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Bloody Genius

(Virgil Flowers #12)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  16,158 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews
Virgil Flowers will have to watch his back--and his mouth--as he investigates a college culture war turned deadly in the latest thriller from #1 New York Times-bestseller John Sandford.

At the local state university, two feuding departments have faced off on the battleground of PC culture. Each carries their views to extremes that may seem absurd, but highly educated people
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published October 1st 2019)
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Alasandra Alawine No, we really didn't and why would he be leaving his computer there. He had obviously taken it home with him at some point so why would the killer ass…moreNo, we really didn't and why would he be leaving his computer there. He had obviously taken it home with him at some point so why would the killer assume it would be left there. A lot of this novel didn't make sense. I assume the carrel in the library was for his hook ups, but ... he was a grown man with plenty of money one would have thought he could have found a more comfortable and private place. (less)
Cathy Miller-Temme Tom Petes, I thought the very same thing. I went to grad school at the U-MN Twin Cities and red is most definitely NOT maroon. Red is the Badgers' col…moreTom Petes, I thought the very same thing. I went to grad school at the U-MN Twin Cities and red is most definitely NOT maroon. Red is the Badgers' color and there is great rivalry there, especially for the Gopher-Badger games that take place every weekend after Thanksgiving. Maroon and Gold vs Red and White. I can cheer for both sides since my daughter went to UMn and my son went to UW-Madison. (less)

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David Putnam
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Alas, this one did not do for me. Sanford is my favorite, my go-to author that has never let me down.
There is still much to like in this book, the characters, the relationships. But the story...Yikes. In the very beginning where the conflict is set I even heard it in my head, oh, "The professor was killed in the library with a laptop computer," the Clue Game reference. (this isn't a "true" spoiler, it happens in the first pages).
I think what was also missing in this book was the jeopardy. Sanfo
Maureen Carden
The Lothario, hunter, fisher, writer, photographer and ace investigator of the upper Midwest returns in Bloody Genius . The advent of girlfriend Frankie soon to be delivered of twins has kept him closer to home and has put paid to Virgil Flowers' roaming.
Unfortunately, the position of being one of the governor’s golden haired boys (one sided as Virgil does not return the affection) still exists and results in the governor sending him to Minneapolis to solve a particularly vicious murder. Virgil
Diane S ☔
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thoughts soon.Hi Virgil,

I think it's been about a year since I've last written. Many changes, seems they've managed a better way to keep track of you, so some of your excuses will no longer fly. Your dress sense though, that hasn't changed, those t-shirts are so you, glad you seldom bow to convention.

A new case, one that sends you back to college. A murder of a well renowned, research Professor, with few apparent clues. I have to say you do work will with others when you want too, you were more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio

John Sandford is one of my go to authors for audio books, especially perfect for when hubby is with me on a road trip. Great humor, fun characters and a mystery that isn’t easy to solve.

Virgil Flowers is sent to help with an investigation into the murder of a college professor. There are plenty of suspects - three ex-wives, another professor he was feuding with and all her acolyte and his estranged daughter. And that’s not counting the possibility of a hooker.

This one made the hours pass quick
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy listening to a Sandford novel to and from work. It's just like floating along to another awesome story! 9 of 10 stars ...more
James Thane
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I've been a huge fan of the Virgil Flowers series from the very beginning, and I always eagerly await a new entry. Unfortunately, though, I don't think that Bloody Genius measures up to many of the other, better, books in the series. That's certainly not to say that I thought it was a bad book--I genuinely enjoyed reading it--but only that it didn't meet the high expectations that I have for this author and this series.

As the book opens, a wealthy and distinguished professor at the University of
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free advance copy of this from NetGalley for review.

If a dead body was found in a library I’d assume that he must have had some serious overdue fees. Those librarians don’t play around.

