Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table Mystery Series #1)

( 36 )

Overview

One morning legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. A little early for a passed out drunk, isn't it? But he's not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.

It's up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit-preferably before ...

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Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table Mystery Series #1)

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Overview

One morning legendary wit Dorothy Parker discovers someone under Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. A little early for a passed out drunk, isn't it? But he's not dead drunk, just dead. When a charming writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting her literary cohorts.

It's up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit-preferably before cocktail hour-and before the clever killer turns the tables on them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Murphy's debut, the first in a new series set in the 1920s, will intrigue Dorothy Parker fans, but those expecting more than a superficial look at Parker and the legendary Algonquin Round Table will be disappointed. Parker shows up early for lunch one day at Manhattan's Algonquin Hotel only to find Leland Mayflower, the drama critic for the Knickerbocker News, under her usual table, stabbed to death with a pen. The police take an interest in the members of "the Vicious Circle," as the group was sometimes known, along with a budding Southern author, William Faulkner, who's come to New York City to get Parker's verdict on his writing. By making nonstarters like Faulkner, Robert Benchley, and Alexander Woollcott suspects, Murphy doesn't present much of a puzzle for readers drawn in by the mystery. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451231994
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Series: Algonquin Round Table Mystery Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 387,551
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(11)

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(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    After I finished reading this book, I wanted to go to a murder m

    After I finished reading this book, I wanted to go to a murder mystery dinner!! This was a great "first in a new series" featuring Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table gang. Filled with smart remarks full of wit and some could say heart, this story had me smiling and wanting more! This is a great read for those that enjoy literary figures and the time period of prohibition and New York in the 1920's. I wasn't familiar with many of the characters prior to beginning this story, but wanted to learn more as I read further (they are based on real literary figures from the time period). I appreciated the historical notes that the author included at the end of story. I'm not much for historical time period books but wanted to try something new and I'm glad I did. Definately looking forward to more in this series!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    A fresh and entertaining start... New to me author J.J. Murphy

    A fresh and entertaining start...

    New to me author J.J. Murphy delivers a fresh and entertaining start to a historical mystery series that revolves around the Algonquin Round Table with Dorothy Parker front and center. Mr. Murphy does a commendable job of bringing the Depression-era time period to life and with plenty of snarky sarcasm and wisecrack dialogue from the characters. Though the mystery itself does not seem too complicated a case, I found myself so immersed in the story and the characters that I had a very difficult time trying to figure out whodunit. In the end, I was very surprised.

    The only problem I had with this story was the numerous references to Mrs. Parker’s lack of funds. Repetitive comments made by Mrs. Parker about her inability to pay for cab fare, food or drink frustrated me. I kept expecting her to be arrested on a theft of services charge for consuming food or beverage or hiring a taxi that she couldn’t pay for. The story has several scenes of Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley making jokes and sarcastic comments, so I was left to wonder if the comments about her bankrupt status were also another of their standing inside jokes with one another.

    Overall, I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of mysteries and if you’re not a fan, I recommend it for the entertaining characters and witty dialogue. I will be looking for the next book in the series as Dorothy Parker is a success in not just poetry and writing but also holds her own with murder cases.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Delightful

    Very witty; I laughed out loud several times, which I rarely do when reading a novel. The author obviously knows and loves the works of Benchley and Parker. I bought a copy for my brother, who was the one to introduce me to the Round Table. I hope there are many more to come in this delightful series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Dorothy Parker Would Approve!

    JJ Murphy does an amazing job of evoking the spirit and fun of the Algonquin Round Table and its various members. A great read for fans of mysteries and New York society in the 1920's.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Round Table Deserves Round of Applause

    I didn't know much about the Algonquin Round Table or Dorothy Parker, but now I'm hooked on this new series. Wonderfully witty and filled with puns and word play, I hated to see it end. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Great Mystery/History Combo

    This is a great combination of '20s Mystery and '20s NYC history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Interesting read with a twist

    gives a flavor of a different era and lifestyle.Real characters make it an interesting read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    The Sequel Can't Come Fast Enough!

