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Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table #1)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  545 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
One morning legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. A little early for a passed out drunk, isn't it? But he's not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.

Mass Market Paperback, 318 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by NAL
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Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Famed members of the Algonquin Round Table meet for lunch on a daily basis to trade wisecracks, witticisms & to play practical jokes on each other. Members include New York city writers, newspaper and magazine critics. One afternoon Dorothy Parker arrives early and finds a well-known theatre critic dead under their table, stabbed by his own pen.
William Faulkner who is new to New York, immediately becomes a suspect and Dorothy Parker spends much of the book hiding “Billy” from everyone. It s
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ooh, the members of the Algonquin Round Table are witty and smart and CLEVER. They are more clever than you, me, the NYPD and just about anyone else you can think of. The rest of the world are just dumb nitwits. And in case you hadn’t realized that fact, not to worry. The point will be made repeatedly, lest you forget.

If you enjoy constant one-liners uttered at totally inappropriate times, then this is the book for you. If you enjoy completely asinine and unbelievable plots fueled by CLEVER, smu
Feb 05, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
Note to self: Stop almost picking up this book. You want to like it, but even though you want to like it, the description has always set up warning bells. You have now tried it. You read about 50 pages. It is exactly what you were afraid it would be. DO NOT PICK IT UP AGAIN. IT IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WERE AFRAID IT WOULD BE.

Note to anyone else: This entire book is (as far as I can tell) "witty" one liner after "witty" one liner. It is essentially the Monty Python s
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans; fans of the sophisticated banter & Dorothy Parker
Recommended to Ellie by: my past
When I was in my early-mid teens, I was infatuated with the Algonquin Table & specifically Dorothy Parker. I read everything of her, as well as Robert Benchley and the rest of the crew. I fancied myself (for reasons unfathomable to me now) as one of them. And I went through a period later on of loving William Faulkner (now, not so much but tomorrow...who knows?).
And for genre reading, mystery is my favorite.

So imagine my excitement at learning of a new series, based on The Algonquin Table, f
Judith Starkston
J.J. Murphy’s first in his Algonquin Round Table series, Murder Your Darlings (January 2011) is a thoroughly delightful read. Part screwball comedy, part literary spoof, this mystery stars Dorothy Parker, William Faulkner, Robert Benchley and others solving a murder when a prominent drama critic is found stabbed with a fountain pen under the famous Round Table at the Algonquin Hotel. Don’t be put off if you’ve never heard of the Algonquin Round Table—Murphy supplies whatever background you need, ...more
Rick F.
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a delightful old-fashioned mystery- JJ Murphy has succeed so wonderfully in utilizing the larger than life personalities..Parker, Benchley, Woolcott, FPA ect into a veritable front row seat at the most famous "Table" in history!! Full of quirky characters and laugh out loud humor...combined with a super plot- Murder Your Darlings: Algonquin Round Table Mystery is an unqualified winner!!
Brenda Mengeling
Dec 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 49, ebook, mysteries, fiction
A real disappointment. Over-written by at least 30%. The characters, including Dorothy Parker, were unsympathetic and badly witty at all the wrong times. The plot was predictable, and the author managed to make a chase through a working press room, complete with catwalks over the presses, and including Round Table members, the police, organized crime figures and a muderer, completely boring. I kept hoping the story would pick up and improve; it didn't.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! Love the sneakiness and wry/dry humor!
Riccarla Roman
Mar 09, 2011 rated it liked it
"Murder Your Darlings" by J. J. Murphy is a murder mystery set at the beginning of the Depression and featuring some of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. A body is discovered under the table used by the famous Algonquin Round Table. The victim is a critic that none of them liked. But did they dislike him enough to stab him through the heart with the pen he used (and shilled for)?

The solving of the mystery is secondary in a novel so rich with characters, it's hard to keep up.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
MURDER YOUR DARLINGS (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery) is available from Penguin/Obsidian.

One morning, legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan’s famed Algonquin Round Table. But he’s not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.

It’s up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit—preferably before cocktail hour—an
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Read in January, 2013

"Murder Your Darlings" was fun, refreshingly new and totally original.

This story brings into the roaring 20's. The days of prohibition and flappers.
These were the days when Dorothy Parker and her liaison Robert Benchley were a strategic part of the Algonquin Round table. The members of this elite group were writers and critics living in a world of their own.
Their world consisted of quick and witty remarks that brought humor into the most ghastly situations. Dorothy Parker
Suspense Magazine
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dorothy Parker—satirist, poet and one of the greatest wits of the twentieth century—is the feisty heroine of this delightful mystery by J.J. Murphy. If her name is not a readily familiar one, shame on you. One of her most quoted lines is, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.” Got it? Great.
A writer for Vanity Fair back in the roaring twenties, Parker was one of the founding members of the Vicious Circle, a stellar group of writers including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." That well-known line is used to describe the members of the Algonquin Round Table in Murder Your Darlings. I was unable to chase down the exact origin of the quote - it's attributed to a variety of sources - but it fits this book and it's cast of characters perfectly. Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchly, William Faulkner and company are, of course, real people portrayed in a fictitious murder mystery. The author admits taking liberties with the ti ...more
Martha Bullen
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A clever historical mystery starring the key members of the famous Algonquin Round Table -- such prominent writers, critics and humorists as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Wolcott and other well-known Manhattan literati.

