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Mad Mouse: A John Ceepak Mystery Hardcover – April 24, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Grabenstein's second humorous procedural (after 2005's Tilt-a-Whirl) reunites that incongruous pair, Sea Haven, N.J., police officer John Ceepak, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who lives by the code "I will not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do," and his callow young sidekick, Danny Boyle, who's promoted from part-time summer cop to full-time status. Paintball vandalism becomes something more serious when the assailant switches to actual gunfire, targeting Boyle and his circle of friends. In scenes reminiscent of Jaws, the local mayor, anxious that tourist dollars not be scared away, tries to conceal the significance of the shootings, but the politician offers little resistance to the detective duo's investigative efforts. Some readers may find that the jokey tone jars with a plot that echoes the real-life D.C. sniper case, but those for whom a laugh counts more than realistic action will be amused. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Set on a colorful Jersey Shore boardwalk, graced with a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack, and starring an aw-shucks charming pair of cop buddies, Grabenstein's second seaside amusement-park-ride mystery lives up to the promise of his smash-hit debut, Tilt-a-Whirl (2005). Easygoing part-time summer cop Danny Boyle is hoping to be promoted to full-time rookie, so he pays close attention to his impressive partner, John Ceepak, a decorated Iraq War veteran whose extreme correctness and keen intelligence are matched by a low-key bigheartedness. Sea Haven is gearing up for a gigantic Labor Day celebration, and Danny is falling hard for Katie, but summer fun is cruelly interrupted by a sniper stalking Danny, Katie, and their friends, and leaving calling cards featuring Derek Jeter and comic-book superheroes. As the mayor pressures the cops to find this taunting killer before the holiday festivities begin, cool Ceepak and bumbling Boyle wield their superpowers: kindness, honesty, and courage. With agile humor, neat plotting, unexpected sweetness, and an irresistible duo, Grabenstein offers a hip new form of cozy. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (April 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786717602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786717606
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,289,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Grabenstein is the author of many fast-paced and fun page-turners including the New York Times bestsellers The Island of Dr. Libris and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Currently nominated for 34 different state book awards, Mr. Lemoncello has spent 38 weeks in the top ten of the New York Times Middle Grades bestseller list. Nickelodeon has optioned the book to become a movie. Chis is also the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 Bestselling I Funny, Treasure Hunters, and House of Robots series. He is the critically acclaimed author of over thirty books, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Previously, Chris wrote for Jim Henson's Muppets and co-wrote the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift starring John Denver. His dog, Fred, has better credits. Fred starred on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.www.ChrisGrabenstein.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Simply put: Mad Mouse did not disappoint!!! I can only add to all the other reviews in my gushing praise of the second installment of John Ceepak and Danny Boyle's adventures at the Jersey Shore!! To the author (who I can't seem to reach by email)--cannot wait for the further adventures of the two above characters and am also looking forward to Slay Ride, your next serial....Thank you, thank you and again---keep up with the terrific writing, plot lines and most of all the giggles that just keep happening!!! Susan
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Summer Cop Danny Boyle and his friends have made a tradition of celebrating National Toasted Marshmallow Day. For the last ten years, they have gotten together every year on a beach in their town of Sea Haven, New Jersey to toast marshmallows, drink beer, and hang out.

This year, things turn serious when someone tags them with paintballs. One of the paintballs hits Becca's eye, turning a yearly tradition into a serious night.

Sea Haven is planning a huge bash for Labor Day. Naturally, this incident doesn't sit well with everyone in the business community whose survival during the next nine months rests on the huge business they expect this one weekend of the summer. Danny and his partner, John Ceepak, are assigned the case; with the implication that Danny's application to be a full time cop is riding on a quick solution.

They think they are on the right track when another attack happens. Again, Danny and a friend are the target. Only this time, the paintballs are followed by a bullet.

I'm not normally a thriller fan, but I just couldn't pass up the setting of a resort town. I loved the first one, and enjoyed this one even more. The plot starts quickly. It seems to be moving along fine, but when the second attack comes, things pick up into high gear and the pace never slows down. Since Danny is our narrator, this gives us more of a stake in the outcome, and I must admit to cheating ahead to see who lived until the end.

The only real drawback to the story involves Ceepak. Ceepak lives by a code. Actually, I like his code and respect the character because of it. However, it is mentioned so often I got tired of hearing about it. A few mentions to establish the character were fine, but it should have been dropped by the second half of the story.

Still, this is a minor complaint in an otherwise outstanding story. Give yourself plenty of time to read it because you will be hooked.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like a good, quick paced, murder mystery peppered with humor, "Mad Mouse" is the mystery for you. Set in a normally quiet seaside town on the Jersey Shore, policemen Ceepak and Boyle track a sniper taking pot shots at people right before the big Labor Day weekend. Grabenstein uses descriptions sparingly, giving just enough backstory to allow the reader the opportunity of filling in some character details and ambience on their own... much the way horror writer Stephen King provides just enough detail for you to scare yourself silly. Even with two murders in one summer, I want to live in Sea Haven. Great story line and surprise ending.

Grabenstein is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I only wish he could write his stories faster.
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Format: Hardcover
In the beach town of Sea Haven, the town council is getting ready for the big Labor Day celebration, a guaranteed money maker for the town. They want everything to go smoothly and all the summer visitors to have the time of their life. Nothing can mess this up..........or can it?

When a paintball incident appears to cause a disturbing injury to Danny Boyle's friend during a beach outing, the town fathers want the incident hushed up. When it is discovered that not only paintballs were being fired, but bullets too, the demand to clear it all up and take care of any loose ends is made perfectly clear.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be possible as repeat incidents occur.

Our heroes enter the picture, John Ceepak, an Iraq war vet who lives by a strict code of honor and Danny Boyle, a care-free guy who lives by the seat of his pants, are partnered in the police force and delve into the case looking for answers, but all they seem to get are more questions. Suddenly it seems that maybe Danny and his friends are in the crosshairs of some deranged individual but the motive for the attacks remains elusive, as does the shooter.

The story is a wild ride, fast paced with unexpected twists and turns that are put together with a deft hand!! Chris Grabenstein is a truly skilled author, creating dialogue that is both clever and sidesplittingly funny!! His characters are witty and entertaining. His story line is unexpected and captivating!!! His cast of characters, while witty and clever, range the gamut from serious cop, care-free kid, mail order brides,goth kids, beach bums to stereotypical town fathers and wealthy overbearing parents. Chris Grabenstein raises the bar to a new standard with Mad Mouse!!
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Format: Hardcover
Sophomore efforts don't always succeed, and Grabenstein's debut novel, Tilt-A-Whirl, was so original. But, he manages to bring back John Ceepak and Danny Boyle in a story that develops their characters, and makes the readers care even more about the two New Jersey cops.

It's the end of the summer that started with the events in Tilt-A-Whirl, and part-time cop Danny is celebrating with his friends on the beach. Their National Toasted Marshmallow Day party is violently disrupted when someone attacks them with paintballs. They think it's bad enough that a girl's eye was injured, but it could have been worse. When Ceepak shows up, he discovers a bullet. It seems that Danny and his friends may be targets for more than a paintball competition.

Danny shows signs of maturity as he helps Ceepak dig into his own past, and tries to become a full-time cop. The town's annual Labor Day celebration hinges on the crime's solution, as does Danny's promotion. Most of all, Danny's life, and that of his friends may hinge on the solution.

Mad Mouse is as fast-paced as the amusement ride it's based on, with twists and turns to the story. Ceepak and Danny are characters revealing more of themselves to the reader, and they're attractive, interesting characters.
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