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Live Bait Hardcover – May 3, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399151478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399151477
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The mother-daughter mystery writing team known as P.J. Tracy produces another winner with this follow-up to 2003's lively Monkeewrench. After several homicide-free months in their hometown of St. Paul, wisecracking police detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth are back in action when elderlyâ€"and much belovedâ€"gardener Morey Gilbert is found face up near his greenhouse with a bullet hole in his head. At first, the prime murder suspects are family members: Gilbert's estranged son, Jack, a slick personal injury lawyer, and Gilbert's dry-eyed widow, Lily, who discovered the corpseâ€"and moved it before the police arrived. When three more slayings follow, Magozzi and Rolseth discern disturbing common threads: each of the victims is over 80 andâ€"except for Arlen Fisher, shot in the arm and dragged onto the train tracks to face his doomâ€"Jewish survivors of Nazi concentration camps. Critical clues, including a gun traced to murders around the globe, surface as straitlaced detectives Aaron Langer and Johnny McLaren join the more offbeat Magozzi and Rolseth on the case. Tracy serves up punchy prose and quirky characters, from a sartorially challenged police chief to a plump, shrewd crime tech named Grimm. Romance for bachelor Magozzi arrives in the form of Grace MacBride, a comely computer whiz whose sophisticated software program, FLEE, has helped crack countless cases. The courtship moves slowly despite undeniable sparks; MacBride is still haunted by Monkeewrenchâ€"the deadly case that first brought the two together and continues to hover like a cloud of doom. With her stash of high-tech research tools, including special face recognition software, MacBride delivers revelations about both victims and perpetrator, leading Magozzi and Rolseth toward the case's spine-chilling resolution. With generous doses of humor and suspense, this sharp, satisfying thriller will rivet readers from the start.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Forget Florida. Lose L.A. It's Minnesota that's heating up contemporary mysteries. Think William Kent Krueger and John Sandford, both of whom move their novels easily between the Twin Cities and the wild country to the north.

Two more Minnesota crime writers, each with their second novels coming out, prove the cold front is no fluke. In Live Bait, the mother-daughter writing team that goes by the name P. J. Tracy concocts a police procedural that can be cherished for its dead-on cop humor and cop banter, as much as for the intricate plot. "Homicide is dead," laments a Minneapolis homicide detective: no bodies on the ground for months, only cold cases to keep the homicide guys busy. And then, a boon for Minneapolis detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth--two possible murders in one spring day. Both of the deceased are in their 80s; both live near each other. The cases are satisfyingly tricky. In the first, there is no crime scene, since the nongrieving widow dragged her husband from the outdoors into a greenhouse. In the second, there is a scene but no body--until one turns up tied to the railroad tracks. If a police procedural can be both disturbing and fun-filled, this is it. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I look forward to the next book in this series.
donna m lewis
The Tracy's have a wonderful voice with interesting characters.
L. J. Roberts
The ending to the mystery is a little too predictable.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Colleen McMahon VINE VOICE on July 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After leaving Tracy's debut novel, Monkeewrench, sitting in my to-be-read pile for over a year (accumulating the next two books in the series in the meantime, before I've read any of them), I finally picked it up and read it last week. I loved it so much that I moved on to the next two books in the series as soon as I finished the first!

Live Bait opens with a mystery as intriguing as the serial killer in Monkeewrench. This time the bodies belong to elderly people in Minneapolis, living quiet lives and as far as anyone can tell, well-loved by those around them. The one thing they have in common is that they are Jewish concentration camp survivors. All have been shot. There's also the odd murder in the mix--an equally elderly man who was not a camp survivor, killed not by gunfire but by being tied to a railroad track with wire and essentially frightened into a heart attack by the train bearing down on him.

The detective team of Magozzi and Rolseth take the center stage in this book, and we also get to know the rest of their squad a little better as the story unfolds. The Monkeewrench gang of programmers reappears but aren't as prominent in this story as the first, but their appearances in the plot are always memorable. Magozzi and Rolseth are both achingly human as they struggle with their own changing emotions toward the victims and their suspects, including the victims' seemingly blameless family members. As the plot moves along rapidly more and more secrets are revealed. I again enjoyed the "double twist"--more of a triple twist--in the final revelations in the story--I could partially anticipate "who dunnit" but not completely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen Kirsch on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While I would have liked to see the original gang of four from
Monkeewrench more prominantly involved, this book held my interest. Two deaths of elderly people, one gruesome and one seemingly normal, have Magozzi and Rolseth perplexed. When Grace
McBride uses the Monkeewrench computer program, a pattern begins to form...the Holocaust. The premise is quite unbelievable, but I have to admit to shedding a few tears by the end. I'm looking forward to something a bit better from mother/daughter on their next jaunt. More computer geekishness please. However, I do enjoy the Magozzi/McBride relationship.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I began this book without having read the first one, "Monkeewrench." There were times when explanations hinted at previous events, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the action in this one. The dialogue between the cops was so entertaining! Was it real? I haven't a clue because I've never met a real homicide cop. Does it matter? Not a bit; this is fiction, after all! Having lived through WWII, I found the subject matter still pertinent, still interesting, still emotionally touching. The authors wrote of believable people to me, each a blend of some good, some bad -- sadly real. And as in life, you're torn between hating people's actions and weeping for the people themselves. Other reviewers have given specific criticisms, both thoughtful and valid; and I don't disagree. This is not a darkly deep book. But I recommend it to anyone who enjoys sharp, entertaining dialogue; clever plotting; smart, interesting police procedures; and flawed people who are still appealing (some of whom I've met as neighbors!) and human. Kudos to the authors.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although this is a sequel to the two authors' novel Monkeewrench, Live Bait could easily be read as a stand alone novel. Monkeewrench is also a great book though, and the outcome and some key events of that novel are given away in Live Bait so I would highly recommend reading Monkeewrench first because once you've read this book you'll want to check out the authors' previous work and you'll enjoy Monkeewrench so much more without knowing the outcome.

In Livebait, Minneaolis homicide detectives Magozzi and Rolseth have their boredom relived by a serial killer who is murdering the elderly night after night. These sweet old people seem to have no enemies and are loved by the community, either have a cat, love baking for the grandkids, gardening or other typical retired generation activities. Most of these victims also have survived concentration camps in World War II Germany meaning the killer seems to have no heart at all. Minneapolis police want this murderer bad and enlist the help of grace MacBride and her Monkeewrench computer invention to find a motive and help catch the killer.

This novel is extremely well written and full of great plot developments. I liked Monkeewrench, but this novel is an even higher literacy league. I can easily seeing this becoming a box office smash movie down the track, of course a movie will never be as good as your imagination reading it in this book. This novel could have probably been written as a stand alone novel outright not including the Monkeewrench element and giving away the plot of that book for people who have not read would be my only criticism. But they'll probably sell more copies of this book being that it is a sequel which means more people will get to read this literacy masterpiece which is maybe for the greater good.
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More About the Author

P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of the mother-daughter writing team of Patricia Lambrecht and Traci Lambrecht. They each live in rural Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis.

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