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Death's Little Helpers (John March, #2)
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Death's Little Helpers (John March #2)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In this masterful follow-up to Peter Spiegelman’s stunning debut Black Maps, private investigator John March finds himself drawn into a web of corruption that extends from the halls of high finance to the dark underworld of organized crime.

Gregory Danes, a Wall Street analyst has gone missing, and his ex-wife, a fashionable painter, calls March to track him down. She just
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 19th 2005 by Knopf (first published 2005)
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Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2005-reads
When super-star Wall Street analyst Greg Danes disappears, he leaves behind an angry ex-wife, a lonely son and a group of co-workers who mostly didn't much care for him. The ex-wife, Nina Sachs, hires PI John March to find Danes. She's dependent on the generous alimony and child support that Danes pays her faithfully. Dealing with her should triple March's fee; she's one of the most difficult people to deal with that he's ever faced.

So what did happen to Danes? Did he run away from home, somethi
Sherin Gad
Nice story but too much description. Events going slowly throughout the book accelerating towards the last three or four chapters.
Greg Bascom
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
John March has a trust fund from Klein & Sons, the financial institution in New York City that is owned and managed by his uncles and siblings. John is the family disappointment. Instead of being a banker, he went upstate to be a deputy sheriff for several years and then returned to the city to be a one-man PI agency.

John's only client in this story is Nina Sachs, who lives in a NYC loft with her twelve year old son ann Ines, her lesbian partner of Spanish origin. Ines owns three art galleri
Pretty good. The author has a good, witty first person narration that keeps the story interesting through the main character's descriptions, especially of people with whom he interacts. The plot and the climax of the story are intersting and provide a somewhat original ending for a typical story line.

The books does suffer at times from feeling overly long. It seems like a good story could have been almost great, if the editor had cut more and allowed the story to move more quickly and at a more
DEATH'S LITTLE HELPERS – (Private Investigator-NYC-Cont) – Ok
Spiegelman, Peter – 2nd in series
Knopf, 2005- Hardcover
PI John Marsh has been hired to find Gregory Danes, the ex-husband of artist Nina Sachs. Gregory had been one of Wall Street's hottest analysts, but his reputation and career plummeted, he left his office saying he was taking a vacation, but now his alimony and child support checks have stopped and no one has heard from him.
*** Spiegelman's first book "Black Maps," was one I very
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this and the first book back-to-back. They're both wonderful.

Short version: It's Michael Lewis meets Michael Connelly.

Long version: So much to like here, especially if you're interested at all in Wall Street. The plots are very topical; this one is about a fallen stock analyst and the relationship between the analysts and traders in a bank.

Spiegelman has more than just the finance gimmick going for him. March is a wonderful character, reminiscent of the early Harry Bosch novels, but wi
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as good as Black Maps, which is one of my all-time favorites, but still an okay read.
It was only after I'd begun reading it that I saw the blurb from Ken Bruen on the back, which should have given me a clue as to the writing style in this one. If Ken Bruen likes it, with his long, tedious navel-gazing protagonists, the same might have slipped in here.
The narrator, John March, gets a little more overly descriptive in this book, and seems... duller, somehow, in this book than the first one. Du
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
#2 in the John March series. John March is rugged individualist who has turned his back on the family money and business and as a result is often misunderstood and underestimated. Detection process seems better realized than most.

John March has been hired to find missing Wall Street analyst Gregory Danes. Danes's star went into steep decline along with the stock market: now he's best known for his volatile temper and his obsession with restoring his reputation. His ex-wife wants to know why the
Mar 12, 2008 rated it liked it
I stuggled with the ratingg and I imagine that many readers would give this book 4 instead of three stars. It is a literary caper. All you ever wanted to know about the shenanigans now being displayed on the front pages of the Wall Street debacle are contained in the book. While this is a strength it is also its weakness. I like a little more action and less minuate in my mysteries. While describing some arcane finacial transaction, ( the writer spent years as a stockbroker berfore becoming a no ...more
Rogue Reader
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Discovered Spiegelman with Black Maps and now I want to read all of his works! Great premise, a private investigator who specializes in finance - his family doesn't understand why he doesn't take his rightful place in NY's financial aristocracy. John March is thoughtful, private and reclusive - he's controlled and protects himself from involvement with the family and with others. Then he meets Jane Lu, a corporate turnaround specialist who methodically kicks her bag, driving John crazy in the ap ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2012
A very good follow-up to "Black Maps." I enjoyed this one a bit more -- the plot wasn't as tied in to the world of finance (although it did involve it), and Spiegelman's writing has gotten smoother (the descriptive passages aren't as clunky and unintegrated).

The ending was surprising, but not totally out of nowhere, and the dramatic tension was perfect -- I stayed up until 1am finishing the book.
Fred Seibert
I was short some plane reading when I saw one of the Red Cat cover in a suburban bookstore. Sixty seconds later these were on my Kindle (a post on the destruction of the bookstore business model is brewing in my noggin somewhere) and I dispatched all three of them almost as quickly. He's a good enough writer, and I liked all the characters enough while I was reading them (and I'll probably read any sequels, if there are any), but, I'm having a hard time remembering all that much about them.
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
OK. His habit of describing EVERYTHING that EVERYONE is wearing is starting to get on my nerves. Also, (view spoiler) Will give the third one a try...maybe this was just sophomore hijinks.
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was very happy with Black Maps and looking forward to reading this. It started well, but I was getting a little bored about half way through the story. Thankfully the pace picked up right after this feeling set in, and the conclusion was done very well. I look forward to reading more by Spiegelman about John March.
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Another new (to me) author with multiple books out already! My favorite kind of find. John March is a private detective of private means who detects because he wants the answer - even when his client fires him. This was a snappy story with interesting characters.
Apr 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
I love mysteries and this sounded interesting. I didn't get very far. The language was awful and when I got to the body description part about his girlfriend, I had to retire the book. I already know what a female body looks like, thank you.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This is an adventure/crime novel with a background of Wall Street shennanigans. Quite timely in Autumn 2008.
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Reviewed for PW
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Basic who done it with a moderate twist at the end.
Nov 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
I liked Red Cat better but this was a good introduction to Mr. March.
Doug Haskin
Jul 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second installment of the "John March" series is every bit as skillful and absorbing as the first book was.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, new-york-city
Fast-paced and well plotted, with a protagonist who's a nice blend of savvy and foolhardy and a dash of noir sensibility.
William Hochmuth
Nov 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Like the March character. Kinda like Spenser. Good story but pretty much saw the conclusion.
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A lot less wasted time on unnecessary banking explanations. Story was interesting and kept you guessing.
Jorn Barger
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Excitable trustfund-hipster detective John March describes LOTS of clothes and furnishings before the shaggy dog resolution.
Apr 15, 2013 added it
Good read. I liked he wove the plot line. Surprise ending.
Nikki Yager
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Decent read, wasn't expecting the ending.
Mary Lou
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful follow up to the original volume.
Sheila Cohen
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book.
John Sheridan
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
An excellent missing person investigation that offers a few potential avenues to keep you guessing as to what happened. Likeable characters and an enjoyable series.
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Peter Spiegelman is a twenty-year veteran of the financial services and software industries. He retired in 2001 to devote himself to writing. He lives in Connecticut.
More about Peter Spiegelman...

Other Books in the Series

John March (3 books)
  • Black Maps (John March, #1)
  • Red Cat (John March, #3)