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You Might as Well Die

(Algonquin Round Table #2)

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  218 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews

When second-rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin's artistic works triple in value following his apparent suicide off the Brooklyn Bridge, Dorothy Parker smells something fishy. Enlisting the help of magician and skeptic Harry Houdini, she goes to a séance held by MacGuffin's mistress, where Ernie's ghostly voice seems hauntingly real...

Paperback, 312 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by NAL
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J.J. Murphy
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
What a great book. The author is a genius!! (Oh, did I mention I wrote it?)

OK, to anyone who's reading this, here's some fun background about this book you won't find anywhere else!

The idea for the mystery in this book comes from these three unlikely facts:
- Tupac Shakur released more albums after his death than during his life.
- Elvis Presley earned $55 million in 2012—thirty-five years after his death.
- Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime (for 400 francs), yet In the la
...more
Judith Starkston
J.J. Murphy’s second mystery, You Might As Well Die, starring Dorothy Parker, is a zany, screwball comedy delight set in New York in the 1920’s. People die (well, that’s debatable but I’ll say no more), but you will never feel sad. The witty jokes and cynical appraisals of life’s foibles fly as fast as you can read.

Along with the hilarious members of the Algonquin Round Table we met in Murphy’s first book, Murder Your Darlings, including Dorothy’s closest friend Robert Benchley, the characters
...more
Suspense Magazine
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh dear, Mrs. Parker. You and Mr. Benchley are at it again.
No, not that! The Algonquin Round Table gang is up to their necks in another mysterious death. But this death is one that involves noted wit and writer Dorothy Parker before it even happens.
Second-rate artist and illustrator Ernie MacGuffin slips Dorothy Parker an envelope during one of the famed Round Table lunches at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. Shortly after giving Mrs. Parker the envelope, he jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge and is pre
...more
Kristen
I enjoyed this second in the Algonquin Round Table series.

All the elements from the first that I loved: the members of the vicious circle, lots of Keystone-cops-ish sleuthing, snappy repartee, and murder and mayhem are in this book too.

The addition of Harry Houdini adds some extra fun and flash to this one, which has the gang investigating the apparent suicide of a sometime-member of the round table group. As always there's much more to it, and all kinds of confusion and behind the curtain shena
...more
Ellen
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dorothy Parker is confronted at the Algonquin by painter Ernie MacGuffin. It appears he wants to entrust an envelope to Dorothy with the request she not read it until midnight. Now that request was mysterious in itself but that it was the follow-up to a short discussion on suicide made Dorothy all the more anxious.

Robert Benchley by her side Dorothy opens the envelope a few minutes ahead of schedule and finds it to be what she feared...a suicide note.

While all this is going on Tony Soma , manag
...more
M. Newman
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, crime
This wonderfully amusing book is a great sequel to "Murder Your Darlings." The wisecracking Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and the other members of the Algonquin Roundtable get to work solving another mystery with the help of famous contemporaries, Harry Houdini and Harpo Marx.
Ernie MacGuffin, an annoying second-rate artist who hung on the fringes of the Round Table Group slips Ms. Parker a suicide note, instructing her not to read it until after midnight. Hours later he apparently leaps to
...more
Antoinette
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second in the Algonquin Roundtable Mystery series featuring poet Dorothy Parker and writer Robert Benchley. Second-rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin slips a suicide note in Dorothy's purse that leads the amateur sleuth to the scene of his death on the Brooklyn Bridge. Dorothy is full of remorse that she didn't arrive in time to prevent his death. Along with Benchley, Dorothy agrees to write an article about the deceased for the fledgling New Yorker magazine. When Dorothy begins to dou ...more
Carrie Farina
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it as much as the first
Amanda
Another great read by J.J. Murphy. The story was very interesting. Looking forward to the next book.
Janet Robel
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A delightful mystery set in the 1920's. This is definitely a book to check out if you are a cozy mystery fan and looking for something different from the norm.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Ernie MacGuffin is a truly bad artist. No one likes his art and no one much likes him. He decides to end it all and gives his suicide note to Dorothy Parker figuring she'll understand. Yet Dorothy feels that something is not quite right when she sees the scene of the crime on the Brooklyn Bridge. Something doesn't add up, and to top it off, New York seems to be going cuckoo, now they all love MacGuffin and his work! The paintings values have skyrocketed. Ernie's ex mistress decides to make a lit ...more
LORI CASWELL
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Second rate illustrator, Ernie MacGuffin, slips dear Dorothy a note that she later finds out is a suicide note. Seems he threw himself off the Brooklyn Bridge at midnight and Dorothy found the note too late to save him. Soon after his works of art have tripled in value and no one really seems sad that the man is even dead.

