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This intriguing collection of short stories features brain-twisting tales of murder and mayhem that will keep readers guessing until the very end... or will they? All the clues are provided, just add ingenuity. Match wits with such unlikely amateur sleuths as: The Smart Guys Marching Society, a group of suburban "Desperate Husbands" who stumble into - and love - crime-solving, A brilliant female psychologist whose session with a patient threatens to turn deadly, A penniless patent clerk named Albert Einstein, who...
This intriguing collection of short stories features brain-twisting tales of murder and mayhem that will keep readers guessing until the very end... or will they? All the clues are provided, just add ingenuity. Match wits with such unlikely amateur sleuths as: The Smart Guys Marching Society, a group of suburban "Desperate Husbands" who stumble into - and love - crime-solving, A brilliant female psychologist whose session with a patient threatens to turn deadly, A penniless patent clerk named Albert Einstein, who gets caught up in the search for a turn-of-the-century serial killer... Baffling, amusing and suspenseful, From Crime to Crime is bound to captivate mystery buffs of every kind.
Posted December 25, 2010
In his introduction to this collection of "armchair mysteries", Dennis Palumbo traces the history of such mysteries back to Edgar Allan Poe. As steeped in tradition as this genre might be, these twelve tales are all thoroughly up to date, taking place largely in a contemporary domestic setting. From Crime to Crime is based on Palumbo's own experiences with his friends, who all used to meet together at the author's home in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles. In those days they all reckoned that they were pretty smart, but that was a fairly long time ago. Though Palumbo does change a few of the professions (but, most notably, not his own), most of the dialogue and interactions between the characters are fictional. Palumbo describes his core characters as 'reasonably successful baby boomers,' who regularly meet at 'weekly Sunday afternoon bull sessions'. These meetings, of what they dubbed the 'Smart Guys Marching Society', allow them the chance to explore what's been happening around them during the past week, freeing them up to solve murders and to resolve quandaries that they encounter in their daily lives. In brief, From Crime to Crime proves that group thinking really works! In what could easily be rewritten as dinner theater pieces, all the mysteries that form the larger part of this collection of short stories are described in dialogue that takes place between Mark ('an Intelligence officer turned journalist'), Fred ('a lawyer by trade, but philosopher by avocation'), Bill ('a long-time actor and theater director'), and the narrator himself ('a psycho-therapist, with years of handling conflicts'). However, the fun (and solving) really starts when Uncle Isaac joins the group. As the stories unfold, so do the characters transform into our close associates, with whom we eagerly embark on the next crime-solving spree. Palumbo's straightforward narration, which is largely presented in the form of lively repartee that takes place between the five main characters, suits the unfolding of the crimes that have taken place within their eye- or earshot. Despite their conversation clearly being that of experts in their own divergent fields, it is highly accessible to the average reader. The references to leading psychologists (such as Jung) and film directors (such as Hitchcock and Tarantino) serve to add spice and context to the dialogue. The focus throughout these stories is on the unraveling of the mysteries. Although the meetings start with a humorous interchange on topics of relevance to the daily lives of the main characters, it soon narrows down to a description of a crime that has recently occurred. After the description of the crime scene, a bout of verbal parrying, involving the asking of many pertinent questions and the musing about suppositions as to how the crime was committed, the solution in each case is arrived at, all within thirty pages or less. Rounding out From Crime to Crime are three mysteries which, though not quite fitting into the mold of the Smart Guys tales, feature such interesting characters as a female psychologist sleuth and a cash-strapped pay clerk named Albert Einstein. So, despite most of the characters being male, there is much of interest to women readers as well, with the approach to women being empathic and appreciative throughout.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2008
A terrific read from start to finish. Loved these tales by Dennis Palumbo. Not only are the stories interesting puzzles to solve-- 'Okay, Isaac, what do you think?' which allows the reader to participate fully in solving the crime given the clues presented--they are also great fun to read. The characters have unique voices and the stories are laced with a lot of humor. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying these short stories. Better yet, I challenge anyone to just read one of them and stop. I couldn't put this book down. It's that addicting. Bravo, Dennis! Loved your book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2008
Every Sunday afternoon, the Smart Guys Marching Society gets together for an informal meeting involving snacks and discussions of ¿the big issues.¿ These four men -- a lawyer, a journalist, a psychotherapist and an actor -- are unexpectedly joined by a fifth member, Isaac, who has an uncanny knack for solving mysteries. From Crime to Crime grants the reader admission into these weekly Smart Guys meetings, giving him the opportunity to match wits with Isaac. In the traditional armchair mystery style, one person explains the puzzle as he sees it. Then the Smart Guys all try to figure it out. The good-natured banter between these five men is humorous and light-hearted. And the puzzles are clever and a real challenge to solve - but no clues are held back in the interest of fairness. If you love a good cozy and lament the fact that Agatha Christie¿s style has gone out of fashion, you¿ll really enjoy these short stories. Dennis Palumbo has combined the best of the old style mystery with a splash of humor and camaraderie that makes them a joy to read. Reviewer: Alice Berger, Bergers Book ReviewsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.