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A Country of Old Men: The Last Dave Brandstetter Mystery Hardcover – May 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1st edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670838268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670838264
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,134,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hansen concludes his long-running Dave Brandstetter series with a well-worked, compact scenario that begins with an abused child's eyewitness account of murder and kidnap. Despite his retirement and a noticeable sense of fatigue, Dave immerses himself in events surrounding the crucial item in the little boy's story: the shooting death of one Cricket Shales, a failed and recently paroled guitarist. While aiding the police with a lengthy list of suspects, Dave still listens to several old friends worried about publication of some high school memoirs. Skilled characterization, humane concerns, and a surprise or two commend this title to Brandstetter fans, but the book stands equally well on its own.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Drew Brainiard on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Nearly all his friends dead or put to pasture, lured out of retirement for one last case, gay PI Dave Brandstetter decides to investigate the unlikely tale of a little boy who claims he witnessed a murder and was then kidnapped and beaten by a mysterious woman named 'Rachel.' Sure enough, there does turn out to be a dead man: Cricket Shales, a first-rate guitarist but less than efficient drug dealer. Pursuing this case against the wishes of his lover Cecil, an ailing Dave is dragged into the underbelly of the music industry, and the grim world of street drugs. As one would expect from Hansen, this is a sharply written, effective and clever detective story. I do think good old Dave deserves a more imaginative fate--in fact, I'd have liked to see Hansen start the book with the last few pages of story, and flash us back to Dave's first ever case in post-Chandler Los Angeles. Then we could start the adventures of Dave all over again! Okay, I admit this is the long goodbye I'd have been happy to postpone permanently.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By spiderorchid on April 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nobody likes to see the last book in a series of books as great a Hansen's "Brandstetter"-series. It's sad. Especially because of the fact that Dave really is a well constructed character that one grows to like over the years.

But everything has to end someday and I think Hansen did a pretty good job. It's not the ending one would suspect. It's logical and convincing. And it's part of a very good detective-novel. The story is one of the best in the series and Hansen even takes the time to wrap up some loose ends that have been around for ages through the books.

And if you like, you can read the ending as kind of an open end...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James L. Thane on November 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the twelfth and final entry in Joseph Hansen's excellent series featuring insurance investigator, Dave Brandstetter. Published over a period of twenty-one years, from Fadeout in 1970, to this book in 1991, the series was witty and very well-written, with cleverly-plotted stories and well-drawn characters. Set in southern California, the books also captured perfectly the geography and the social and economic currents of the place and time.

What really set these books apart was the fact that Hansen created in Dave Brandstetter the first openly gay P.I. to inhabit a series like this, and neither Hansen, not his protagonist ever made a big deal out of it. Dave's sexual orientation was made clear from the opening pages of the first book, and it was simply a fact of life, just like the sexual orientation of any other detective. Dave had a love life and was active sexually throughout the series, but it never seemed intrusive or in any way out of the ordinary. In fact, Dave's romantic attachements were much more believable than those of many of his heterosexual fictional contemporaries.

As the series opened, Dave was already a middle-aged man and by the first pages of this one, he is nearing seventy. Many of the friends who populated the series with him are gone now; the others are all retired. Dave himself is not well; he tires easily and aches all over. His long-time lover, Cecil, begs him to see a doctor, but Dave dismisses the idea and claims he hasn't the time.

The story opens when a friend calls Dave in a panic. A young boy has apparently witnessed a murder and was then kidnapped by the woman he saw standing over the body.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Barhydt on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poorly formatted as an ebook. Mystery was not as compelling as some of his earlier ones. You didn't really care too much why who did what.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lazza on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
'A Country of Old Men' is the final installment of David Brandstetter, insurance investigator, solving crime among the loonies in Los Angeles circa 1990. Brandstetter is old and tired, as is this book. They mystery concerns a murder partially witnessed by a young boy. Brandstetter makes the police look like chumps, and the guy is even cool enough to have a hot television reporter boyfriend. The mystery doesn't amount to much, the dialogue is bland, and the surprise ending disappoints. Hansen has done much better than this.

Bottom line: not recommended, even if your are a fan of the author.
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