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Written Off

(Mysterious Detective #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  719 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Rachel Goldman writes mysteries in which Duffy Madison, consultant to the county prosecutor’s office, helps find missing persons. Rachel is busy finishing up her next book, when a man calls out of the blue asking for help in a missing persons case. The caller's name? Duffy Madison.

Is this real or has she lost her mind? She doesn't have much time to find out because a seria
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Crooked Lane Books (first published June 7th 2016)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  719 ratings  ·  161 reviews

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How many of you are old enough to remember Remington Steele? The Remington Steele Detective Agency was actually owned by a woman, but, because the TV show started in 1982, she needed a man's name, and a man as a frontman. She ended up working with a man who pretended to be Remington Steele. E.J. Copperman's new mystery,Written Off, reminds me of the premise of Remington Steele. It's the first in the new Mysterious Detective series, featuring a mysterious man.

Rachel Goldman is an author who has j
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of a writer's character unexpectedly coming to life was an interesting possibility, but here, unfortunately, poorly executed.

I found the protagonist, Rachel, to be funny enough to want to follow along with, with a shout out to the narrator for bringing that out. Duffy Madison, on the other hand, was boring. Copperman already has an Asperger's protagonist (Samuel Hoenig) whom I like; he doesn't need two such guys. The other supporting characters were okay, but not outstanding; actual
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Written Off by E.J.Copperman is the first book in the mysterious detective mystery series. Mystery writer, Rachel Goldman writes about a missing person consultant Duffy Madison and when mystery writers start to go missing, she is contacted by a real life Duffy Madison. An interesting book which I enjoyed, although a bit confusing in parts. Duffy Madison seemed a bit dull as a character, otherwise it was a fun book.
Ms. Mystery ☔️
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Fantastic start to a brand new series! The main character, Rachel, is very likable and witty. She is an author who writes mysteries about a consultant named Duffy Madison. So, you can imagine her surprise when a man calls her one day claiming he is Duffy Madison and enlists her help in solving a case. A serial killer is murdering mystery authors and Rachel may be next. Duffy is an awesome character, that I loved getting to know. The book reveals a lot of insider secrets into the ...more
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
When I first encountered Written Off, I was interested because I enjoy E J Cooperman's books. However, the idea of an aspiring mystery writer's fictional character coming to life did not appeal to me. But if anybody could make the plot work it would be E J Cooperman. So I read it. It's 2.6 stars because the concept seems novel.

I found it disappointing. I did smile in places, as one would expect with Cooperman's work there are some good lines. The protagonist, authoress, Rachel Goldman, and her l
Kathy Martin
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun cozy mystery. Rachel Goldman is a mid-list author who writes mysteries starring Duffy Madison who is a consultant with the police specializing in missing persons. Imagine her surprise when a man who introduces himself as Duffy Madison shows up at one of her books signings asking for her help in solving a missing person's case.

It seems that mystery authors are disappearing and later being found murdered. An author Rachel has met is the latest to disappear. Rachel writes mys
I would actually give this a 3 1/2 star. I enjoyed the book, I like Rachel the main character who is a writer of the Duffy Madison series, who is a fictional character that she made up, and he calls out of the blue asking for her help.
I will get what bothered me out of the way first. Duffy is supposed to be a logical investigator, to me he comes across as a little stiff which I got used to and he seemed to gain more personality towards the end. I did find the constant reminder that he is probab
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rachel Goodman is a mid-level mystery writer who has created a character of Duffy Madison. Her character Duffy Madison is a consultant to the police in locating missing people. Since she has created this character, she knows his personality, speech patterns, and his method of deducting a mystery. Imagine her surprise, when Duffy Madison calls wanting her help with a missing person case. Someone has killed 4 mystery writers in bizarre ways. Rachel starts receiving emails that look like she is nex ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it liked it
It was fun to have a mystery that was a behind-the-scenes, offering a glimpse into the world of the author. Fun idea, lighthearted read.

