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.
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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.