A professor who does high end medical research is found murdered in a college library so Minnesota state investigator Virgil Flower is assigned to help out when the local Minneapolis cops hit a dead end. As Virgil digs into the case his problem isn’t that there aren’t any clues, it’s that there are f
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote an earlier review that's either missing or part of a different edition. Perhaps Goodreads could combine all additions for reviews, please. 9 of 10 stars ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's no secret that I love Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent Virgil Flowers - he long ago earned a forever spot on my Top 10 list of favorite book heroes. But it's also no secret that I'm not thrilled that he's in a serious relationship with a woman - Frankie - who in fact is close to delivering a set of twins she and Virgil concocted seven months or so ago. Somehow, he'd turned into a kinder and mellower Virgil - and in the process lost a bit of the edge that endeared him to me.

Well, after
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The thing that is great about John Sandford isn’t that he writes great thrillers (though he does). It is not that he habitually churns out high-quality work like he is some kind of mystery-writing Honda production line (though he consistently publishes two novels each year). It is not even his ability to stuff 18 hard boiled eggs into his mouth at one time (though this majestic feat has won Sandford globe-spanning accolades as well as audiences with everyone from John Stamos to the Pope). No, no ...more
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group/Putnam for this arc.

Gotta love that f**cking Flowers. Virgil is back! And he doesn't have his boat! He's come in from the backcountry and into the city for this story (without his boat). He's sent to Minneapolis to the university by the governor to help out on a two week old murder the city's investigation has stalled on. Naturally, the city detective resents his presence and well, Virgil wasn't wild about the assignment either. He does however manage to cha
3.5 stars Rounding up to 4 because of the (dark) humor

Virgil Flowers is back! The body of Professor Barthelemy Quil is found in his library carrel at the University of Minnesota. He was murdered but this is about all that the Minneapolis police know. The professor's wealthy and connected sister makes a phone call to the governor. The governor calls someone else, who calls someone else, etc., etc. At the bottom of the chain that f#*king Flowers is told to head to Minneapolis to assist and he bett
Andrew Smith
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve always enjoyed the way John Sandford has his two crime fighters, in his parallel running series, go about solving their cases in very different ways. Lucas Davenport is all action, he can be gruff with people and isn’t averse to getting physical. Virgil, on the other hand, is inclined to gather information and complete his arrests through more benign means, he talks his way to a solution. When on a case he will chat to all and sundry, soaking up the input from everyone as he slowly pieces t ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
As someone who's read every book John Sandford has written, I'm actually angry at how terrible this one is. The pacing is abysmal, which I get; it’s hard to maintain a solid pace when literally nothing happens in the entire book. The character work is lazy and insulting, frankly; Virgil comes off as annoyingly hokey with too many try-hard quips, and enough with the boots and stupid tee-shirts, already, we get it.

Sandford's female characters could've stepped out of a Stuart Woods novel in 1991:
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

That effing Flowers is on the trail of a killer once more. This time he must go to the city – reluctantly – of Minneapolis to investigate the murder of a brilliant college professor and doctor who specializes in neurosurgery and microsurgery for those who are disabled.

With a host of suspects, including two ex-wives and one about to be ex, an estranged daughter, her two weird friends and an ongoing feud with another department at the college he and his Minneapolis detective partner have t
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
John Sandford is a bloody genius. I wish I could tell you how he messed up my book review for Bloody Genius, the twelfth Virgil Flowers novel, but it would spoil the book. In fact, that's what happened. I had an opening sentence all set after I read the first five pages, and then the conclusion preempted my opening. How would I know my opening sentence would have been a spoiler for the end of the book?

After Professor Quill's body is found in his library carrel at the University of Minnesota, the
3.5 stars
Carol Jean
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Sandford writes an excellent, entertaining mystery. Secret sex in a library, murder, theft of intellectual property, money money money -- he doesn't miss a trick!