Set in the roaring 20s, this novel features sparkling prose, an enjoyable, twisty plot, many actual quotes from Parker and Benchley, and even a starring role for a young up-and-coming writer from Mississippi, Billy Faulkner. Prohiibtion-era NYC comes alive, with frequ
M. Newman
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I loved this madcap mystery starring Dorothy Parker, the 20th Century's "Queen of the Quip," her colleagues at the famed Algonquin Round Table and sundry famous contemporaries. This book was wonderfully witty and often hilarious and was a delight to read.
Arriving at the Algonquin dining room a bit early for lunch, Ms. Parker discovers under the table, the body of a literary rival stabbed to death with a fountain pen. With the help of her cohorts, she sets out to solve the case. Despite many up
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
After I finished reading this book, I wanted to go to a murder mystery dinner!! This was a great "first in a new series" featuring Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table gang. Filled with smart remarks full of wit and some could say heart, this story had me smiling and wanting more! This is a great read for those that enjoy literary figures and the time period of prohibition and New York in the 1920's. I wasn't familiar with many of the characters prior to beginning this story, but wanted ...more
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-12
I don't know if this book is going anywhere, but it's so funny that I don't care either. Lunch, anyone?

Edited to say:
I give this book 3 and a half stars. It got four stars for being a pretty good book, but there's a gratuitous and extreme animal cruelty scene for which I'm penalizing it half a star.

Other than that, I enjoyed hanging out at the 'Gonk with Parker and her literary friends. The mystery was good, the dialog was great. The animal cruelty appears towards the end in what I can only desc
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Murder Your Darling, the first Algonquin Round Table Mystery, by J.J. Murphy is an excellent whodunnit staring some of New York's most elite writers of the 1920s. After a prominent drama critic is murdered and left under the famous Algonquin Round Table, it is up to Dorothy Park, Robert Benchley and their witty crew to uncover the real murderer before a young William Faulkner takes the fall for the crime.

The novel is a really fun read, not only because the story is well written, but the wittici
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I must confess....I've never heard of the Algonquin Round Table Or the Vicious Circle. My only excuse is that I have never had more than a cursory interest in the prohibition/flapper/post WW1 era. That may change with this book. Any group of literary/artistic talent acquainted with each other fascinates me and I really enjoyed this novel.I found the witty banter very fun and the tension between the main characters satisfying. The mystery was interesting.
Overall, a good read and one I look forwa
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
As I am currently reading the Dorothy Parker biography as well as the Portable, the back-and-forth wisecracks in this book are very familiar. Dorothy and the whole Round Table gang appear here and when another theater critic is killed, they all become suspects. Parker and Benchley solve the crime of which Faulkner is accused.

Not a great mystery and sometimes there is just too much talking, but it can be enjoyed for what it is.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read about those urbane and witty writers and critics of the famed Algonquin Round Table. Dorothy Parker, the heroine and sassy amateur slueth, wisecracks throughout the novel. Still, the other characters, even my beloved William Faulkner (known as "Billy"), seemed to be far less appealed and sometimes hard to distiguish from one another. A fairly enjoyable but predictable storyline.
Jan C
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining. Not one of the great works of art or even a great mystery. But entertaining. Captures the time period (even if he does shuffle it around a bit) and the real life characters.

Plus I didn't know that The Portable Dorothy Parker has never been out of print.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It felt like it could have been a movie made from the 20's or 30's. I was laughing a lot while reading, and I liked the characterization of Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley. Even though, I'm not a big fan of reading books about real life people in fiction. I'm very much looking forward to the second book in the series.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a fun way to learn a bit more about the Algonquin Round Table, and the many folks that were experiencing New York back in those days. A nice quiet murder investigation, with an obvious killer but with interesting motivation behind them.
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked the banter between the members of the Round Table. I'm glad I never had to sit with them.

While I figured out who committed the murder fairly rapidly, the reason behind it wasn't as obvious.
Mynnette Kitchen
Jan 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Not my cup of tea. I had a hard time getting into it and then I felt the whole book was just a retelling of the plot over and over all the time going nowhere. Half way through I didn't even care who the murderer was anymore. I also found the ending incredibly anticlimactic.
Daniel Marks
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quick and fun murder mystery set amongst the fictional literati of 20s New York. Dorothy Parker's snarky quotes are a character unto themselves!
Laura Roberts
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great Dorothy Parker-inspired murder mystery for all those who love wit, wisecrackers and the literary lifestyle. Highly recommended. Looking forward to more in this series!
Kathleen Freeman
I enjoyed this book, it was great fun to read. Looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Edmund Kubiak
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It starts off a bit slowly but it is basically a well-crafted little book. Dorothy Parker and William Faulkner are two of my favorite authors so I'm a bit biased.
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Algonquin Round Table. 6 15 Nov 07, 2011 03:44AM  
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“They migrated to the usual room on the second floor. Heywood Broun was there by the door, setting up bottles of gin, scotch and beer. Alexander Woollcott sat ensconced behind the round table (not THE Round Table). He shuffled the cards and stacked up poker chips.

Dorothy stopped in the doorway and watched what they were doing. 'You boys sure know how to treat a woman,' she said. 'Liquor in the front and poker in the rear.”
“Someone misdirected you [...] Most writers in New York don't do much writing. They spend their time talking and drinking bootleg liquor. That's what we do, at any rate.” 3 likes
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