Dorothy believes there is more to the story and enlists the help of Harry Houdini, magician and skeptic. They attend a séance where the dead artist is expected to be contacted
...more
Beverly
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book was released on December 6th. As I mentioned in the disclosure I received a copy in advance. My goal was to have my review posted on the release day, but life got in the way. My husband and I were involved in a bad car wreck and that combined with the schedule at school totally messed up my blogging schedule.


Summary: When second-rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin's artistic works triple
...more
Fred
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the punny and funny An Algonquin Round Table Mystery series. Many of the characters and the Algonquin room are real, but the story itself is fiction. Not a page goes by that there isn't a pun or the reader won't chuckle.

Dorothy Parker has the dubious honor of being selected by Ernie MacGuffin, an artist of covers for pulp magazines, to what turns out to be his suicide note. Parker and and Benchley, shortly before midnight, are leaving their favorite speakeasy when Park
...more
Carol
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, cozy-mysteries
'You Might As Well Die' by You Might As Well Die is a great romp into history with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx and Houdini and other historical figures.

I enjoyed this book mostly for the clever dialogue between Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. I think that J.J. Murphy depicted both them correctly with their dependence on alcohol, her depression and a hint of a possible affair to come.

The mystery starts when not so good illustrator hands Dorothy an envelope that she later find
...more
Heather
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-mystery
Another wonderful book by J.J Murphy. The wise cracks that the Algonquin table companions make are just too funny not to share with friends and the historical details are just great.

In this book we learn that Dorothy tried to commit suicide at some point in her life and her friend, Ernie Macguffin asks her about it. It seems Ernie wants to commit suicide to make his name famous. As Dorothy reads a note from him in a speakeasy where they owe more than $500, she learns that Ernie planned on commi
...more
Lynn
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
So excited to have won this on First Reads! What a great second installment in the Algonquin Round Table Series! Our protaganist is handed a letter by a fellow acquaintance, Ernie MacGuffin. She is noted as the perfect person to receive the letter but she doesn't want the responsibility. Once she realizes the letter is really a suicide note, she and Benchley take an exciting ride out to the Brooklyn Bridge to find that the deed has been done. Ernie has left behind his shoes and a painting of his ...more
Martha Bullen
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
The second book in J. J. Murphy's Algonquin Round Table mysteries, this mystery novel pays homage to the great literary wits who frequented the Algonquin Hotel during the 1920s. Its heroine, Dorothy Parker, is delightful company, as are her friends, Robert Benchley, New Yorker founder Harold Ross, and many other famous writers and journalists of the time.

This novel begins when a failed illustrator, Ernie MacGuffin, decides to throw himself off the Brooklyn Bridge in order to increase the value o
...more
Amy
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Now that I've gone out and read some works from the Algonquin Round Table, it took me a little bit to get back into the story. I kept thinking of the beauty and sadness of Dorothy Parker's writing. However, I also quickly realized how seeped J.J. Murphy must be in her work. I concluded with a greater appreciation for the series. (Plus, beginning with Parker's poem Résumé caught my immediate attention.)
It was a good mystery, allowing the reader to guess the twist and then throwing in another twis
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Kathy Moberg
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book through Goodreads' first-reads giveaways.

