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Betty Boo

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,185 ratings  ·  171 reviews
When a renowned Buenos Aires industrialist is found dead at his home in an exclusive gated community called La Maravillosa, the novelist Nurit Iscar (once nicknamed Betty Boo owing to a resemblance to the cartoon character Betty Boop) is contracted by a former lover, the editor of a national newspaper, to cover the story. Nurit teams up with the paper’s veteran, but now de ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Bitter Lemon Press (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,185 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Nancy Oakes
I know it's still early in the year, but I have found my favorite crime novel of 2016. Let's just say that in terms of current crime fiction, something absolutely spectacular is going to have to come along to move it down the list from number one. It has a richness and a depth that is rarely found in crime writing these days, something so out of the ordinary that to me shows what crime fiction can be capable of in the right hands. This book is another one that left me stunned because of how very ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poc-author
Oh man, I really loved this? The mystery feels really secondary and it takes a while before they actually get into investigating, but man, I loved these characters a whole lot.

Warning for all of you that hate when there are no quotation marks: this one has none and giant paragraphs. So you're gonna have to work a little bit more with this book. But seriously, I loved it.
This book has really surprised me. A previously unknown Argentinian author, and a mildly worrying description in the blurb that it is a crime story, but sweetened by the chance that it is also possibly about something else… Crime is usually not my thing, so I approached with caution.

Now that the last page has been turned I have to conclude that the surprise was only positive, and although there was a crime, and an investigation thereof, there also were some brilliantly drawn characters, and an
Rachel Simeone
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spanish speakers, anyone who love Bs. As.
Shelves: favorites
I have to admit, I loved this book. Claudia Piñeiro does a wonderful job of describing life in Buenos Aires and its suburbs. She also has a gift for dialog that sounds so natural it as if you were listening to people talk at a table next to you in a cafe. As I read this book I felt like I was there with the main characters waiting on line to enter a gated community, talking to the taxi driver, reading the Sunday papers with my friends.

The story is about a series of murder and considers who is t
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
***Review to come***
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too many pages into Betty Boo. a body is discovered, throat slit, in a luxury gated community cum country club. So far, so unexceptional; this is, after all, a crime novel. But Claudia Piñeiro’s Argentinian tale, translated by Miranda France, is a better-than-average example of the genre. One appealing aspect for me is that much of it is about journalists on a daily Buenos Aires newspaper, El Tribuno, struggling with the harsh changes being forced on their profession. Jaime Brena is the old- ...more
This book had come up a lot when I searched for best murder mysteries this summer. I had never read anything by Pineiro and was curious about the book. I was not a huge fan of her writing style. I found it irritating the way she always wrote out every character`s full name and I found that there was a lot of repetition, something I think would have been improved in the editing. That being said, it grabbed my attention and was easy to read. I found the plot fairly straight forward and I did not f ...more
Very well done though more discursive than usual for Piñeiro. 3 stars rather than 4 (or 5) only because it's more romance story than crime novel. My favorites of Piñeiro: All Yours and A Crack in the Wall, both excellent. She can be funny, trenchant. A first-rate writer with whom I get to vicariously visit Buenos Aires.
Un dia tal vez en realidad, gracias a Claudia Piñeiro.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a wonderful, quiet writing style! This one is really great. Both a condemnation and celebration of journalism and the conflict brought about when writers have to decide their responsibility to the “truth,” especially when weighed against the embedded powers of police, government, and economic status.
I hope more of Claudia Pineiro’s work is translated to English soon.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting journey into Argentinean crime fiction and it proved to be a real page turner.
Three very different protagonists come together to solve the brutal murder of an elderly man recently acquitted of killing his wife in very similarity circumstances in a gated community on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.
The eponymous heroine is a former crime novelist and with a hardened journalist demoted from the crime section and his naive successor they follow a plot that ultimately brings her up agai
Denise Mullins
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Languishing in a self-imposed exile after her last novel received a scathing review, author Nurit Iscar (affectionately known as Betty Boo) reluctantly agrees to write feature pieces for her ex-lover's paper when a wealthy industrialist is discovered with his throat slit. Joined by a disgruntled ex-crime writer and fledging reporter from the same paper, she enters the world of an exclusive gated community where knuckle-dragging guards subject visitors and residents to ludicrous searches as they ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I would have given this book 4 stars, but I didn't care much for the way the book was either translated or the way the author set the dialogue up. Character dialogue was in paragraph form and it was difficult to follow. ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did, I was hooked. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a thoughtful mystery without a lot of gore, and great characters, with strong individual voices. Beyond the mystery-with-a-happy ending, however, is a commentary on politics in the aftermath of a dictatorship, corruption, and complicity. I enjoyed how Piñeiro characterized the tension between generations, in work, in families, and within cultural memory. I got chil ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was one of my random picks from the library (not as an ebook, as the title here says). I loved the style so much I'm very disappointed that my library system doesn't have more of her books. Although thrillers aren't a favourite genre, now and then I come across one that really speaks to me. This book does, on many levels. It beautifully shows life in Buenos Aires in modern times, and refers to history to some degree. It has humour and sensitivity, and gives a real feeling of and for th ...more
Jamie Canaves
A fantastic crime novel that follows a novelist (semi-retired after her last book bombed), a crime writing journalist (punished and moved off of his crime section), and the new wet-behind-the-ears crime journalist as they try to piece together a murder of a man three years after his wife was murdered--or do they still believe it was an accident?

