FFB: Nice Weekend for A Murder

this is the 57th in my series of “forgotten” books

Nice Weekend for A Murder
Max Allan Collins, © 1986, Tor 1994 mass market paperback, Mallory - mystery

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A group of people go to a large country house… what? Oh, you’ve heard it. Well let me go on, maybe this will be new. They all get snowed in by a… Oh, heard that too. Okay, but there’s a murder… Yes, yes, I know. But the body disappears… Okay I give up. Just let me tell you about the book, alright?

Mallory and his girlfriend Jill have been invited to Mohonk Mystery Weekend, an extremely popular puzzle-solving weekend, in which mystery professionals play roles and the players, mystery fans all, attempt to solve the mystery. This year the “victim” is to be publisher and reviewer Kirk Rath, who, it seems as we read along, is apparently hated by just about all of the other… No, no, don’t interrupt any more, I know “victim hated by everyone” is a little bit (!) of a cliché. Anyway, people have been made angry, gotten rotten reviews from Rath’s Mystery Chronicler, and in some cases careers have been damaged. Guess who’s going to get bumped off?

I really enjoyed this one a lot, Collins’ humor invests the pages with a wryness that’s a nice change from thriller or noir fare and the Mallory character is easy to get along with, on the page, in the plot and in his “voice”. His relationship with the girlfriend is just right, not cutesy, no overburdening on the plot. This is a light, easy to read, an enjoyable mystery that is more entertainment than convoluted puzzle, but that’s just fine with me. I’ll be reading more Mallory.

~ ~ ~ ~

Series organizer Patti Abbott has all the FFB goods on her blog, Pattinase, with a list of this week’s participating blogs and, in a day or two, a summary.

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20 Responses to FFB: Nice Weekend for A Murder

  1. This is the last Mallory I have to read. Beat me to it!

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I read all the Mallory books in the mid-80′s and it’s been a long time since I thought of them, so thanks for the memories. By coincidence Steve Lewis reprinted one of my old reviews about another “house party”-type mystery on his blog today.

  3. I’ve always enjoyed the Mallory books.

  4. J F Norris says:

    Still have to get around to reading the two Mallory books I found a couple of years ago. One of them is set at Bouchercon. Can’t remember the title. That’s the first one I want to dig into. This is one you’ve reviewed here appeals to me to me as well for rather obvious reasons.

    Has anyone ever written for FFB about the books that Donald Westlake and his wife Abby wrote based on two of the Mohonk weekends? One has an Edward Gorey cover, BTW. Interesting to see the photos of the participants back in the 70s and 80s – some of whom are now bloggers.

  5. Richard says:

    John – this was my first Mallory, and now I want to dig up more of them. As to the Westlake books, I don’t know, but Crider, Jeff Meyerson or Steve Lewis might. I’ve never been that high on Westlake, so I’ve not followed his books at all.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    KILL YOUR DARLINGS is the one set at Bouchercon in Chicago, 1984.

    Even though I’ve read all the Mallory books I don’t currently own any, even though I have the Quarry, Nolan and Heller books Collins wrote.

  7. Paul Bishop says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Collin’s work, but I do prefer his Quarry novels and his Nate Heller books over the Mallory novels. And, yes, you really need to give Higgins a try — start with the quitessensial The Eagle Has Landed or Night Judgement At Sinos, A Prayer For The Dying, Savage Day, or the first Sean Dillon book Thunder Point.

  8. Richard says:

    Paul – I’ve read two of the Heller books and really enjoyed them, haven’t tried the Quarry novels, though I do have a couple on the shelf. Now that things (paperbacks, at least) are out where I can find them I’m starting to read these books. As for those Higgins, thanks for the list, Paul. I’ll pick one of them to get started – when I finish reading the book I got at the library yesterday plus the 6-volume SF “saga” I’m working my way through…

    Jeff – thanks!

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    And then you can read the Higgins books published as by Hugh Marlowe, Harry (or Henry Patterson) – his real name, James Graham, etc. Many were reprinted here as by Higgins.

    I ordered the first four Mallory paperbacks from the Exchange. Might as well have the whole set.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Let me second a vote for A PRAYER FOR THE DYING, Rick.

  11. Richard says:

    Now Jeff, that’s the kind of thinking that leads to overstuffed bookshelves, double shelving and stored boxes of books. Tsk, tsk. I thought I might get a Heller and Mallory or two at BookSwap (same place as you call Exchange, right?).

  12. Charles Gramlich says:

    Sounds like a nice light bit of reading for a rainy day.

  13. Todd Mason says:

    And fairly early on in Tor’s history, too…first thing to strike me about the book package…

  14. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Paperback Exchange

  15. Richard says:

    Ah, that’s a used book store, not the books-for-credits site I (and I thought you) use.

  16. Jeff Meyerson says:

    My mistake, of course I meant PaperbackSwap.com

  17. Richard says:

    Alert the media, I was right for once. Heh.

  18. Pingback: Thrilled to be Nominated « Friends/Family/Fans of Max Allan Collins

  19. Pingback: Reading Forgotten Books: Nice Weekend For A Murder | Not The Baseball Pitcher

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