Mind Scrambler (John Ceepak Series #5)

Mind Scrambler (John Ceepak Series #5)

4.1 16
by Chris Grabenstein
     
 

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John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are making the rounds in Atlantic City when Danny runs into his former crush, Katie. She's working for a magician named Rock, and her life seems to be in better order than Boyle could have hoped for. But Ceepak and Boyle soon find themselves on another case when Katie is found strangled to death. It is up to Ceepak and Boyle to find out

Overview

John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are making the rounds in Atlantic City when Danny runs into his former crush, Katie. She's working for a magician named Rock, and her life seems to be in better order than Boyle could have hoped for. But Ceepak and Boyle soon find themselves on another case when Katie is found strangled to death. It is up to Ceepak and Boyle to find out who killed her. Their lives and the lives of others depend on it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Grabenstein's appealing fifth John Ceepak mystery (after 2008's Hell Hole) finds ultra-straight-arrow cop Ceepak and his laid-back partner, Danny Boyle, on leave in Atlantic City. Soon after a former girlfriend of Boyle's, the nanny for a smarmy stage magician's children, approaches Boyle for advice, she winds up dead in a bizarre s&m ritual before she can explain the problem. The local police deputize the two Sea Haven, N.J., cops as more corpses pile up. Ceepak and Boyle aren't too surprised that everyone is lying in a murder case involving professional illusionists with nasty secrets. Grabenstein has a good eye for the grit under a glitzy setting and a good ear for character-defining accents, including Boyle's wry narrative voice. In less skillful hands, Ceepak might come across as a mere hybrid of Sherlock Holmes and Dudley Do-Right, but the author succeeds in making his hero's earnest devotion to a rigid code of behavior both believable and moving. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
A young cop's reunion with an old flame is cut short by her murder. New Jersey police detectives John Ceepak and Danny Boyle, who tells the story in pungent first person, are in Atlantic City taking a deposition to help Ceepak's estranged father beat a murder charge in Ohio when Boyle runs into his old girlfriend, Katie Landry, who's now the nanny to the children of flashy magician Richard Rock. Rock headlines a family-friendly show at the Xanadu assisted by his babelicious wife and his kids Richie and Britney. Though she's dating Jake, a muscle-bound dancer in Rock's show, Katie agrees to meet Boyle for a drink after the evening performance. Then Ceepak's dad pleads guilty, abruptly ending the duo's mission, and Rock's abrasive manager Zuckerman hires Boyle and Ceepak as extra security for the evening. Lady Jasmine, a magician notorious for stealing her rivals' best illusions, plans to attend the show with her entourage. When Katie and Jake go AWOL, Rock improvises, but Boyle is suspicious. Rock's shrewd centerpiece trick, designed to encourage the Xanadu guests to gamble, turns an audience member's lucky number into a winner. As Rock is tracked by cameras making his way to a gaming table, Boyle slips backstage to find Katie, provocatively dressed and strangled to death. Though his characters may be shallow, Grabenstein's sharply arch prose and steady plotting makes Ceepak's fifth (Hell Hole, 2008, etc.) compulsively readable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429968768
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/23/2009
Series:
John Ceepak Series , #5
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
172,167
File size:
285 KB

Meet the Author

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the award-winning author of four previous novels. Chris lives in New York City with his beloved wife J.J., three cats and a dog.


Chris Grabenstein is an award-winning author. His debut John Ceepak mystery Tilt-A-Whirl was included on several "Best Mysteries of 2005" lists and won the Anthony Award for "Best First Mystery." Mad Mouse, the second series title, was named one of the ten best mysteries of 2006 by Kirkus. Chris is also the author of the Christmas thrillers Slay Ride and its sequel Hell for the Holidays. Chris lives in New York City with his beloved wife J.J., three cats and a dog.

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Mind Scrambler 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my faves!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the characters and locations of these books!! It takes me back to vacations on LBI and trips to AC, Steel Pier, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this series last month and I'm reading them in order. They keep getting better and better. This is the best (IMO) so far. I really like the interplay between Ceepak and Danny, and the stories are pretty believable. I am looking forward to the next volume.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of his books have been great reads. You can relate to the main characters.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Since I read the first Ceepak novel, Tilt A Whirl, I have been reading the rest of the series and enjoying each novel. Until this one. Author Grabenstein takes the action to Atlantic City,instead of the cute town of Sea Haven. Big mistake,in my opinion, as Sea Haven added charm to the series. He then embarks on a convoluted tale of a magician and a murder, but somehow we get sidetracked into child prostitution. In my opinion, Mind Scrambler is a mess. I was quite disappointed, having looked forward to another enjoyable novel. I have the next book in the series on hand, but am not as interested in opening it as I was before Mind Scrambler.
thebigo More than 1 year ago
another exciting John Ceepak novel with an interesting storyline and its usual twists and turns i enjoy these books and they are a good quick read for the beach or wherever you enjoy reading an entertaining book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Although opposites in outlook, Sea Haven, New Jersey police partners John Ceepak and Danny Boyle are on leave in Atlantic City. They are not there to gamble, but instead are taking a disposition in hopes of helping Ceepak's estranged dad who has been charged with murder in Ohio. Boyle runs into former girlfriend Katie Landry, who is the nanny of Richie and Britney, the children of Xanadu headliner magician Richard Rock and his wife. Katie is dating a Xanadu bouncer but agrees to go for drinks with Danny. Their case abruptly ends when Ceepak's dad pleads guilty. Rock's manager hires the two cops as extra security due to a rumor that the Milton Berle of magicians (due to stealing their acts) Lady Jasmine is attending. Katie and Jake vanish while Rock performs his final act geared to get people into the casino; Boyle goes backstage to find Katie murdered. The Atlantic City police deputize the two Sea Haven cops as more homicides occur. The latest John Ceepak investigation (see HELL HOLE) is a terrific entry as the by the book cop and his breaking the rules partner may be off duty, but quickly become embroiled in a murder mystery. The story line is fast-paced from the onset, but it is the camaraderie between the two polar opposite cops that once again make for an entertaining tale. Harriet Klausner
Drewano More than 1 year ago
If you like the Ceepak mysteries you’ll like this one as well.  Chris Grabenstien does such a wonderful job of painting a picture that you really feel as if you’re visiting the Jersey Shore.  It’s a great mix of mystery and quirky fun that you can’t help but enjoy it.  This book does turn a little sober at the end which is a bit of a twist but I can’t wait to move on in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ceepak never gets old. I really love these books. This one was a little raw for me. There are children involved and that gets me. However, Ceepak is awesome and he always gets his bad guy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never should have left Sea Haven. This one never rang true. Didn't buy into the characters. Ceepak and Danny going here, going there with a lot of forced busyness without purpose. In that mode, forced myself to finish, and was rewarded by being hit with info-dump explanations. Minor irritant: cramming in political views. Not what I read mysteries for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series
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