    Dorothy Parker-satirist, poet and one of the greatest wits of the twentieth century-is the feisty heroine of this delightful mystery by J.J. Murphy. If her name is not a readily familiar one, shame on you. One of her most quoted lines is, "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." Got it? Great.
    A writer for Vanity Fair back in the roaring twenties, Parker was one of the founding members of the Vicious Circle, a stellar group of writers including Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and Robert Sherwood, who lunched every day at the famed New York City landmark, the Algonquin Hotel. Their group became nicknamed the 'Round Table', and the table.and the hotel, still exist today. Not only can anyone have lunch there, for a little extra fee you can sit at the actual table these literary luminaries sat at back in the day. Hmm. I wonder if sitting there would mean their talent might rub on an aspiring writer.
    Unfortunately, when Mrs. Parker arrives for lunch on a typical weekday, she finds she's not the first one there. Leland Mayflower, columnist for a rival publication, is under the famed Round Table, quite dead, as evidenced by the sharp object protruding from his chest. When members of the famed Circle are suspected of doing Mayflower in, Mrs. Parker springs into action to unmask the real killer and nearly loses her own life in the process.
    "Murder Your Darlings" is the first in J.J. Murphy's Algonquin Round Table Mystery Series. The second one, "You Might As Well Die", can't come fast enough for me. I loved it!

    Reviewed by Susan Santangelo author of "Retirement can be Murder" for Suspense Magazine

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Great New Series

    Murder Your Darlings by J. J. Murphy

    This is the August 2011 read for my book club - Pikes Peak Bookworms.

    From the back of the book:

    On this particular morning, legendary wit Dorothy parker is not the one under the Manhattan's famed Algonquin Round Table. Someone else is -- and he's not dead drunk, just dead.

    When a charming aspiring writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting the help of tablemates Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Sherwood, and other famous and fabulous literary cohorts.

    With a marvelous Manhattan mystery on their hands, it's up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit -- preferably before cocktail hour -- and before the clever killer turns the tables on them. . .

    What I liked about this book: It's not your typical cozy. Thanks to Dorothy Parker, you get just a hint of snarkiness in this book that you don't find in many cozies. Parker's acerbic wit comes through loud and clear. I like that it's historical fiction and a mystery. It's not easy to work real people into a piece of fiction, but Murphy does an excellent job. I thought characters were rich and well developed. They were not just cardboard cutouts of famous people. Reading this book made we want to do a little research on this famous circle of writers and critics.

    What I didn't like about the book: I found the police detectives very irritating, but that's not something I would hold against the book. I don't think we are supposed to like them. Though I will say that I was surprised that they turned out to be rather smarter than I had imagined in the beginning.

    All around, I found this a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes cozy mysteries with a historical bent. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2011

    A surprisingly entertaining book!!

    "Murder Your Darlings" was a wonderfully surprising read, esp. as I came to find out it was written by a very talented local author. It was filled with great characters, interesting plot, and very witty humor. Definitely an easy read! I would highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read the next in the series as soon as it becomes available.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Great

    Can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    Great read!

    Murder Your Darlings is the debut novel of J. J. Murphy, who exhibits the confidence of a seasoned professional. With a few quick strokes of his pen, Murphy pulls aside the velvet curtain of time and allows the reader a rare glimpse of those who once took lunch around the famous Round Table in the Rose Room of the Algonquin Hotel. Seamlessly weaving his character's own prose into the dialogue, the author leads the reader on an exciting romp through Prohibition era New York as experienced by some of the city's most celebrated sophisticates. A great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    Fantastic book! Highly recommended.

