Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

This Doesn't Happen in the Movies

This Doesn't Happen in the Movies

3.7 82
by Renee Pawlish
*5 Star Review*
I hope you revel in the vicarious thrills as much as I did. The plot works on all levels, the supporting cast is great, and Pawlish reveals key elements of Reeds character with light brush strokes and a master's touch.
RJ McDonnell, author of The Rock & Roll mysteries

*5 Star Review*
I'd recommend this to people that like mysteries. I'd


*5 Star Review*
I hope you revel in the vicarious thrills as much as I did. The plot works on all levels, the supporting cast is great, and Pawlish reveals key elements of Reeds character with light brush strokes and a master's touch.
RJ McDonnell, author of The Rock & Roll mysteries

*5 Star Review*
I'd recommend this to people that like mysteries. I'd recommend this to person that likes a good book. I'd recommend this to anyone who just wants to enjoy some quality time with quality material. But if you have a pressing engagement (like finishing writing your own book) - stay away until AFTER you finish, because once you start, you won't be able to put this down.
John DeJordy, author

This Doesn't Happen in the Movies isn't a typical mystery/detective story and that makes it rather refreshing...I laughed, I cringed and I enjoyed this fast-paced mystery. I look forward to reading more about Reed Ferguson's shenanigans in the future.
The Book Diva

A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction.
A rich, attractive femme fatale.
A missing husband.
A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending.

More Great Reviews

Oh how I've missed the Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe characters that saw me with a flashlight in the dead of night flipping pages to see what happened next. Thank you Ms. Pawlish for bringing back to life this long-lost art of the detective battling against all odds and getting to the bottom of things.
Maureen with zencherry book reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Reed Ferguson is new at his profession, he is quirky and he is a believable "character", in every sense of the word. This story is well written and laugh-out-loud good. I couldn't put it down and I definitely cannot wait for the next Reed Ferguson adventure.
Soul Searching

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The promising kickoff to Pawlish's comic mystery series, starring far-from-perfect PI Reed Ferguson. The story starts on a somewhat rough note, with the oft-parodied moment in any noir detective story when a beautiful woman walks into the office and tells a suspicious story about why she needs help--she thinks her husband's dead and wants to find him. From the beginning, Pawlish works hard to establish the comic tone in Ferguson's first-person voice, which, in addition to the disingenuous ingénue, Amanda Ghering, keeps the opening scene from becoming too familiar. Fortunately, Pawlish's light touch for comedy doesn't get in the way of the mystery. It turns out that Ferguson, a trust-fund kid trying to establish his independence, has never worked a case. He's a big fan of noir films, though, and references them constantly. Pawlish relies on those references too much at first, but once the story gets rolling and Ferguson is fleshed out, they become a natural part of his thought process, illustrating his novice status in an entertaining way. Pawlish also earns high marks for plot construction, with twists and turns naturally unfolding as Ferguson, inexperienced but not incapable, feels his way through the case. There's one notable exception in the climax, however, when a character suddenly appears out of the blue, though it doesn't sink the story. Pawlish has a good eye for the smaller details, and she's built a fantastic cast of supporting characters--including Ferguson's goofy neighbors and especially his computer expert friend Cal--that'll give readers something to look forward to in future installments of the series. In a nifty bit of worldbuilding, the characters, who never feel tacked on, each help reveal some aspect of Ferguson's personality while filling out the story. Even the regular phone calls from his mother don't interrupt the story's flow. A promising start to a good-humored mystery series worth following.

Product Details

Renee Pawlish
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Renée Pawlish was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Colorado. When she's not hiking, cycling, or chasing ballplayers for autographs, she is writing mysteries and thrillers.

Renée loves to travel and has visited numerous countries around the world. She has also spent many summer days at her parents' cabin in the hills outside of Boulder, which was the inspiration for the setting of Taylor Crossing in her novel Nephilim: Genesis of Evil.

