 07, 2011 03:44AM  
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When not writing the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, J.J. Murphy is an award-winning health care writer and very busy parent of twin daughters in suburban Philadelphia.
More about J.J. Murphy...
You Might As Well Die (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #2) A Friendly Game of Murder (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #3) Hair of the Dog (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #1.5) Stage Fright: An Algonquin Round Table Mini-Mystery

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“They migrated to the usual room on the second floor. Heywood Broun was there by the door, setting up bottles of gin, scotch and beer. Alexander Woollcott sat ensconced behind the round table (not THE Round Table). He shuffled the cards and stacked up poker chips.

Dorothy stopped in the doorway and watched what they were doing. 'You boys sure know how to treat a woman,' she said. 'Liquor in the front and poker in the rear.”
“Someone misdirected you [...] Most writers in New York don't do much writing. They spend their time talking and drinking bootleg liquor. That's what we do, at any rate.” 3 likes
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