    Note: This review originally appeared in The Season E-Zine's January mystery section. Murder Your Darlings is the first in author J.J. Murphy's new Algonquin Round Table Mystery series. A rollicking good tale that's equal parts Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, and P. G. Wodehouse, Murder Your Darlings captures perfectly the gritty, witty, debaucherous world that was Dorothy Parker's New York - a city full of Automats and aristocrats, speakeasies and bathtub gin, where at any given moment you might find Edna St. Vincent Millay making unwanted advances toward Jack Dempsey or Harpo Marx playing poker with Irving Berlin. In the hands of a lesser author, such high-profile cameos might come off as ridiculous and gratuitous, but Murphy uses them to brilliant effect here; they lend texture and magic to his set pieces, and serve to transform the city from a mere backdrop to a character in its own right. His plot is unique and fun, his dialogue is riotously funny, and his prose is as charming and intelligent as Parker, herself. It takes guts to co-opt a larger-than-life historical figure and turn her into your series heroine, but it's a gamble I'm glad Murphy made. Equal parts intrepid detective, wisecracking journalist, overprotective mother hen, and lonely widow, Murphy somehow manages to humanize the legendary wit without diminishing her; whether she's protecting young Faulkner from both the police and the world she and her friends inhabit or pining after fellow Vicious-Circle-member Robert Benchley, you may empathize with her, but you never lose sight of the fact that Dorothy Parker is a force to be reckoned with. For his part, Robert Benchley makes a perfect sidekick and ill-fated love interest. Fiercely loyal to Dorothy and every bit as snarky, Benchley clearly adores his friend - and indeed, spends nearly every waking moment with her - but it's never clear whether the nature of his feelings mirrors her own, and in the end, much to Dorothy's great dismay, he always goes home to his wife and children. The relationship between the two is tender, yet bittersweet, and makes for incredibly compelling reading. Murphy's mystery is marvelously clever. Full of bootleggers, hitmen, dark alleys, and two-bit thugs, it ends with a twist I never saw coming. (Though I confess, the story was so entertaining that I didn't spend much time trying to work out the identity of the murderer for myself). If the book has one flaw, it's that the final chase scene is a bit unnecessarily complicated (and occasionally borders on farcical), but that's a minor complaint; Murder Your Darlings is a joy to read from cover to cover, and Murphy's finale does little to detract from that. Some would pay a fortune for the chance to spend a few hours in the company of Dorothy Parker and the Vicious Circle; thanks to J.J. Murphy, however, you can now do so for less than the price of a drink at the Algonquin. Get thee to a bookstore, and quickly; Murder Your Darlings is one purchase you won't regret.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    Ebook Available

    Just a quick note that this is available from B&N as an ebook as well--I'm not sure why the page says it's not. Search "Murder Your Darlings" and it will come up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    A fun, witty, fast-paced read

    This book is such a fun read. The characters are well written, and the dialogue is witty and enjoyable! I can't wait for the next one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A vivid taste of the Roaring Twenties in New York City

    It is the 1920s with Prohibition in full swing. Vanity Fair columnist Dorothy Parker, renowned for her wit, lives in the Algonquin Hotel. She is going to the restaurant where she and her fellow writers have their own table dubbed the Round Table. Dorothy notices a pair of legs sticking out from the table and assumes one of the regulars has arrived.

    She finds the corpse of Leland Mayflower, the Knickerbocker News drama critic. At the same time William Faulkner introduces himself to Dorothy; telling her he came from Mississippi to immerse himself in the culture as he hopes to one day write about what he sees and feels. The police look at the young writer as a suspect so Dorothy and her friend Mr. Robert Benchley begin to ask questions. Faulkner saw the person who killed the critic and the cops seek him out as he is a known gun for hire. However someone kills the culprit before the police can interrogate him. Mobster Mick Finn takes the second murder personally as the gun man worked for him; he cannot afford to allow someone to get away with killing one of his men or he will lose face. The killer, the mobster and the police keep their sights on Parker and Benchley with the former wanting to insure they can't identify him and the latter hoping they can.

    This historical mystery is very atmospheric; giving armchair time traveling readers a vivid taste of the Roaring Twenties in New York City. Dorothy is portrayed as a good friend, a tough broad and a highly regarded member of the literary intelligentsia. Celebrities appear in cameo roles, which enhance the realism of Murder Your Darlings so that the grateful audience will appreciate Parker-Benchley, amateur sleuths.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    I am a cozy reader and I thought I would enjoy this.

    I enjoy a good cozy read in mysteries but I just couldn't get into this story. Too many characters and bad conversation writing. I just couldn't get into the story. Overly complicated with characters.

    Pass on this one. I never finished.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    I love Dorothy Parker so I was thrilled when I came across this

    I love Dorothy Parker so I was thrilled when I came across this new series. I have to say, however, this first book took a little effort to get through: I probably picked it up and put it down for about a year and just finished it last evening. (Fear not: the next book is much more reader-friendly!) I enjoyed the wit and the introduction to the figures of the the "Round Table" but this book for some reason just didn't catch my attention as much as I love this era and these figures. However, it was good enough for me to buy the second book in the series. Will be picking up the third book shortly.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    It's an Okay read

    I found this book to be okay. The author tended to go on a bit longer than necessary when it came to the characters circumstances. It does have some witty exchanges between them though which I found funny.

    Not a bad read if you are waiting for an appointment.

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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I liked the book but in my opinion it was longer then necessary.

    I liked the book but in my opinion it was longer then necessary. I did figure out who the murderer was, but even though I did know who I liked the ending. I did like how the author describes the characters and settings. I would recommend reading this book.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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