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McMansion (Ben Abbott Series) Hardcover – December 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Ben Abbott Series
  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; First Edition edition (December 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159058063X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590580639
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,930,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Scott's satisfying fourth installment of his Ben Abbott series (after 2003's Frostline) hinges on the murder of Billy Tiller, a greedy developer determined to ruin the smalltown charm of Newbury, Conn., with a string of tacky starter palaces. When he's found dead—run over by a bulldozer—the police arrest a young environmental activist, Jeff Kimball. Ira Levy, Kimball's lawyer, asks Abbott, realtor-cum-PI, to dig around. Abbott doesn't want to take the case—he despised everything Tiller stood for and worries that his loathing might hamper his investigation—but Levy twists his arm. Abbott determines pretty speedily that Kimball couldn't have committed the crime, but figuring out who did is a tad trickier. Though the reader never gets to know Abbott very well, this novel will resonate with those in the countless communities that are beset by real estate monstrosities. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ben Abbot, a somewhat disgraced native son of Newbury, Connecticut, makes his living as a real-estate salesman and a private detective. The greedy developers constructing huge mansions where open space used to be anger him to the point that he refuses to sell them. When Billy Tiller, the greediest of local developers, is found dead underneath his bulldozer with environmental activist Jeff Kimball sitting at the controls, the local police think they have an open-and-shut case. Kimball says he is innocent, but the prosecutor sees his gateway to a senate seat, and the defense attorney sees an opportunity to impress the New York movers and shakers. Ben lands the job of helping prove Jeff's innocence. The salesman-sleuth premise works surprisingly well in this appealing series, now in its fourth installment; readers who like their mystery plots closely tied to current events will find much to enjoy here. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

JUSTIN SCOTT has written more than thirty thrillers, historicals, and mystery novels, including The Shipkiller, Normandie Triangle, and The Empty Eye of the Sea. With many books set at sea, he has been called "the Dick Francis of yachting."
His main pen name is PAUL GARRISON under which he has written five modern sea thrillers including Fire and Ice, Red Sky At Morning, Sea Hunter, The Ripple Effect, and the Paul Janson series based on a Robert Ludlum character,The Janson Command and The Janson Option).
Scott created the Ben Abbott detective series (HardScape, StoneDust, FrostLine, McMansion and Mausoleum) and was twice nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America.
He collaborates with Clive Cussler on the Isaac Bell series (The Wrecker, The Spy, The Race, The Thief, and The Striker.) He lives in Connecticut with his wife, filmmaker Amber Edwards.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
"McMansion" is Scott's best mystery to date.
Marian Burk Wood
I like to respond, but don't want to write anything except I like it.
Steven R. Agal
They are good stories, well-written with drive and panache.
carl brookins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Ben Abbot is a realtor and private investigator in Newbury, Connecticut, a town whose history dates back to the Colonies. Billy Tiller was a developer and the nightmare of every preservationist. His only concern was making as much money as possible in any way he could and the number of those who hated him is impressive. Billy's body was found crushed under a D4 Bulldozer and although Jeff Kimball, a 20-year-old kid and member of ELF (Earth Liberation Front) opposed to development, he says he stumbled on the scene and was trying to get the D4 off the body when the police arrived. Now Jeff's lawyer has hired Ben to find a defense for his client.

It has been nine years since the last Ben Abbott book, and I'm delighted he's back. Ben is a great character--he comes from an old, New England family, has his Aunt Connie who is showing early stages of dementia, loves his town, became involved with the wrong people that landed him in prison for 3 years, is clueless about relationships with women but has befriended a young girl being raised by a single mother and is a somewhat unwilling PI. The story is a well-plotted traditional mystery with plenty of suspects and motives through which to be sorted. The issue of preservation versus development is certainly timely but doesn't overwhelm the mystery. I found "McMansions" to be a very good read, with a very bad title, and sincerely hope the next book will be soon than nine year's away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Agal on January 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like to respond, but don't want to write anything except I like it. You make it so I don't like to reply.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By carl brookins VINE VOICE on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Justin Scott has written over a dozen mysteries, thrillers and adventure novels under several names, taut, exemplary stories that illuminate and explore many of our social concerns. They are good stories, well-written with drive and panache. This is another, peopled with interesting characters, a serious underpinning, and enough crime and mystery to satisfy the most enthusiastic crime fiction reader.

Ben Abbott is a sometime private investigator, sometime real estate agent, and a full time commentator on some of the more egregious aspects of our modern society and the influence on small town America. Abbott is also one of the more pleasant and thoughtful investigators readers are likely to run across in this age. Abbott is concerned about the effects of aging on his Aunt Constance who lives nearby, he takes in children in need of adult supervision and he worries about unrestrained development of open spaces in the Connecticut town of Newbury where he lives. That last concern forms the core of this interesting novel about crooked developers, and a badly twisted legal system.

One of the worst developers, a Billy Tiller, possessed mostly of terrible taste, monumental greed and a willingness to break the law anytime he thought there was profit in it, gets his come-uppance when somebody drives a bulldozer over him at a construction site. The perpetrator, a young member of ELF, is discovered by the local troopers sitting at the controls of the offending `dozer with the crushed body of Billy Tiller underneath. Open and shut, but Abbott, retained by the boy's lawyer, doesn't believe it. His pursuit of the truth leads him into some interesting and stressful situations. This is a well written and enjoyable novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Reed on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
McMansion is a very good book. I enjoy all Justin Scott's books. I only have one comment to make that isn't really positive and that is that he seems to just leave his stories "hanging" without actually coming to a conclusion. It's like he gets tired of them and just quits.
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