Bloody Genius is so entertaining I ordered the four books of the Kidd series to slake my reawakened appetite for Sandford!
Jeff Dickison
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good murder mystery for Flowers in this one. Not quite as bizarre as most of the Flowers' books. Sanford is beginning to domesticate Virgil who is rapidly becoming a one woman man and who appears to want to turn to a farming lifestyle. Tell me ain't so, Joe. Next thing you know he'll be wearing Beatles and Stones t-shirts. ...more
Jenny Baker
3.5 stars

I work in an academic library, so when I saw that this was about a murder that takes place in one, I knew I had to read it. It's great introduction to John Sandford novels.
With the Minneapolis PD investigation into the murder of wealthy, politically-connected university professor (Barthelemy Quill) going nowhere, the governor asks Virgil (that fucking) Flowers from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to help. Facing obvious resentment from the local detective sergeant (Maggie Trane), he slowly wins her over with his easy going, I don't want the credit attitude, especially when he begins to find overlooked clues. With ex-wives, a slacker daughter with a ver ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always fun to read a Virgil Flowers novel. I love it all except the perp in the end felt too convenient.
RachelW (BamaGal)
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
A good read that had the potential of being a great read until it lost its way and got a little sloppy towards the end. Virgil is investigating a murder in a Minneapolis suburb dominated by a college campus and its environs; armed with nothing but some odd, random clues. This was a refreshing break from the last few books, which had revolved around small town politics, gossip, and some ‘friendly’ backstabbing.

The story was a solid murder investigation, pretty straightforward and interesting. Aro
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
Bloody Genius
by John Sandford

I suppose like most people, I read different genres for different reasons. I enjoy reading History and Biography to learn about times and people. I read Historical Fiction to satisfy some intellectual curiosity, but good mysteries are just pure enjoyment.

Most of John Sandford stories take place in the Twin Cities in Minnesota where I have lived for most of my life. Reading about events that happen in places you are familiar with adds enjoyment to the story.

Virgil Flo
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy reading how Virgil Flowers's mind works as he follows a crime from clue to clue to clue, and Bloody Genius was no different. The humor in this series makes it lighter fare, which is always fun to read. Flowers is hilarious but is also a first-rate investigator, which is definitely required in this book as this particular investigation includes prostitutes, students, crooked lawyers, a CEO of an up and coming company, scam artists, and the victim's past wives. Whew!

I very much lik
Randal White
Another fantastic book by Sandford! How does he keep putting out these incredible page-turners?
This one is another story in the Virgil Flower's timeline. A murder in the library of the University of Minnesota. An initial dearth of suspects, giving way to the Sandford technique of finding lots of suspects. Which Flowers has to weed through, one by one. And in the end, managing to surprise the reader with the identity of the killer.
I've come to love these books. Not for any amazing detective sto
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hallelujah! John Sandford is back. His previous book Neon Prey was so boring that one wondered whether the author had changed somehow. But this book shows Sandford at his best. Virgil Flowers is as endearing as ever, the humor laugh out funny and the plot while taut and fast is also a proper detective mystery with clues and all. ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent addition to the series. It's a typical Flowers novel, although I was wondering when he'd finally be called by his normal name. Not until halfway through, but then they made up for lost opportunities. He really did blow the doors off a stalled case. Best is one of the regulars in a bar who knows all about murder investigations from watching NCIS. Great for one of many laughs in this murder mystery. Very well narrated & recommended, but do read them in order. ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Virgil Flowers is mixed up again in murder that winds up all over the place, as he usually is and it's complicated and fun. I have a fear here about Flowers though and that's" run with it," when you read it you'll understand. ...more
Virgil did not do it for me this time out. His impending fatherhood has clipped his wings and he is acting some grown up. He still wears the band tees, though, but he has lost his edge. It must be hard to keep up the extraordinary quality of work in every book you write, pleasing such a wide variety of fans.
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Play Book Tag: Bloody Genius by John Sandford - 4 stars 1 11 Oct 16, 2019 02:53PM  
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See also John Camp

John Sandford was born John Roswell Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the Univer

Other books in the series

Virgil Flowers (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Dark of the Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1)
  • Heat Lightning (Virgil Flowers, #2)
  • Rough Country (Virgil Flowers, #3)
  • Bad Blood (Virgil Flowers, #4)
  • Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)
  • Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)
  • Storm Front  (Virgil Flowers, #7)
  • Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)
  • Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)
  • Deep Freeze (Virgil Flowers, #10)

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