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The Ransom Game

(Benny Cooperman #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Benny Cooperman is slowly going crazy. It's winter in Grantham, Ontario, and he has nothing better to do than watch the frost creeping in under his door. Nothing, that is, until blue-eyed, long-legged Muriel Falkirk enters his office because her boyfriend, the notorious Johnny Rosa, has gone missing.

It's been ten years since Johnny pulled off a sensational kidnapping, and
Paperback, 319 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Penguin Canada (first published 1981)
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Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Ransom Game”, 1981 is very aptly-named. It’s strange this should be merely the second piece of work I know by Howard Engel. I adore him; immediately a favourite Canadian author. I love every phrase, the flow of musings, the atmosphere of Canadian winter, the vividly-conveyed demonstration that visitors and broadness of thoughts, alter the doldrums. St. Catherine’s is minutes from Niagara Falls, which this series calls ”Grantham”. Elements of the Niagara Escarpment jut near enough to receive ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes indeed, I am enjoying the reading of the Benny Cooperman series. It is the perfect thing to have on hand when one cannot sleep through the night, a thing that happens to me when seasons change.
We find Benny bemoaning his fate having to stay in the frigid climes faithfully watering his mother's plants in a town close to Niagara Falls, whilst his parents enjoy Miami for the winter. "I wished that I could find a compromise between the intolerable weather outside and the overheated weather
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the style of these books. Witty, fast-paced, suspenseful, well-developed characters, perfectly-paced revelations. Benny is a hoot and I enjoy spending time with him. This plot was complex at the end, though it didn't seem to be during the telling. Full of twists I didn't anticipate.
A decent read.

Note: I used togive full reviews for all of the books that I rated on GR. However, GR's new giveaway policies (Good Reads 2017 November Giveaways Policies Changes) have caused me to change my reviewing decisions. These new GR policies seem to harm smaller publishing efforts in favour of providing advantage to the larger companies (GR Authors' Feedback), the big five publishers (Big Five Publishers). So, because of these policies from now on I will be supporting smaller publishing
Nov 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ransom Game" was recommended to me by the owner of an independent book store in Stratford, Ontario. I was surprised to find that there are a number of good Canadian authors that aren't easily available or known in this country. Howard Engel is one of them.

His Benny Cooperman series is referred to "as an institution of Canuck crime writing" by NOW (Toronto).

Set in Grantham, near Niagara Falls, in the early 1980s, Benny is a Jewish boy in a Protestant town. An unassuming, laid-back private
I loved this book, and I will be scouring the secondhand book shops for more! Benny is a wonderful creation - he prefers a lunch of chopped egg sandwiches, with a glass of milk and vanilla ice cream to a shot of rye, and is neither tall nor imposing, but he's a dogged sleuth with the tenacity of a terrier.
Very fun and witty read. Although it was difficult to keep track of all the characters because there were so many I would still recommend it for anyone looking for a quick-paced mystery to dive into.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever and well paced. Really enjoyed the Canadian setting. Love Benny.
Juliahoney Kamenker
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
so many characters confusing in begining
David Houston
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a 'hard-boiled' detective, but a 'chopped egg on white toast' one.

Well, maybe you have to have lived in the area, but I LOVE these books....
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, mysteries
Benny Cooperman is a small time private eye, stuck in Gratham, Ontario, and it's winter. He's daydreaming about joining his folks in Florida when a beautiful blond walks in the door. She wants to hire Benny to find her good friend Johnny Rosa.

Johnny is out of jail now, but he's got lots of folks out looking for him. Him or the half a million dollars ransom he managed to collect on the kidnapping that sent him to jail. Once word gets out that Benny is on the case, he's got folks looking for him,
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
The Ransom Game had a lot of the same wit that I loved so much in The Suicide Murders: A Benny Cooperman Mystery, but I didn't think the mystery was as well put together. The last 30 pages of the book were straight up explanation! I love PI novels, & especially having a series set in the Great White North, but this was kind of a let down.
3.5 stars

This is my second Benny Cooperman. They are interesting books -- very much an updated version of noirish, Golden Age stuff. And Benny is easy to spend time with. I found this plotline a little confusing with a lot of characters appearing and disappearing. But the writing is tight and the perspective is just jaded enough.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Hi hum. Nothing memorable. Would probably be an okay audible during a long boring drive
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Benny Cooperman is an entirely lovable PI, with a self-deprecating wit that belies his uncanny ability to solve the most complicated puzzles in Grantham!
Chris Burland
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
Liked it!
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Benny Cooperman mystery is always a good read, light, a nice crime and the setting of Niagara Falls and area.
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Howard Engel was a pioneering, award-winning Canadian mystery and non-fiction author. He is famous for his Benny Cooperman private-eye series, set in the Niagara Region of Ontario.

He and Eric Wright are two of the authors responsible for founding Crime Writers Of Canada. He had twins Charlotte and William with authoress, Marian Engel. He has a son, Jacob, with his late wife, authoress Janet

Other books in the series

Benny Cooperman (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Suicide Murders (Benny Cooperman, #1)
  • Murder On Location (Benny Cooperman, #3)
  • Murder Sees the Light (Benny Cooperman, #4)
  • A City Called July (Benny Cooperman, #5)
  • A Victim Must Be Found (Benny Cooperman, #6)
  • Dead and Buried (Benny Cooperman, #7)
  • There Was an Old Woman (Benny Cooperman, #8)
  • Getting Away with Murder (Benny Cooperman, #9)
  • The Cooperman Variations (Benny Cooperman, #10)
  • Memory Book (Benny Cooperman, #11)