You Might As Well Die: An Algonquin Round Table Mystery

( 8 )

Overview

When second-rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin's artistic works triple in value following his apparent suicide off the Brooklyn Bridge, Dorothy Parker smells something fishy. Enlisting the help of magician and skeptic Harry Houdini, she goes to a séance held by MacGuffin's mistress, where Ernie's ghostly voice seems hauntingly real...

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You Might As Well Die: An Algonquin Round Table Mystery

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Overview

When second-rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin's artistic works triple in value following his apparent suicide off the Brooklyn Bridge, Dorothy Parker smells something fishy. Enlisting the help of magician and skeptic Harry Houdini, she goes to a séance held by MacGuffin's mistress, where Ernie's ghostly voice seems hauntingly real...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451235329
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/6/2011
  • Series: Algonquin Round Table Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 674,737
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2011

    You Might As Well Laugh

    J.J. Murphy¿s second mystery, You Might As Well Die, starring Dorothy Parker, is a zany, screwball comedy delight set in New York in the 1920¿s. People die (well, that¿s debatable but I¿ll say no more), but you will never feel sad. The witty jokes and cynical appraisals of life¿s foibles fly as fast as you can read.

    Along with the hilarious members of the Algonquin Round Table we met in Murphy¿s first book, Murder Your Darlings, including Dorothy¿s closest friend Robert Benchley, the characters in this book include (and ¿characters¿ is the right word) Harry Houdini the famous escape artist. We also meet a very bad artist named Ernie MacGuffin, whose dreadful art gets a sudden rise in value when he jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, and another dubious ¿artiste,¿ strip tease dancer Viola Sweet, who claims to be channeling the dead Ernie as a clairvoyant. Harry Houdini and Alexander Woollcott croquet through it all¿yes, their wild game of croquet uses all of greater New York as their playing field. Dorothy does solve a murder or two and manages to make enough money in the process to pay off her debt to Tony Soma and regain access to her favorite speakeasy. But I won¿t tell you how she earns that money¿that would give too much away and you¿ll want to enjoy all the fun. If life has been getting too dreary lately, pick up You Might As Well Die because you might as well laugh.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved everything about this book!!

    I love everything about this story, the setting, the characters, the mysteries. Traveling back in time with real people, to real places, with fictional drama is so much fun. Dorothy Parker was quite a woman. She led quite a life. She was a book reviewer herself.

    Miss Parker laced her wit with heady truth as a book reviewer, first for The New Yorker as Constant Reader and then for Esquire as book review editor for many years. "Her notices were written with a chatty trenchancy, as though she were talking informally to the reader; but she could (and did) impale authors who displeased her, either by synopsizing a pompous plot in all its ludicrousness or by pulverizing the book with a phrase."*

    I don't think J.J. Murphy would "displease" her at all, but she would probably wonder why anyone would write stories featuring the people at "The Round Table".

    "These were no giants. Think of who was writing in those days - Lardner, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. Those were the real giants. The Round Table was just a lot of people telling jokes and telling each other how good they were."*

    I am sure my reviews wouldn't pass muster with her though because with her great wit she was a master.

    I am glad J.J. Murphy has chosen to write these captivating mysteries with these feisty characters. There is definitely plenty of material in their histories to make me hope there will be many, many more installments to this series. Be sure to vote for the next special guest that will appear in Book 4 of the series. Arthur Conan Doyle will be the special guest in the third book in the series, A FRIENDLY GAME OF MURDER (2012). I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan so that one is definitely on my "Can't Wait To Read" list.

    I highly recommend You Might As Well Die!

    * excerpts from the New York Obituary of Dorothy Parker (1967)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    Too precious by far

    I never finished it, after several tries.
    I was interested in the personalities portrayed, but not at all in the way it was written.
    Sometimes writers are too clever for their own good. It may have made an interesting period piece for some, but not for me. And I ALWAYS finish books that I start. It was that bad!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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