To learn more you can follow her on Twitter:

on Facebook:

on her blog:

or Goodreads:

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

This Doesn't Happen in the Movies 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
kmusings More than 1 year ago
What a great story! Renee captures the feeling of the old film noire detective films and brings it in to the modern world. Reed is charming and witty and has a sense of decency, just like Bogie in The Big Sleep, Reed's favorite movie. The book is filled with all the right characters: Reed, the gumshoe detective; Amanda, the rich femme fatale; Cal, Reed's go to right hand man; the Goofball Brothers, just a couple of guys without a clue but willing to do anything; and then the villains - the X Women. I love how Reed starts out excited he has a real case only to quickly realize it might be something just out of his expertise. He is determined to se it through to the end. The plot takes several twists and quickly escalates to a great conclusion. The characters are well developed and fully believable. Amanda first appears as the weak rich wife looking for her missing husband. We soon see her as a bored, rich housewife who was tired of her husband cheating on her - and now he's missing. Cal is a great right hand man. He has all the techno gadgets to hack in to any system. He is a recluse who borders on agoraphobic. And then there are the Goofball Brothers, three brothers who live downstairs - two of which aren't quite the brightest bulbs in the bunch. You have drama, suspense and comedy mixed in to one great story. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A "cozy noir" if such a thing exists. The PI, the femme fatale, the sidekicks (one genius, three average, two idiots), local Denver color, not-bad plot. Enjoyed it, will read more.
CIDSMOM More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot its got a good mystery many good twists and turns. Ms. Pawlish has a great since of humor too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twisty like most of the best Noir films. Our hero is a huge fan of Bogart films and assumes when he starts his detective agency in Denver that life will imitate art. Needless to say, he gets quite a few surprises along the way. His companions include a set of knuckle-headed brothers who live downstairs, a reclusive computer genius and a beautiful nurse for his unrequited (for the moment) love interest. Of course, as any good Chandler-esque detective will, he has to get thumped on the head a few times, be threatened by the bad guys and encounter a gorgeous dame. Here's looking for the next one, kid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept my interest and I enjoyed the references to old movies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seemed to drag a bit at first and some in the middle was redundent. No sex scenes that was refreshing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting and fun to read. Characters were enjoyable and it kept my interest. I would read more from this author.
pedigreedmutt More than 1 year ago
good read , fun. quick to read. great for summer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story line was okay, sometimes it held my attention & other times it was too much detail. It will hard for me to recommend because of some of the inappropriate words. Get rid of the trashy language.
ybdude1936 More than 1 year ago
Written tongue in cheek like a 40s noir detective story. A Raymond Chandler type except it is funny. The 'detective' begins by telling us he doesn't have a PI's permit and his only real background is what he has seen in the movies. Then the girl walks into his office and tells him to find her husband who she is positive is dead because he didn't come home after a business trip. After this all sorts of odd things happen as this 'detective' is feeling his way along and seemingly asks WWHD(What would Humphrey{Bogart}do)? I enjoyed this book greatly. A great piece of literature---noooooo. Enjoyable---yes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good mystery. No porn. Recommend it.
Queen100 More than 1 year ago
Loved the story line and characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amusing. Not too many twists and turns like the Philip Marlow story it wants to be,but worth a read.
otterly More than 1 year ago
Reed Ferguson is a young man who needs an occupation. A fan of film noir, he decides to become a private detective, and at once takes on the case of Amanda Gehring, who has decided that she doesn't want her husband, Peter, bumped off after all. It turns out that there is a network of women who carry out such assignments. Can Reed stop them in time? Persons who like action books should enjoy this. I might check out another book by this author. It MIGHT be suitable for book groups.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
A great combination: humor, danger, film noir references, quirky characters, an odd enemy, and a fun main character. The main character's insight from a Bogart movie is marvelous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1Pickyreader More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be a fun and fast read. The character development and story were well written.
ronnies4 More than 1 year ago
Just a nice little mystery. I will look for more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked it. Good characters, good story. Kept my interest throughout but left me with a question. Just who were those guys that left Reed on the outskirts of town? Looking forward to reading the next one! 3.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm enjoying this author immensely. I will definitely be getting all her books. Great read,suspense!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clever plotting, likeable characters, very good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An entertaining read with a fun plot. It's well written and well edited. Reminds me of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I would read more books in this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable mystery with a likable new detective. Mossing a few pages toward the end, but not during the main story.