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Fighting Chance: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

(Gregor Demarkian #29)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  338 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Gregor Demarkian grew up in the Armenian-American enclave in Philadelphia known as Cavanaugh Street. Even though he left to go to college, and then went on to a storied career in the famous Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, he eventually returned to Cavanaugh Street after an early retirement. There he finds himself in a rapidly gentrifying urban neighborhood that still ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a Jane Haddam novel. I've read a few with mixed results. These are not books that you read quickly. She is a writer with a wry wit who makes you think. One review refers to her as an American PD James. There's some merit there. This series revolves around Gregor Demarkian, a retired (now) FBI agent who does some private sleuthing. The action takes place in an American-Armenian area of Philadelphia, mostly Cavanaugh St. Sadly there is no such place, but I wish there ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love mysteries but this one was kind of slow and uninteresting in a lot of places.
Dec 20, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mys-tepids
First draft? Padded with writing warm-ups.

A woman who doesn't know blood smells coppery??? "Tcha!"
Dec 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Didn't care for this one. Too windy, too rambly, just didn't hold my interest.
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian novels. Fast paced and always a why didn't I notice that ending.
This time Fr. Tibor Kasparian is caught on video committing a murder, or is he? Gregor can't actually investigate the crime as it would definitely be a conflict as he and Fr. Kasparian are such good friends. For some reason Fr. Kasparian isn't helping himself by saying he has the right to remain silent, and not talking to his friends from the neighborhood.
As usual in a Demarkian story there is
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I may be done with this series. I gave it a 'fighting chance,' but this installment tried my patience. not much happened until almost the end, and it was about as subtle as the gavel used as a murder weapon
Haddam's gentle cozies featuring retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian offer intriguing puzzles, warm humor, and a glimpse into Philadelphia's Armenian American community. There are two cases here for Demarkian to solve and both hit close to home: in the first his neighbor is losing his house illegally to a bank and in the second his best friend Father Tibor Kasparian is accused of killing a judge. Demarkian calls on friends in high places to help solve both mysteries, but he still ends up with his ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Even if you don't read all the books in this series, it is easy enough to pick one up after several years and re-engage with Haddam's characters in Armenian Philadelphia. "Fighting Chance" has the priest accused of murder, a juvenile case, corporate prison issues, mortage crises and problematic banks, questions of individual rights and corporate rights. Meanwhile the neighbors rally around and the case gets solved.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 29th book in the Gregor Demarkian series, and my conclusion is that it is the best with respect to plot, to the consistent personalities of characters she has developed, and to the intricacies of legal procedures found between its covers. I repeat, for the sakes of all Haddam fans: this one is 5he best.
Elizabeth Robinson
Fabulous complex plot, all the characters loyal series readers have come to love, with an unexpectedly heightened level of suspense. Enjoyed this 29th episode of the Gregor Demarkian mysteries immensely.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to audiobook.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I'm very fond of this series and I'm always happy when I find one I've missed. A judge is murdered in her chambers and Father Tibor is found in the room. Oddly, he refuses all help and refuses even to talk about what happened. Gregor takes on the case anyway. The usual cast of characters is present. It was an enjoyable read. I'm not sure I buy that Father Tibor would act like that. The resolution was a complete surprise, but then Jane Haddam is very good at that. Woth reading.
An engaging series, set in the Armenian-American community of Philadelphia. The author's style is effective, but sometimes the terse, ominous sentence at the end of a chapter strikes me as overly dramatic. One plot line, involves a family that is about to be evicted from its home, even though they have paid their monthly mortgage regularly; however, unknown to them, the mortgage was sold to another bank and the legal remedy is apparently elusive. A second plot involves the privatization of the ...more
Kelly Wagner
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't buy the initial premise of the plot - but I did like the extremely surprise twist of the resolution. Our recurring characters are mostly in character, except for Father Tibor - I really don't buy that he would behave like that - and one of the nice things is that the plot takes place pretty much entirely at home; doesn't have Gregor taking a private limo off to someplace rich and exclusive.

Serves as a good reminder that the real estate bubble and crash opened the way to more than one
Dale White
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of Jane Haddam or Gregor Demarkian before seeing the 29th book in the series on the "new books" shelf at the library. I felt like reading a mystery so I took it out.

I am not the kind of reader that puzzles over mysteries, trying to solve the case along with the protagonist. In fact, if I figure it out, I am more disappointed in the story than I am proud of my reading/deduction skills. At the same time though, I will judge how well the author has wrapped up the story and how
The latest installment from Jane Haddam in the detective series featuring Gregor Demarkian. I do enjoy these books because of this main character who is such a decent and smart person. As usual, the events of the story are told through the eyes of various characters, and the mystery unfolds gradually. I usually have to go back to the beginning and re-read some of the prologue so that the significance of those early events become clear in the larger context of the story!
I enjoyed this one more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His friends on Cavanaugh Street are sure that Father Tibor could not have committed a murder. But the evidence--including a film that's posted on YouTube showing him with the murder weapon in his hand--seem damning to the police. And Tibor will not speak to any of his friends, or even a court appointed lawyer. Gregor Demarkian wants to clear Tibor, who won't even see him. Although Tibor has his reasons, waiting in jail for the investigation to proceed almost saps his determination. In addition ...more
Ilyssa Wesche
Not a whole lot happened during the course of this novel, but I didn't mind all that much. I like when one of the suspects has some hidden secret but none appeared here. Janet had some potential.