I enjoyed this mystery, and think it's even better than the first book in the series (a very good sign!). The author is finding Dorothy Parker's voice and the quotes blend in better. Altho the book is meant to be frothy and humorous ("madcap" frequently comes to mind while reading), I find my favorite parts are the darker, melancholy sides of Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley. Their relationship is very interesting to follow, an
...more
Erikka
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
As mysteries, these books are a tad predictable. However, they are totally worth reading solely based on the entertaining characters and historical aspects. This book returns us to our old friends at the Algonquin Roundtable, and introduces us to Houdini and Charles Norris, the first real forensic medical examiner. Because when you meet Chuck Norris, you'd best be dead first. (See what I did there?)

I even enjoyed the fictional characters in this one, which was a slight improvement over the firs
...more
Ashley Charlton Griffin
J.J. Murphy crafts an entertaining fictional story with historical tidbits from the Prohibition Era with this Round Table Mysteries story. A true fan of real-life writer Dorothy Parker, Murphy places his heroine in the middle of a serious web of lies, booze and magic as she tries to figure out why an associate committed suicide.

There are some predictable areas of within the story, but the characters--including Harpo Marx and Houdini--are diverse and fun to run along with. It's a fast read and de
...more
❂ Jennifer
I wasn't sure about picking this book up, since I thought the first one was only so-so, and You Might as Well Die languished on my TBR for some months before desperation for something to read forced me to pick it up. I'm glad I did. I won't say I loved it, but it was a much stronger effort and I enjoyed the story quite a bit. The book held my attention, it had a nice pace, not an overabundance of introspection, and engaging characters (the croquet was cracking me up!).

All in all a good story and
...more
Susan
A small-time illustrator asks Dorothy Parker not to open his note until after midnight. When she does, she finds a suicide note, and it's too late to save him from jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Asked to write a story about the illustrator for the yet unpublished new magazine that Harold Ross is starting, Dotty agrees, because she needs the money to pay off her speakeasy bill. Complications, as they say, ensure, including appearances by Houdini and Harpo Marx.
C.A.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dorothy Parker and crew are back! This time they get mixed up in the nutty world of art as a friend of their kills himself jumping of the Brooklyn Bridge, only to see his so/so art jump up in price! Their quest to find out what happened to him takes them to the den of Mickey Finn and Harry Houdini performances at the Hippodrome. A fun adventure with Parker and Benchely coming to the rescue yet again!
Nancy Wilson
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I haven't quite figured out this series. The book itself seems to start slowly--of course there are a number of characters and situations that have to be established, and as I trudge through it I think to myself--no more. I had the murderer figured out long before they did, but then suddenly it picks up speed and a kind of slap tick rhythm develops, I laugh, it speeds to an end and all is well. Hmmm--I am not wild about them like I have been some others but it is a nice read.
Marianne
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
As appealing as the first" Murder Your Darling". A step back into the NY of Prohibition; the beginning of the 'NewYorker' and insights into the leading lights of the day. Thoroughly enjoyed the first, not quite halfway thru 2nd and looking forward to his 3rd :"A Friendly Game of Murder" coming soon. Learned where term a "Mickey Finn" came from :).
Adrienne
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is even better than Murder Your Darlings. Wow. I wish he'd write a book every week. Murphy is amazing! This book made me laugh out loud. And let's talk about the suspense...I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Don't ever stop writitng, Mr. Murphy. There need to be more mystery books like this.
Linda
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bingo, challenge
This book is set in the 1920's New York City during prohibition and is based on real people, although not real events. I like the time period and all the snappy dialogue between the characters (people just aren't like that anymore). Lots of fun solving the murder (or was it) of a third rate painter. I also loved when Dorothy Parker told Houdini how he did one of his tricks.
Charli
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Mom liked this sequel better than she did the first book. In retrospect, she thinks the reason she didn't enjoy the first book more was because of the time needed to introduce the full cast of characters. Even so, she gives this one a shaky three stars. "Better than okay" was how she described it, but still strong enough that she'll read the next book in the series.
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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.

Other books in the series

Algonquin Round Table (3 books)
  • Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table #1)
  • A Friendly Game of Murder (Algonquin Round Table #3)