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The Man Who Died Laughing (Stewart Hoag, #1)
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The Man Who Died Laughing (Stewart Hoag #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  123 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Hoagy and Lulu (his cat food-eating basset hound) find themselves in Hollywood, where Hoagy will be ghosting the memoirs of has-been funnyman Sonny Day. Sonny is the man who put the "ick" into "shtick." Sonny made silver screen history as half of Knight and Day, the comedy team who kept the '50s laughing. Now, Knight and Day are history and volatile Sonny is determined to ...more
ebook, 184 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Open Road Integrated Media (first published 1988)
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Enjoyed it enough to move on to book two - but not without some hesitancy - a unique set up that should give the reader a bit more humor but somehow tAkes itself too seriously to be very much fun.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this series the wrong way around, I read the last book first and liked it so much that I wanted to find out how Hoagy got started, and I am so glad I did. I liked the characters, especially Lulu, and the storyline, I can't wait to read the next book in the series. It had me guessing all the way until the end on who done it. With plenty of action, some romance and murder the book had me reading way passed my bedtime. David Handler has a fan in me for sure. Well written and very enter ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago and remembered enjoying it and others in the series. Re-reading it now I found that I still enjoyed it (mostly because I love Hollywood and movie history) but found it somewhat predictable and light. But it was fun and I'll likely spend some more time with Hoagy and Lulu when I need a fun quick comfort read.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series of murder mysteries about long-suffering ghost writer Stewart Hoag and inside story about ghost writers and the celebrities they write for. The characters are believable and the plot moves along at a brisk pace. I will read more in this series.
Kim Gasparini
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy these. You know who is going to die, but the killer and the reasons are normally a surprise.
Jeanne O'donnell
Ok this is an odd one. Written and taking place more than a decade ago yet it drew me in. A reporter ghostwriting a jerry Louis type comedian's autobiography. Boring--in the beginning. Then the author picks up the depth of characters and their flaws making it satisfying til the end
Cathy Cole
First Line: I was dreaming about Merilee when the phone woke me up.

Stewart Hoag (call him "Hoagy" for the cheese steak) is a one-hit wonder in the world of publishing. He just can't seem to get a second novel written, but he's going to have to do something if he wants to pay the bills and provide his basset hound, Lulu, with the food she craves.

A way to pay those bills sweeps in one day in the form of Sonny Day, one half of a comedy team that was the greatest thing since sliced bread in the late
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4 and stars

This is the first David Handler book that I have read. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality and freshness of the work.

Stewart Hoag (Hoagy), is a has-been famous writer. Only having written one book, his star no longer shines. To make ends meet, he has been talked into ghost writing a famous comedian’s autobiography. The famous man, Sonny Day, is also on the outs as it were – no longer asked to do movies or nightclub gigs, he is something of a sad man.

The breakup of his co
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Disappointing. I've read Handler's Berger and Mitry series and have enjoyed them. I was looking forward to starting another series by him. This first book in the series has a touch of noir to it, which was fun. However, it falls flat in a couple of areas. First, the pacing is a bit slow. It is roughly a 7 1/2 hour hour audiobook and there isn't a body until 6 hours into it. Although I enjoyed hearing about the history of the entertainment business, 6 hours to get to a body is too long. Secondly, ...more
Lynda Cowles
I read through this book with gusto, right up until the murder. For me, Sonny Day was the main man. Charismatic, funny, but dark and disturbed - a (un)likeable man with obvious skeletons in his closet. Everyone else seemed 2D compared to him. So I took it hard when he died. Put the book down. Didn't pick it up again for a month. Didn't really care who killed him. When I did pick it back up, I finished it quickly and with a sense of duty. I couldn't actually tell you now who the murderer was. On ...more
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, crime-fiction
What let this book down was the twist at the end. I would say this story was written to be entertaining; and I don't find the 'other' crime that was exposed at the end of the novel is something that should be considered fodder for entertainment. This is a shame, because I was engaged in the novel right up to the last 10 minutes of reading time. (I also found myself constantly trying to work out what period the book was set in, if Frank Sinatra was still alive, which was a little distracting,)

Amanda Meggs
I liked Hoagy, he is a good character. The who scenario was never as light as expected from the title, in fact it was a little grim in places. Hoagy is employed as a ghost writer for an old Hollywood actor/comedian who wants to give his flagging career a boost. His dog Lulu comes along with him.

Still, a good read and that's what I was looking for. I felt that it wasn't up to the standard of the Berger and Mitry series but as the introduction to a new series rather than the familiar one I will gi
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicely written, and the protagonist has a dog,so what's not to like? I will read others in the series, but my pleasure was somewhat mitigated by a certain crudeness in the lifestyles of many of the characters and a very unpleasant denouement. I also do not like it when an author doesn't bother to get simple details right: one female character is described as being at University of Virginia in what must have been the fifties. UVA was not coed until 1970.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, mystery
2.5 stars.
When I try to think of things to say about this, my descriptions make it sound like a 2 star book at best, but there was something about it that made it not that bad for me. Perhaps because the murder victim was a washed-up Hollywood star and there was a lot of (fictional) name-dropping and inner-workings details? I'm a sucker for that stuff.
A former literary star who has fallen prey to writer’s block is hired to ghostwrite a famous comic’s memoir but finds that not everyone wants all the facts to come out. Much darker and more serious than I expected but very enjoyable with some nice humor. Listened to the audio read by Tom Stechschulte.
TJ Burns
I received a copy of this book from Open Road Integrated Media via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mike (the Paladin)
Over coming writer's block by helping a washed-up comic write his auto-bio. Which of course nefarious forces want to stop.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the protagonist and the writing but never warmed up to the victim or his circle. I'm looking forward to reading another in the series, though, to see where the author goes with Hoagy.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is the 2nd in a new series .....almost a India version of the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency' Like them very much ....will; be watching for the next one. Fun reading
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced mystery I liked less than I hoped, primarily because the "surprise" ending was apparent early on and spoiled the rest of the read.
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AKA Russell Andrews (with Peter Gethers)

David Handler, who began his career in New York as a journalist, was born and raised in Los Angeles and published two highly acclaimed novels about growing up there, Kiddo and Boss, before resorting to a life of crime fiction.

More about David Handler...

Other Books in the Series

Stewart Hoag (9 books)
  • The Man Who Lived by Night (Stewart Hoag, #2)
  • The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald (Stewart Hoag, #3)
  • The Woman Who Fell from Grace (Stewart Hoag, #4)
  • The Boy Who Never Grew Up (Stewart Hoag, #5)
  • The Man Who Cancelled Himself (Stewart Hoag, #6)
  • The Girl Who Ran Off with Daddy (Stewart Hoag, #7)
  • The Man Who Loved Women to Death (Stewart Hoag, #8)
  • The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes (Stewart Hoag Mystery)

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