I have to admit I got a little annoyed with the residents of Cavanaugh Street. I mean, the entire city of Philadelphia is not watching their every move, no matter what they think.

But HOLY COW! I could not believe the reveal! I was so pleasantly surprised that it made the whole book worth the read. As I
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The Armenian-American community In Philadelphia is all in an uproar when their local priest, Father Tibor is accused of murdering a local judge. There's even a video showing him bludgeoning her to death with her own gavel. To make matters worse, he won't even talk to anyone, not even Gregor Demarkian. This intricately woven mystery paints a scary picture of corruption in our courts and prisons and is worth a read.
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gregor Demarkian is back! I have read all the books in this Jane Haddam series..the first ones were great, then started to lose their way.but all the characters are back in true form...and Father Tibor is made out to be the "bad guy"...but is he really? And most of the Cavanaugh street gang have returned with some surprises...Loved this book! If you are a fan of this series it is a must read!
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy these Gregor Demarkian mysteries. This one is interesting take on him as now retired from the FBI and being seen as the "American-Armenian Hercule Poirot". Not until I was closer to the end did I realize the author was also using some of that Hercule Poirot style, more that I remember from previous books.
Paula Francese
This was my first Jane Haddam book. I was taken in by the jacket reviews. Honestly, it was difficult to finish. There were many characters and they were not fully drawn. Perhaps I was not paying close enough attention, but the last sentence of the book made no sense to me. I won't be tring another Haddam book. Thumbs down on this author.
Katherine Clark
I love Jane Haddam. These last several books in the series though.... This one was actually in many ways better then previous ones, by a long shot, but way the identity of the murderer really came out of left field. I've mostly thought Haddam didn't do a good job with who the murderers ended up being, but this time. Hmph and harumph. Oh well. I'll keep reading the series.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lengthy series that has solidified over the years into an entertaining puzzle solver formula.
Gregor Demarkian is a retired FBI profiler, and spends much of his life solving mysteries involving his neighbors on Cavanagh Street.

This particular case involves the murder of an unlikeable judge whose behavior could have inspired multiple people.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father Tibor, beloved priest of the Armenian American community, is arrested for killing a judge who takes great pleasure in sending children to prison. The evidence against Father Tibor is damning, and Gregor Demarkian absolutely refuses to believe it. He prefers the truth, no matter how shocking. No matter how much I love this series, I am too fond of Father Tibor to enjoy the situation.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book in the Gregor Demarkian series by Haddam. All the usual Cavanaugh St characters are back and Father Tibor is arrested for what appears to be an open and shut case of murder. I can't say more for fear of leaking a clue to the ending.
A gerat read
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jane-haddam
I really like the Demarkian novels and this was another winner.Jane Haddam mixes the usual mix of the same characters from Cavanaugh St and adds some twists that has you thinking and turning pages to a very good finish that are traits of this series.Another great read..
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

i've read most of this author's novels, and enjoyed the ambiance of the ethnic armenian neighborhood in which the 'detective' resides. in this one, the author is more activist than usual in the message within her story
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Call it a 3.5+. I haven't read a Gregor Demarkian in years so it was good to go back to Cavanaugh Street and check in with all the old neighbors. In this outing, Father Tibor has been arrested for murder. And a video of the bloody crime has been posted on YouTube, so it has to true. Or does it?
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Aka Orania Papazoglou

Jane Haddam (b. 1951) is an American author of mysteries. Born Orania Papazoglou, she worked as a college professor and magazine editor before publishing her Edgar Award–nominated first novel, Sweet, Savage Death, in 1984. This mystery introduced Patience McKenna, a sleuthing scribe who would go on to appear in four more books, including Wicked, Loving Murder (1985) and Rich,

Other books in the series

Gregor Demarkian (1 - 10 of 29 books)
  • Not a Creature was Stirring (Gregor Demarkian, #1)
  • Precious Blood (Gregor Demarkian, #2)
  • Act of Darkness (Gregor Demarkian, #3)
  • Quoth the Raven (Gregor Demarkian, #4)
  • A Great Day for the Deadly (Gregor Demarkian, #5)
  • Feast of Murder (Gregor Demarkian, #6)
  • A Stillness in Bethlehem (Gregor Demarkian, #7)
  • Murder Superior (Gregor Demarkian, #8)
  • Dear Old Dead (Gregor Demarkian, #9)
  • Festival of Deaths (Gregor Demarkian, #10)
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