However, I was unable to buy that the protagonist, Rachel, was a woman. I could only picture the author, whom I have met, a middle-aged bearded man. Something about Rachel's syntax didn't read "female." I also struggled with Duffy. His character was too flat, too unemotional. Copperman/Rachel imbued Duffy with a Holmesian intellect, but none of Holmes's reparte
Danielle Urban
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Written Off by E.J. Copperman is definitely a must read for all readers as well as writers. Inside this hilarious yet serious novel, there is a serial killer out to kidnap and murder all mystery writers...this tale is highly intriguing and sucks readers in whole. The main character of this story so happens to be a mystery writer. Once she receives a call about a missing person's case, Rachel has little time to waste before she's next on the killer's list. The storytelling is stunning...I couldn' ...more
Pretty good mystery about a mystery author who's contacted by a man who bears an uncanny similarity to the main character in the mystery series she writes... ...more
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the first in the Mysterious Detective Mystery Series. Rachel Goodman is the writer of a mystery series with a sleuth, Duffy Madison. Out of the blue she gets a call from a man claiming to be Duffy Madison, not just sharing a name with her character, but actually being her character brought to life. He brings her news of a serial killer targeting writers, including one Rachel knows.

Duffy drags a somewhat reluctant and disbelieving Rachel along for the ride, a ride that ends up making Rach
Gloria Feit
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This first in a new series by E.J. Copperman opens with the last two pages in the newest book by author Rachel Goldman, which is to be the fifth in her Duffy Madison series. Duffy is the consultant to the county prosecutor’s office, whose forte is finding missing persons. Thinking back on the origin of her fictional character, she ruminates that she “flashed on the idea of a consultant to the police, a very specific kind of genius who would be able to find lost things and, more important, lost p ...more
Becky Burciaga
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastically fun ride...I don't think I've ever encountered a more original premise for a book. The author has done a fine job of capturing your attention from the onset and maintained a firm grip on your imagination throughout to the final paragraph.

Rachel is a clever woman with a wonderfully imaginative mind that can see clear of what clutters most of our thinking, and comes up with a character that is an extension of her own cleverness. Throw in a whimsical twist of the fictional cha
Rich Van Ollefen
Aug 26, 2016 rated it liked it
A decent read, worth the time, but I had a couple of issues that I can't comment on without a spoiler, but seemed more than unlikely in reality. And I am not a fan of a first book being so obviously written and touted as the first in a new series, even though I enjoy series a lot. It just seems a bit presumptive to me. ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
Shelves: abandoned
I read to page 148 and it just was boring, same old stuff, boring, same old stuff, boring, same old stuff ad infinitum............. This surprised me as I read some of his Haunted Guesrhouse mystery series, and it is a kick! Too bad.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a new author to me!

I enjoyed this book very much. It was well written. It kept my interest from the beginning to the final page and now I am ready to start reading the second book in this new series.

Rachel Goldman is a fairly new crime writer in the field. So she does not know all the right people and the right publishing groups to be involved with, but she is getting there.

She has just finished writing her fifth Duffy Madison Mystery book and she is getting ready to start the final re
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
What can you say about an Author who finds out that she is compelled to work with one of her main characters that has come to life? Help!

Is Rachel Goldman losing her grip, or is she truly asked to aid Duffy Madison, main character of Rachel's mysteries or Missing Persons crime consultant, on a case of fellow missing/murdered crime novelists? To Rachel chagrin, the answer is Yes. Yes, she feels it necessary to aid her creation in finding a fellow novelist who appears to have been abducted.

This no
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel has a really unique concept; the hero of a series of books coming to life and solving crimes just like his fictional counterpart. Rachel’s disbelief is understandable and genuine, but Duffy and his investigative skills win her over, even as she tries to find out Duffy’s real identity. In essence, there are two mysteries here, and they are equally intriguing. It has been quite a while since a mystery has intrigued me to this degree. The author solves one mystery, but leaves us on a cli ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down

This mystery was unusual in that a guy shows up claiming to be a writer's main character but he's never read the books. It was funny, exciting and intriguing all at once. At one point I guessed the killer but the take down is always fun. I liked Duffy and would like to read the next book. All the regular characters were very likable and would make great real life friends.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book and hope the others hold my interest as well. I figured out who the kidnapper was but wanted to find out the reason so continued to the end. Want to see how the main characters evolve within their relationship. Rachel is an author who meets a man by the name of the character she writes about in her books. With no history before her book series starts she questions her sanity and his.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quirky concept: a fictional character becomes a real person and ends up saving his creator's life through the traits and idiosyncrasy the author gave the character. Meanwhile, the plot involves four mystery authors who end up dead with seemingly nothing connecting them. Rachel Goldman might be the next victim when Duffy Madison and Ben Preston come to her rescue.

