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Ten Dead Comedians: A Murder Mystery

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  725 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Fred Van Lente’s brilliant debut is both an homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire. As the story opens, nine comedians of various acclaim are summoned to the island retreat of legendary Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker. The group includes a former late-night TV host, a washed-up improv instructor, a ridiculously wealthy “blue ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Quirk Books (first published July 11th 2017)
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3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  725 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Sam Quixote
In his debut novel, Fred Van Lente does Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None - but with comedians! And it’s not bad.

Many of the characters are thinly-veiled versions of real-life comedians: there’s a Larry the Cable Guy-type, Carrot Top, Ali Wong, George Lopez, and Joan Rivers, to name a few. They’re lured to a private island owned by a famous, rich comic they all have connections to who strangely isn’t there to greet them - and then the comedians start getting killed one by one!

And Then
Susan Johnson
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
This book didn't make me laugh. It just made me grumpy. I admire the chutzpah of a debut author doing a homage to the Queen of Mysteries, Agatha Christie, in this book based on And Then There Were None but it never really lived up to its promise. This time the characters brought to the desert island were comedians. Not to worry though, their crimes were they aren't funny and abused their comical abilities. I concur that they are guilty of this.

I really don't know what else to say. I think ever
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
In Ten Dead Comedians, a text by popular comedian Dustin Walker goes out to 10 comedians, inviting them on a private island to work on a new comedy project together. But when they get there, Dustin is nowhere to be found, they have no cell reception and therefore no way to get off the island and they’re getting killed off one by one.

It was very exciting to see how the deaths of every comedian were executed. There were a lot of interesting, creative and unexpected ways for them to die and a lot o
Liz Barnsley
This was an entertaining homage to Agatha Christie and to old school murder mystery but with a cutting edge and a lot of hilarious happenings.

Full review to follow.
This was a funny murder mystery. It was an entertaining and a quick read. 10 strangers are on a deserted island, the home of legendary comedian Dustin Walker. He has invited them there to work on his latest project. When they arrive, they find the island deserted and their host dead. With no internet or phone service, they have no way of getting off the island. And one by one, they are being murdered.

The ways they are killed become increasingly complex, as we try to figure out who is responsible
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, mystery
Three and a half stars.

The title of Ten Dead Comedians is going to sound very familiar to anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of murder mysteries. The best selling mystery of all times is Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None which was also titled Ten Little Indians and in its first printing was given the title Ten Little *insert N word*. Fortunately saner heads won out in later years. Fred Van Lent's very funny take-off on the Christie novel can be called a pastiche or even a tribute to th
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Čia – šiuolaikinis „užrakinto kambario“ detektyvas pagal Agathos Christie And Then There Were None, tik visi personažai yra komikai.
Iš pradžių galvojau, kad netempia iki Christie, bet paskui supratau, kad tempia iš kitos pusės, formuoja ironišką santykį su „aukso amžiaus“ detektyviniu kanonu.

Abiejų pasakojimų prielaida ta pati – dešimt žmonių melagingu pretekstu pakviečiami į salą, o tada jau juos ten pradeda kažkas po vieną žudyti. Detektyvuose šie mirtį nešantys kvietimai būna suformuluoti t
Ivonne Rovira
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Savvy mystery lovers will recognize immediately from the title what Fred van Lente’s debut is: a modern reworking of And Then There Were None, the Agatha Christie novel originally published with the offensive title of Ten Little Niggers. Which is especially appropriate for this novel for reasons I’ll get to later.

Dustin Walker was a comedy legend in his day; however, a series of extremely lucrative but terrible movies has reduced the one time king of comedy to a punchline. Even so, Walker has ac
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The heady mixture of murder and comedy makes for an addictive read from opening stanza to punch line. In this murder mystery, author Fred Van Lente employs a number of classical genre tropes but keeps the story fresh with a healthy dose of humor. As the title suggests the plot revolves around a group of comedians brought to an island under false pretenses, thinking they're going to collaborate with a comedy heavyweight only to be picked off one by one by a mysterious murderer. I couldn't put it ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partner-read
Advertised as being similar to the board game Clue, this murder mystery is about 9 washed up comedians being called together for what they think will be a workshop. They're all so eager to go because the man calling together the weekend away is a successful comedian they all looked up to at the beginnings of their careers. TEN DEAD COMEDIANS by Fred Van Lente is a satirical murder mystery with hints of Agatha Christie and Clue.

We get a glimpse into the lives of eight different comedians. They'r
In Fred Van Lente's sly update of mystery classic And Then There Were None, ten comedians of varying levels of success and talent travel to a tropical island at the behest of reclusive legendary funnyman Dustin Walker. To the surprise of absolutely no one who's ever even heard the words Agatha Christie, they find the island deserted - except for the unseen killer who stats picking them off one by one.

Given that Van Lente is recycling his material from one of the greatest and best known mystery n
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting modern take on Agatha Christie's original book with a title I can't print here but than titled Ten Little Indians and than even later titled And Then There Were None. Van Lente changes up the original premise by using ten comedians that are being murdered one by one on a island. The ten comedians in the book are thinly disguised characters of some real life comedians which makes the book more fun to read. Not the greatest book I ever read but I found it an entertaining and fast read.
Andrea Boyette
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I have been dying to read this haha. No, really. I actually won it in a Goodreads giveaway but it was killing me with how difficult it was to get my copy to me despite best efforts. They didn't give up, however, and I finally got a chance to read it. I will be perfectly honest and say that the mystery aspect was more enjoyable than the humor for me. I don't really go for the crude-comedian style of humor. I am also hard to surprise so I figured it out fairly early but the writing style was en ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A take on the "locked room" mystery, this had about 6 too many characters; I had difficult time keeping them straight and never felt I knew much about them. The solution was clever with a good twist.

