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 , 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 Harpo Marx 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. 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 S Ance Held By MacGuffin S Mistress, Where Ernie S Ghostly Voice Seems Hauntingly Real Oh dear, Mrs Parker You and Mr Benchley are at it again No, not that The Algonquin Round Table gang is up to their necks in another mysterious death But this death is one that involves noted wit and writer Dorothy Parker before it even happens Second rate artist and illustrator Ernie MacGuffin slips Dorothy Parker an envelope during one of the famed Round Table lunches at New York s Algonquin Hotel Shortly after giving Mrs Parker the envelope, he jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge and is presumed dead And the sharp tongued Mrs Parker discovers that the envelope from Ernie contains his suicide note.Ernie s mediocre artwork skyrockets in value as a result of his supposed suicide, and Mrs Parker s best pal, and fellow member of the Round Table, Robert Benchley, is assigned to write a story about the late artist for the fledgling New Yorker Magazine And the pay is just enough to pay off the bar bill he and Mrs Parker have run up at a local speakeasy.Something doesn t seem right to Mrs Parker about this whole business, so she enlists the help of magician and skeptic Harry Houdini yes, that Harry Houdini to accompany her to a s ance being held by a clairvoyant who supposedly channels Ernie from the great beyond Ernie s voice sounds surprisingly, well, life like Hmm Is he dead Or not Leave it to Mrs Parker to get the real story, with the help of her Round Table buddies and other legendary celebrities like Harpo Marx and Alexander Woollcott who criss cross Manhattan in a madcap croquet game that never ends And Harpo talks You Might as Well Die is a great read I can t wait to see what mischief J.J Murphy has planned for book three in this series Reviewed by Susan Santangelo, author of Moving Can Be Murder for Suspense Magazine I enjoyed this second in the Algonquin Round Table series.All the elements from the first that I loved the members of the vicious circle, lots of Keystone cops ish sleuthing, snappy repartee, and murder and mayhem are in this book too.The addition of Harry Houdini adds some extra fun and flash to this one, which has the gang investigating the apparent suicide of a sometime member of the round table group As always there s much to it, and all kinds of confusion and behind the curtain shenanigans going on.The one thing that was missing for me in the outing was conversation with rapiers among the members of the round table Because the gang were all spread out doing different things at different times in the various sleuthing activities, they weren t together quite as much as in the first book But that s a minor quibble.I loved Wollcott and Harpo Marx with their kamakazie croquet games in the weirdest possible places in New York It was a hilarious sideline feature and it made me laugh out loud.Dorothy Parker is mostly her usual pithy self, although some of the angst between her and Benchley in this one I could have taken or left I understand why it s in there, and it makes perfect sense that it is, it just doesn t interest me I love Parker as a thoroughly modern 20 s woman and I like her best when she is being her smart, sarcastic independent self.Overall, a very enjoyable second book in the series I will definitely read the others I love these characters and the author has perfectly captured both the sense of these real life people within his fictional circumstances He completely does the characters justice He also provides a fun peek at the time period you can almost smell the gin These are fun reads Recommended Dorothy Parker is confronted at the Algonquin by painter Ernie MacGuffin It appears he wants to entrust an envelope to Dorothy with the request she not read it until midnight Now that request was mysterious in itself but that it was the follow up to a short discussion on suicide made Dorothy all the anxious.Robert Benchley by her side Dorothy opens the envelope a few minutes ahead of schedule and finds it to be what she feareda suicide note While all this is going on Tony Soma , manager at their favorite speakeasy, confronts them with their unpaid bill They take in the amount they ve accrued and try stalling tactics that just don t make it That s when Mrs Soma and Tony Jr begin a madcap chase after our duo Dorothy and Robert make a dash to the Brooklyn Bridge in an effort to stop Ernie from jumping Their worst fears are realized when they find one of Ernie s paintings leaning on the railings just above the water This story was non stop with a smooth weaving between Dorothy s adventure and Robert s The excitement never seemed to let up and then Harry Houdini enters the picture The characters were than colorful and zany doesn t measure up to this standard of comedy Each character is detailed as well as their part in this mystery The seance with Dorothy and Harry in attendance, with Harry in disguise as he tries to reveal the work of frauds Reading this series proves to be a than pleasurable experience It s exciting and it s FUN Enjoy This wonderfully amusing book is a great sequel to Murder Your Darlings The wisecracking Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and the other members of the Algonquin Roundtable get to work solving another mystery with the help of famous contemporaries, Harry Houdini and Harpo Marx Ernie MacGuffin, an annoying second rate artist who hung on the fringes of the Round Table Group slips Ms Parker a suicide note, instructing her not to read it until after midnight Hours later he apparently leaps to his death from the Brooklyn Bridge As a result, his artwork triples in value and Dorothy experiences pangs of guilt for not preventing the suicide Something smells fishy, however, and Dorothy and friends investigate, encountering a cast of zany characters along the way.Like Murphy s first book, this one was a pleasure to read, providing humor, mystery and a vivid taste of New York City during the Roaring Twenties. This is the second in the Algonquin Roundtable Mystery series featuring poet Dorothy Parker and writer Robert Benchley Second rate illustrator Ernie MacGuffin slips a suicide note in Dorothy s purse that leads the amateur sleuth to the scene of his death on the Brooklyn Bridge Dorothy is full of remorse that she didn t arrive in time to prevent his death Along with Benchley, Dorothy agrees to write an article about the deceased for the fledgling New Yorker magazine When Dorothy begins to doubt that Ernie is dead, hijinks ensue, Dorothy enlists the help of Houdini, and all are pursued by gangster Micky Finn Suspend your disbelief and enjoy the chase. I enjoyed it as much as the first Another great read by J.J Murphy The story was very interesting Looking forward to the next book. A delightful mystery set in the 1920 s This is definitely a book to check out if you are a cozy mystery fan and looking for something different from the norm.
When not writing the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, J.J Murphy is an award winning health care writer and very busy parent of twin daughters in suburban Philadelphia.
- Kindle Edition
- 324 pages
- You Might as Well Die (Algonquin Round Table #2)
- J.J. Murphy
- 18 July 2018 J.J. Murphy