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Mystery Society Paperback – December 28, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600107982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600107986
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Niles (born June 21, 1965) is an American comic book author and novelist, known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark, Mystery Society and Batman: Gotham County Line.

He is credited among other contemporary writers as bringing horror comics back to prominence, authoring such works as 30 Days of Night, its sequel, Dark Days (IDW Publishing), and Criminal Macabre (Dark Horse Comics) with frequent artist collaborator Ben Templesmith.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
It was a little bit lightweight but lots of good moments.
The dialogue was humorous but also with great pathos - we really got a sense of the characters and their dispositions.
The relationship between the two main characters is what makes this book work so well.
Brad Hawley Brad at FanLit

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
The only way to describe Steve Niles and Fiona Staples' 2010 series Mystery Society, which was collected into a trade paperback in December 2010, is as a truly poststructuralist Steed and Ms. Peel for contemporary audiences. Blending cool with sexy and quirky, as well as bizarre and brazen, Mystery Society takes a cue from Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, Matt Fraction's Casanova, and Gerard Way's The Umbrella Academy in its approach to an unfolding narrative and story development, not insulting the reader with regurgitated and sometimes formulaic structures of story creation.

As with the aforementioned titles, Mystery Society is a book that is not for everyone. Transporting Nick and Nora Charles from either the pages of Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man novel or its varied cinematic versions and repackaging it for modern readers is a difficult task. Niles and Staples' Nick Hammond and Anastasia Collins also owe a debt to elements of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. In fact, it's difficult to read Mystery Society without forging these references to recognizable portraits from the silver screen. Teachers might consider the literary possibilities of Mystery Society in developing comparative class assignments between the graphic novel and these Hollywood precursors. What makes Mystery Society succeed as more than a simple adaptation though is Niles' prose and Staples' digital pencils.

Niles's approach with Mystery Society is a risky one. The book reads as if it is the second or third installment in an ongoing series nobody has read. Niles is not beholden to long-winded expository on character origins and histories. He references other adventures and encounters the heroes have had throughout the book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yoana Yotova on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mystery Society was published in May-October 2010 from IDW as a miniseries from 5 issues and this edition collects the full series.

Meet Nick and Anastasia -- happily married and on their way to piss off anyone in the government that they can. Actually by the time the book opens, the had already managed to do that -- Nick is about to be locked in prison. But instead of going in as anyone else that is found guilty, he decides to tell his story to the journalists... and this is where the actual story begins.

Meet the Mystery Society - an organization which goal is to proof or disproof all myths and paranormal secrets in the world. And the story is full of good elements -- an experiment in Area 51 and two little girls that are held captive by the government, a ghoul that searches a job and a robot with the brain if a famous writer. Add to this Poe's skull, a few strange objects that can fly (when they should not), psychic powers, battles and high technology and the mix can either be a disaster or a good story.

Great story it is not but it is a good one. I got annoyed at the author's decision to make the characters mention comics more than once (mostly to say how something is not as in a comics) -- it was not funny or witty and sounded more like an attempt at bad humor than anything else. And the way the ghoul and the robot figured out some things was kinda... predictable (ever heard of a villain that does not like to brag about what they had done? - it is not exactly what happens here but the idea is the same).
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Format: Paperback
Written originally for the Fantasy Literature review website Fanboy Friday! Comic Book and Graphic Novel Review Column

Mystery Society by Steve Niles (writer) and Fiona Staples (artist)

If you are looking for a light, funny read with beautiful art, you should check out Mystery Society by Steve Niles and Fiona Staples. The basic story sounds like it should be written seriously, but Niles turns to wit instead. The Mystery Society is a renegade group devoted to debunking myths (or verifying them), revealing military secrets, and exposing the lies of reporters (who have themselves been lied to, as one character points out). What’s amusing? The team includes not just psychic twin sisters with a mysterious secret and a woman bit by a ghoul who calls herself “Secret Skull,” but also the brain of Jules Verne housed in a robot body (with — I kid you not — a “butt jet”).

The relationship between the two main characters is what makes this book work so well. Nick Hammond and his wife Anastasia Collins talk like an old moneyed couple from a lost play by Oscar Wilde, but they are very much a modern nouveau riche pair with their recently acquired millions. Or perhaps the better comparison would be Dashiell Hammett’s noir novel The Thin Man and the wisecracking Nick and Nora Charles. With both male leads named Nick and the similarities between the couples so strong, I am almost surprised Anastasia’s name isn’t Nora. Their banter during dangerous missions is identical to their discussion over drinks. Everything is a laugh and not to be taken seriously.

Before becoming notorious leaders of the Mystery Society, they ran a used bookstore and lived above it in a small apartment: There they planned some really “like” cool stuff while “totally” high and giggly.
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