Title: Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table Mystery #1)
Author: J.J. Murphy
Publication Date: January, 2011
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Description: I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
After four I'm under my host.
- Dorothy Parker
On this particular morning, legendary wit Dorothy Parker is not the one under 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...
My Thoughts: 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.
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