Friday, November 19, 2010

"Make Out With Murder" by Lawrence Block

I recently read Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop, a collection of holiday-related short stories, and in the process, discovered a new series by one of my favorite mystery authors, Lawrence Block.  New to me, that is - they were originally published in the 1970's.  Dave and I have been fans of Block's Bernie Rhodanbarr series and his Keller novels for quite some time, but I didn't even know Chip Harrison existed until he made an appearance in As Dark As Christmas Gets.  You will recall from my review, which I'm sure you read, that in his last two adventures, Chip worked for Leo Haig.  Leo is a Nero Wolfe fanatic who believes the rotund slueth actually exists and angles to be just like him.  Since I am also a Nero Wolfe addict, I ordered one of the Chip series, Make Out With Murder, to see what I was missing.

Currently employed as a man-about-town for a demanding New York City detective, Chip must solve the suspicious, untimely deaths of three sisters--one of whom stole his heart. Now he must cozy up to the remaining two, as he investigates some nefarious relatives with money and murder on their minds!

I don't think Chip will be replacing Bernie Rhodenbarr as my favorite Lawrence Block character but, like Bernie, he solves mysteries with a touch of wit.  The parody of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin is catnip to Rex Stout fans.  There are only four books in this series and only the last two contain the Wolfe angle.  I ordered this book through the Interlibrary Loan system, and I'm not sure I will bother to order the others, but if you run across Make Out With Murder, it's a fun diverson.

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