It's compared to Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and while the plot is similar, take care in recommending to Christie fans as it is a bit raunchy in places.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital reading copy.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So this probably would have been a 3.5 bumped to a 4 if not for the fact I was rather let down that (view spoiler). well insomuch as it could be - Lente did a really good job following the cues of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, adapting the deaths to match some aspect of the Comedians lives (much as Christie adapted the children's ditty), but to make the final punchline stick the Judge character was different.

I recently re-skimmed th
Michael Bongiorno
2.5 Stars.
Entertaining little read but the dialogue smacks of a non-comedian trying to write how he thinks comedians would speak. I’m also really curious why Louie CK is thanked in the acknowledgements even though there is a character based on him, who is portrayed in a negative way.
Sam (Clues and Reviews)
When nine washed up comedians, including a late night T.V host, an improv instructor, and a Vegas icon, are invited to the island of a legendary Hollywood funnyman, each selfishly take up the offer. However, once they arrive they find they lack cell phone signal, the island is deserted and a dead body is swinging from the balcony. As the plot progresses, and each member of their party is systematically killed, they must figure out who is doing the killing.

A take on Agatha Christie’s And Then Th
Jonathan D.
It's always good to have goals, and this year I have a goal of trying new genres of books. Back in December (I started this goal a month early), I figured I'd try out a book with some humor. This book, specifically, caught my eye because of its title. I was curious why there were ten comedians, and more importantly, why they were dead. This is a brand new genre to me - aside from some Diary of a Wimpy Kid books when I was younger, I have never read a book focused on humor, so this was a perfect ...more
I remember back in ye olden days when I was in college, reps for comedy clubs would invade my classes and pretty much beg us to buy $5 tickets for their shows.

This is what came to mind when I read Ten Dead Comedians.

Also, this is the second book I've read this year that pays homage, once again, to the illustrious Agatha Christie. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but after awhile it feels less like flattery and more like beating a dead horse.

Let's all say it together: No one
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a great time reading Ten Dead Comedians. It's a pretty light and fun read for people who want to be entertained by an old fashioned mystery and laugh a bit along the way. It also doesn't hurt that if you're really in comedy and the minutiae of it, that you're going to enjoy yourself here.

As I'm sure you read in several other reviews, the story goes that one of the worlds most famous comedians, Dustin Walker, has invited a handful of other comedians out to his private island with the intent
Jackie Law
Ten Dead Comedians, by Fred Van Lente, is a contemporary Agatha Christie style murder mystery set on a celebrity owned island in the Caribbean. Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker invites nine fellow comedians to collaborate with him on an unspecified project, details to be explained during a luxury, weekend retreat. All are excited at this potential injection of energy into their mutable careers and accept. When they arrive it is to discover that they are cut off from the mainland with no access t ...more
Once upon a time, it was slightly less common for writers to pay what they might call "homage" by reworking the celebrated work of another creator. That's certainly not the case any longer -- and, I'll freely acknowledge, some can do so with a great deal of invention. The challenge is to do right by the original work, showing the proper degree of honor, but also weaving in an original idea of one's own, and (I cannot emphasize enough) matching the quality of the venerated story. A tall order, wh ...more
Melisende d'Outremer
The title caught my attention. Then I read the premise:

A darkly clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre, Ten Dead Comedians is a marvel of literary ventriloquism, with hilarious comic monologues in the voice of every suspect. It’s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you’ll never see coming!

So I knew what I was in for - a comedic take on a classic elimination murder mystery. And I wasn't disappointed. The story was simple - a series o
Rob Kitchin
Ten Dead Comedians is a modern day take on Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’. Ten comedians and almost strangers (a number know or have met each other) are seduced to a remote Caribbean island to meet Dustin Walker, a legendary funnyman whose career has hit the skids after several flops. The island is deserted and in turn each is killed as they search to identify the murderer and a means to leave the island. Van Lente’s main twist is to make each character a different type of comedian ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wavering between 3 and 4 stars. I love Agatha Christie and And Then There Were None and this was an interesting take on that. Revolving it around comedians who committed "crimes against comedy" is a pretty interesting premise. And I read the book in about two or three straight sittings so it wasn't boring or anything. I still felt like the ending was pretty predictable... I wasn't exactly surprised at all so I was slightly disappointed there. But overall, it was a pretty great idea for a debut n ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-comedy, mystery
After receiving a mysterious text message, nine comedians are drawn to an island where they are murdered one by one.

A whodunnit that's been done many, many times before, but this time the characters are caricatures of famous comedians, and the only surprising twist is that it isn't very funny.

Although it didn't appeal to me, fans of the stand up comedy scene might enjoy the book's gallows humor.
i thoroughly enjoyed this camped up rendition of a classic 'who done it'. i was not entirely surprised by the culprit, but i loved getting to him. i also loved the 'happy' ending. this was a delight to read.
Clemmie Jackson
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was wicked good to me, I amazely enjoyed this reading.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
An dreadfully humorous take on an original Agatha Christie with an unexpected ending.
Justina Ercole
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Van Lente was raised by a mystery-loving mother (who preferred Dorothy Sayers to Agatha Christie, but we won't hold that against her) and a wisecracking Woody Allen-lookalike scientist father in what appears to be some kind of genetic experiment to write his first novel, TEN DEAD COMEDIANS, even though neither parent nor the son himself would know it for many years.

Van Lente spent his time betwee
“Most of the time when we say ‘freedom,’ we mean ‘do it my way or I’ll shoot you.” 0 likes
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