The characters were my favorite thing about this book, their interactions, the little bits of drama and humor, everything it said about gender roles, you
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: translation, fiction
There are, I'm sure, writers out of the Spanish tradition besides Julio Cortázar upon whom this novel is riffing. I thought, though, of Raymond Chandler. To say precisely why might constitute a spoiler, so I'll just leave it at that.
It's a very character-driven piece. Nurit Iscar, the Betty Boo of the title, as well as Jaime Brena and "the Crime boy" are especially well portrayed.
An interest, having much to do with the story, in writing, journalism – print journalism and Internet news in partic
The authors writing style which is lengthy paragraphs containing a variety of thoughts,and dialogue without the of quotation marks—is hard at first, but you get used to it. Continue reading - it is worth the effort.

This is a top favourite for 2017.

I was very sad when the story ended. I didn't want it to, and I hope the author does another book with the two main characters.
Becky Hunter
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I never really got that invested in the actual mystery, and sometimes the pacing felt a bit off, but I loved the central characters and it made me so nostalgic for Buenos Aires. I'd kill for some empanadas on a sunny April afternoon right about now... ...more
Jessica Howard
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, mystery
You know, I don't think I've ever read a bad Argentinian mystery; but this one is even better than some of the others I've read! ...more
Moushine Zahr
This is the second novel I've read from Argentinian author Claudia Pineiro. This book is also set mostly inside an elite country club where a crime occured and most of the investigation occurs.

The title "Bétibou" is the nickname given to an author turned reporter to investigate the crime along a veteran journalist and a young one. The novel falls in the category of crime novel, but it seems the story is more about the lives and life choices of the 3 investigators than the investigation itself.
Julia Rice
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and would definitely read more of Pineiro’s work. When a wealthy businessman, Pedro Chazarreta is found dead at his home on the exclusive La Maravillosa estate, suicide is assumed, triggered, it is thought, by guilt at the death of his wife three years earlier. Her death was also deemed suicide but many believe Chaxarreta to have been responsible. Former crime journalist, Jaime Brena, is not so sure, however, especially after he is tipped off about the death by the chief of p ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did, I enjoyed it.
It is a thoughtful mystery without a lot of gore, and great characters, with strong individual voices. Beyond the mystery-with-a-happy ending, there is a commentary on politics in the aftermath of a dictatorship, corruption, and complicity.
I enjoyed how Piñeiro characterized the tension between generations, in work, in families, and within cultural memory.
What threw me off at first was the text was written, I presum
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my choice for "a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author," and it was a great one. I pretty much loved everything about it: the intelligence, the realistically adult women, the literary references, the plot.

I now have only one category left in order to finish the 2017 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location. I've started The Master and Margarita, which, from what I can tell so far, take
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It's about the investigation of a series of crimes taking place in Argentina, and the role some newspaper journalists and a fiction writer play in solving them. I read it for my 2018 Read Harder Challenge task to read a book of genre fiction in translation. (The genre is crime/mystery). There is a lot of dialogue and it's all in one paragraph with no quotations marks, so that can be a bit challenging, but I kind of liked trying to figure it out. The story can involve ...more
Paola Iannetti
I've met this book in a mountain refuge last year's end, and I began reading it to pass time... And I wasn't able to leave it until I finished it (fortunately I'm a very quick reader and it took only a couple of days, on top of walking around and the end of year's party). I've been pleasurely surprised by the characters, their phycological deepening during the whole story's roll out.
A fresh surprise!
georgia bookblast
Screenwriter-turned-novelist, Piñeiro excels at character development and her faultless plotlines had me hooked. A good translator has to be a good writer too, since their work creates a whole new book for a whole new audience and culture – Miranda France excels at both.

Reviewed on The BookBlast® Diary 2016
Rachael Mills
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written crime mystery set in Buenos Aires. Will definitely read more by this author.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adult crime novel. Interesting protagonist, and it's not all about the mystery. The long sentences and minimal punctuation reminds me of Gamal El-Ghitani's writing style. ...more
Rosie Beveridge
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read it for Crime and Detection but I really enjoyed it
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the English version of this, Betty boo. Really enjoyed it. Would read more by this author x
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Club de Lectura: LT: Conclusiones 2 4 Aug 07, 2020 07:58AM  
Club de Lectura: LT: La crónica, dentro de la crónica, dentro de la película 1 3 Aug 04, 2020 08:46PM  
Club de Lectura: LT: Sobre los personajes 1 4 Aug 04, 2020 08:37PM  
Club de Lectura: Expectativas 4 3 Jul 29, 2020 12:14PM  

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Escritora, guionista de televisión, dramaturga y contadora argentina.
Se recibió de contadora en la Universidad de Buenos Aires (1983), profesión que ejerció durante diez años antes de dedicarse a la escritura.
Su primera novela publicada fue una juvenil, Un ladrón entre nosotros, en 2004 —también año de su primer estreno teatral: Cuánto vale una heladera—, la que al siguiente ganó el galardón que o

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