The story was well-written and moved along quickly. Multiple plots kept the story interesting.

Darcia Helle
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written Off is exactly the lighthearted, slightly zany read I needed.

If you're a writer who's ever felt like the characters in your head are real, this book's for you. If you're a reader who feels a real-life connection with characters, then this book is for you too.

We have murders and an enticing mystery, and yet I laughed as I read.

The characters are complex and well developed. I totally loved spending time with them.

This is book one in the Mysterious Detective series, and it works well as a s
Maggi Shelbourn
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, I have to give the author props for developing a new and unusual story line and heroine & hero. I'm a fan of the paranormal genre so I truly enjoy quirky stories with unusual characters. I can safely place this book in that category, at least in my opinion. I mean, the main character in a novel showing up on the author's doorstep? You really have to give it chance. At first, I decided that I would listen to the whole book (I'm an Audible member), but not bother with the rest of the books i ...more
T de V
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
WRITTEN OFF ©2016 by E. J. Copperman stars a crime fiction writer, Rachel Goldman, whose protagonist jumps off the page into her life as a semi-official police presence. Naturally a huge leap of disbelief is required, but surprisingly realistic as amateur detective fiction goes—I mean if I wrote crime fiction and my hero came to life, I’d probably be thinking much of what the protagonist of this story does. Furthermore (don’tcha love sentences that start with "furthermore"), E. J. Copperman is a ...more
Doward Wilson
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Meet Rachel Goldman, mid-level mystery writer and her fictitious creation, Duffy Madison, a finder of missing persons. Having just finished the first draft of the fifth book in her series, Rachel is floored to receive a phone call from a man named Duffy Madison. Claiming to need her expertise and help with a police case of a missing mystery writer Rachel is sure this is a hoax or a delusional person. When it turns out to be three dead mystery writers in three different states and now a fourth on ...more
Kay Wright
Sep 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: recently-read
For a book that focuses on re-writes, copy editors etc. there are a lot of inaccuracies in this "first of a new series" mystery. I get the impression the author is a non de plume and that supposedly we'd all knock ourselves upside the head and say of course if we knew who actually wrote it.

I hope the author has better stuff under her own name. This is at about a 9th grade reading level which makes it too superficial to be interesting.

But the hook is very clever; a mystery writer, female, gets a
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Written Off is the first book in a new series by E.J. Copperman.
Rachel Goldman is a mystery author whose mysteries feature police consultant Duffy Madison who looks for missing people.
Rachel receives a call from a man claiming to be Duffy Madison, wanting her advice on a case. Has her character come to life? She can not believe that to be true, along with the fact he has no memory beyond the last four years.
Well to say this book kept me intrigued is an understatement! I had to keep reading and
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rachel Goldman writes books featuring Duffy Madison, a detective consultant to the local D.A.'s office who specializes in missing person cases in E. J. Copperman's Written Off. Just as Rachel concludes the first draft of her latest novel, she gets a phone call asking for help with a missing person case. The caller tells Rachel that he is Duffy Madison, making her decide the man is a crank, an opinion reinforced by the man when he shows up at Rachel's book signing the next day, telling her that h ...more
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Librarian note: E.J. Copperman is the pen name for author Jeff Cohen

E.J. Copperman is a mysterious figure, or has a mysterious figure, or writes figuratively in mysteries. In any event, a New Jersey native, E.J. has written for such publications as The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, American Baby and USA Weekend. Night of the Living Deed is the first E.J. Copperman novel. It wil

Other books in the series

Mysterious Detective (2 books)
  • Edited Out (Mysterious Detective #2)

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