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Group Reads > May 2015 - Mystery Man

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message 1: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
This month's Irish crime read is a bit of a departure for the group - a humorous mystery.

In Mystery Man, our nameless protagonist owns a mystery bookshop that is not exactly thriving. To supplement his income, he takes up crime-solving and quickly gets in over his head. There are plenty of laughs to be had here and some delightful references to famous writers of the genre.


message 2: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new)

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 539 comments Mod
I started reading yeasterday at the beach: best place to dig in, given the humorous content.
It was rather slow and thin in the beginning with the two small cases (the leather pants and the red paint), but the fun picked up once the girl from across the street showed up. She is the best sidekick an amateur detective could wish for.

message 3: by Franky (new)

Franky | 394 comments I'm looking forward to this one. We need a little humor every now and then :) I found a copy of it on kindle.

message 4: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new)

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 539 comments Mod
finished, liked it, although not as much as "Divorcing Jack"

Came across an interesting passage towards the end, making use of the fact that the narrator has a bookstore specialized in crime fiction:

As a lifelong studier of patterns, it is not difficult at all to establish the trends and fashions in mystery fiction. They tend to reflect society as a whole. The genre has become more violent, more pornographic, less literate, and there are a lot more serial killers around. One may debate whether mystery fiction influences society, or is it the other way around?

It's an over simplification of the issue, but there may be some truth here.

message 5: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
I've been holding off commenting until more people finish, but, what the heck - this was just an okay read for me. There are some very funny bits here and I laughed a lot. I particularly enjoyed the parts about the running of the bookstore and all the crime author name-dropping. BUT, the main mystery didn't much hold my interest. (view spoiler)

I can't help thinking that if this book had been written by a woman it would have been labeled a "cozy mystery."

I'm guessing the hard-core noirists are gonna hate it.

message 6: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne  | 12 comments Just finished this. I agree with your comment regarding hard-core noir fans. Personally, having recently finished (or still attempting to finish!) several thick,serious and somewhat bleak books, I thouroughly enjoyed the change pace. (I had just finished "Escape for Soribor" this past week). Most of the way through "Mystert Man" I never thought I would continue the series beyond the one book but by the end the narrator had grown on me and I plan to add the next book in the series to my "to read" list. Maybe I will fall back on this while I am in the depth of yet another book on WWII or the sinking of some boat or another. Once again thanks to this group for introducing me to an author I never would have picked up on my own.

message 7: by Brian (new)

Brian | 62 comments Overlong crime fiction novels (books in general. perhaps) have become the norm lately. While most of them are very worthy, some could do with a good deal of trimming. Who knows, maybe authors are being payed by the word again ;-O

message 8: by Franky (last edited May 23, 2015 11:58PM) (new)

Franky | 394 comments A little late to the read, hopefully will be finished soon.

I'm liking it so far, but things seem a little far-fetched, but I guess that is why this is labelled as humor.

There are many "quotables" in the book, funny lines that I just want to write down, especially the ones with references to crime authors and running the bookstore. The author does have a knack for humor.

I'm not sure where things are heading though.

Will report back when finished...

message 9: by Melki, Femme Fatale (new)

Melki | 820 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "The author does have a knack for humor."

I really enjoyed the part where John Grisham signs books. (view spoiler)

message 10: by Algernon (Darth Anyan), Hard-Boiled (new)

Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 539 comments Mod
.. and those leather pants that keep cutting him off something fierce !

message 11: by Franky (last edited Jun 14, 2015 11:05PM) (new)

Franky | 394 comments Okay, taking me way too long to get through this. This book feels so overwritten and the side mysteries seem a bit like they make the book lose focus. The narrator is sort of equal parts funny, annoying, paranoid and naive.

I'm about 2/3rds done, but hope to get finished reading soon.

The author seems to have a good knowledge of literary and crime writers, that's for sure.

And the girl who the narrator is seeing...don't really believe that for a second.

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