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English Lessons (Mad Dog & Englishman) Hardcover – July 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Mad Dog & Englishman
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590589157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590589151
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,740,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The book's wry tone doesn't hide the author's contempt for irresponsible leaders and the yahoos who mindlessly follow them. Hayes cares about the English family with their enduring sanity and resilience, and so will readers." —Publishers Weekly

"In this always entertaining series, Hayes never fails to mix action and humor in an engaging manner." —Booklist

"Full of outrageous humor and a plot that will leave even the most jaded readers demanding more, Hayes's latest gives Janet Evanovich a run for the wackiest characters and most bizarre plots in crime fiction."  --Library Journal, starred review of Server Down

"This well-crafted story told with humor will leave readers waiting for further adventures of Mad Dog, Englishman, and the inhabitants of Buffalo Springs."  --Booklist of Mad Dog & Englishman

"This is the best madcap cozy to hit the genre since Joan Hess’ Maggody series debuted more than 15 years ago."  --Booklist, starred review of Plains Crazy

About the Author

J.M. Hayes studied anthropology at Wichita State University and the University of Arizona. Still a Kansas boy at heart, he lives in Tucson with his wife and a small herd of German Shepherds. English Lessons is his seventh novel and sixth Mad Dog & Englishman Mystery.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Despite Sewa Tribal Officer Heather English's disdain for the politics of Arizona's new governor-elect, she isn't pleased to have her Christmas Day shift disturbed by her discovery of his skin nailed to a wall near an abandoned mine on the Sewa reservation. Nor is she happy to find her name printed on an envelope that has been left at the crime scene. The enclosed letter warns of an impending war on a drug lord named Rabiso. At about the same time, a package containing a severed hand is delivered to Heather's uncle, Mad Dog. We soon learn that two drug dealers named Mouse and Cowboy have hired a hit man known only as "the professional" to take out Rabiso. For reasons that eventually become clear, Cowboy's people mistakenly believe that Rabiso and Mad Dog are the same person. The confusion of identity leaves Mad Dog fending off thugs as well as the amorous advances of a beautiful lawyer who has been hired to protect Rabiso. Meanwhile, "the professional" has an agenda of his own.

Given the lighthearted tone of this mix-up, it's clear that J.M. Hayes wrote this novel with his tongue pressed forcefully into his cheek. In fact, Hayes couldn't resist the puns to which an unattached hand lends itself. If that doesn't provide enough humor for one mystery novel, Heather's dad, the sheriff of Benteen County, Kansas, begins Christmas Day by trying to figure out who urinated a message into the snow near a crèche displayed on a resident's lawn, and later confronts an informal militia that tries to occupy the courthouse without missing Christmas dinner.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This series struck a chord with me and I've now read every one of them.
While most people can easily relate to Englishman as the reasonable, sensible, responsiible lawman that he is, Mad Dog introduces another dimension. Perhaps it's because our own slight Maori ancestry has always been such an important part of our lives that I can see a bit of myself in him. Perhaps it's his unashamed confidence in the mystical. Whatever. They're darned good stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The English family just keep falling into it. Number 6 in the series and just as fresh as the beginning. The family interaction and character development continue to pique interest. As Hayes brings back characters from the previous stories, this one leaves you wondering what's ahead for them. I'll be looking forward to the next installment.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader in Washington on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I reviewed SERVER DOWN, the fifth book in J.M. Hayes' Mad Dog and Englishman series, I wondered whether this terrific series was in transition from Benteen County, Kansas to Tucson, Arizona. "Whatever the answer," I wrote, "I think this is one series that will not stagnate."

I think I was right on the first count, and I know I was right on the second. A stagnant Hayes book would be an oxymoron.
MDE Book Six, ENGLISH LESSONS, takes off at 100mph and accelerates from there.
Heather English, the daughter of the Benteen County Sheriff, was a teenager in the first book of the series, but now she's all grown up, living in Tucson, and a member of the local tribal police force. Her lack of seniority lands her Christmas-day duty, so it's she who finds the skin of Arizona's governor-elect tacked up on a wall out of town. As Heather starts trying to sort out this shocker, her uncle, Mad Dog, the sheriff's brother, who has also relocated to Tucson, receives a Christmas package, which turns out to be a human hand.

Meanwhile, back in Benteen County, Sheriff English is called by Don Crabtree, one of his constituents, to investigate an outrage: someone wrote his opinion of Crabtree's front-yard creche in yellow snow in front of the display. Crabtree is sure the culprits were the two Conrad boys who live across the street, and he's ready to serve up justice at gunpoint. The sheriff promises to investigate, but as a precaution, takes away Crabtree's home arsenal.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
On Christmas day on the Sewa Reservation in Arizona, Tribal Police Officer Heather English patrols a remote area when she finds the skin of State governor-elect Joe Hyde nailed to a wooden wall. Attached to the cured corpse is a note stating she and her family will be executed implying that the gruesome murder is related to a drug war involving her half-Cheyenne uncle, Mad Dog; someone sends the shaman a holiday gift of a human hand.

At the same time in Benteen, Kansas, her dad Sheriff English breaks up a melee caused by fender benders in a church parking lot. A right wing militia becomes irate with his interference. Someone vandalizes the town's largest holiday yard display. The owner plans to kill those he holds culpable. His family gives his guns to Sheriff English to keep him out of trouble. However, the locals are upset with English for violating the Second Amendment.

The latest Mad Dog & Englishman mystery (see Server Down) is a powerful tale as the English family struggles with illogic and insanity in two states. The story line is takes no prisoners as J.M. Hayes skewers those in charge who pretend to take the moral high ground with no accountability or responsibility for their actions or words including Second Amendment support to sell guns to drug cartels on the border; the author further condemns lemmings who rejoice in the sound bites. All this biting satire is inside a strong suspense thriller as the law enforcement family learns their English Lessons.

Harriet Klausner
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