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Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders: A Mystery Featuring Groucho Marx Hardcover – July 13, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (July 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312265980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312265984
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A mystery series featuring Groucho Marx may seem farfetched, but Goulart makes the unlikely premise work. This time Groucho and his crime-solving partner, Frank Denby, journey from their Hollywood homes to New York City, where Groucho is set to perform in The Mikado at the World's Fair. On board the Super Chief train, Groucho and Frank run into many Hollywood types, including producer Daniel Manheim with his latest discovery, Dian Bowers. When Groucho scares an intruder out of Manheim's room, foul play is obvious, but can he and Frank figure out who wanted to harm the producer, and why? Once in New York, events take a nasty turn as a real body appears in place of a dummy on a Broadway stage. Between wisecracks and endless renditions of "Lydia the Tattooed Lady," Groucho tries to find the killer. Goulart captures Groucho's manic humor perfectly and, remarkably, makes us believe in him as a sleuth. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Ron Goulart, twice nominated for an Edgar Award, has published a number of mysteries and several nonfiction books dealing with the world of the comic strip. He lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut and is currently at work on the fifth book in the series.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Harvey on May 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one that will appeal to Groucho-philes rather than hard core mystery mavens as the actual mystery is not so much thin as anorexic but the good nature and sparkling pace of the writing , complete with authentic sounding Grouch-isms ,will keep most readers turning the page with a smile on their face
The title initially seems misleading as the book is well over half finished before the noted comedian and amateur sleuth actually gets to the Great White Way.The novel opens in Hollywood whwre Groucho and his writer sidekick Frank Denby resist the blandishments of a local mobster to find out who killed another gangland figure the womanising Nick Sanantonio but they soon find themselves involved in a mystery to which the latr mobster holds the key.
They are on a cross country train trip to New York , Groucho to star as The Lord High Executioner in a aproduction of The Mikado ,and Denby accompanying his wife to negotiate for her popular strip cartoon to be made into a readio show .Also on board is a caddish movie producer Mnnheim ,his newest discovery Dian Bowers who is about to open in his new picture (Saint Joan) an up and coming British actress and a young dancer ,Len Cowan whose sister killed herself having been deceived by Mannheim .
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Format: Hardcover
Actually, there is only one murder on Broadway in "Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders," the fourth mystery novel by Ron Goulart featuring Julius Marx, better known as Groucho. The time is 1939, at which point Groucho no longer looked like the caricature that graces the cover of this novel, and once again Groucho and his writer Frank Denby becoming involved in what proves to be a string of murders. In between the first murder in Hollywood and several in Manhattan, there is a cross-country train ride as Frank accompanies his lovely and talented cartoonist wife, Jane, to New York. Groucho comes along for the ride and the fun begins.
As a murder mystery there is really nothing hereof substance; I pretty much figured out whodunit early on, but in the end that does not matter because these novels are about style rather than substance. The chief joy in reading Goulart's mysteries is that Groucho Marx runs around cracking wise. Yes, we have seen most of this before: Groucho is still complaining about the latest Marx Brothers film being a disaster (this time around it is "At the Circus"), nobody wants to hear him sing ("Lydia the Tattooed Lady" and songs from "The Mikado"), and people keep making the mistake of asking Groucho for his autograph so he can have big time fun with them (my personal favorite). Jane is the only one Groucho is nice to and that is because she is the smartest one in the book (I sure would like to read that "Hollywood Molly" script). There seem to be less famous names from the past running around this time around although it is nice to see Conrad Nagel finally catch a break. "Groucho Marx and the Broadway Murders" is a fun read with the mystery elements just an excuse for Groucho to run circles around all sorts of people and I think Goulart's channeling of Groucho is an above average effort this time around. What can I say? Obviously I am a devout Marxist.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great read! These books don't run together, they can stand alone or as a series. I like to read them in sequence.
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By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I enjoy this series there continues to be one part of each book which I find to be a stinker. Every time they bring Frank Denby's wife into the story I roll my eyes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In 1939 his film career may be tanking (wait till the debut of At the Circus), but Groucho Marx and his friend, writer Frank Denby, have solved murder mysteries. Because of his reputation as an amateur sleuth extraodinaire, Mobster Vince Salermo wants Groucho and Frank to investigate the gangland-like murder of Nick Santantorio. Groucho and Frank politely say no because they are both heading to Manhattan for different reasons. Frank accompanies his wife, June Danner, the cartoonist of the popular Hollywood Molly strip, to discuss a possible radio rendition of her cartoon. Groucho heads to Broadway to perform in the Mikado.

Also on the train heading east is movie mogul Daniel Markham and his new star Dian Bowers, performing in Saint Joan. Someone tries to kill Markham and only the fortunate insomnia of Groucho saves his life. However, Markham tells Groucho and Frank to mind their business, which the two nonprofessional detectives agree to do. However, at the debut of a Broadway play starring Dian's estranged husband, someone kills Markham. The police lean towards Dian's spouse and only Frank and Groucho, with a little help from Jane, try to prove otherwise.

GROUCHO MARX AND THE BROADWAY MURDERS is a humorous and irritating historical mystery. The story line is engaging, but the non-stop wisecracking from Groucho and imitated by Frank can become an irritant. Still, readers get a feel for the era on both Broadway and Hollywood while observing an entertaining who-done-it.

Harriet Klausner
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