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Punctured (Las Vegas Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Rex Kusler
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
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Book Description

Jim Snow and his sister Karen have never been very close. In fact, they haven’t seen each other since their mother’s funeral two years ago, despite living just three miles apart. But then Snow gets a panicked phone call from Karen telling him that her estranged husband has been murdered and she is the number-one suspect. Snow agrees to help, seeing as he’s the only family she has left. Plus he is a Las Vegas homicide detective—or at least, he was until he quit the force to become a full-time poker player. But while his crime-fighting skills may be a little rusty, even he has to admit Karen is a likely suspect. She stands to collect on her dead husband’s life insurance, which is quite the coincidence considering she’s been living on her first two husbands’ insurance for years. Snow isn’t sure whether or not his sister is innocent, and there’s only one way to find out. He joins forces with feisty cocktail waitress-turned-cop Alice James and together they set out amidst the glittering lights of Vegas to solve this witty and entertaining whodunit.

Editorial Reviews


"Writing with a unique combination of compassion and grit, Rex Kusler brings humor and humanity to a world of dashed dreams and desperate aspirations. With the confidence of a master storyteller, Kusler spins a compelling whodunit, with delightfully deadpan dialogue, and an engaging cast of eccentrics--introspective cops, philosophical tramps, and a retired ace detective, Jim Snow, who, despite weaknesses for poker and pretty faces, still gambles on his fellow man. Mystery readers will want at least a dozen more books about this post-modern recession-era hero." -- Ruth Francisco, author of Good Morning, Darkness

About the Author

Rex Kusler was born in Missouri and raised in a small town in Iowa. Thanks to a lifelong fascination with mathematical probability and gambling, he enjoys spending his free time in Las Vegas and looks forward to retiring there. For now, he lives and works in the bay area of northern California, seeking humor and fun in whatever he does.

Product Details

  • File Size: 585 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1935597582
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FPZ27M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,573 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, well-written crime story February 7, 2010
By Bob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Finding indie gems like this is one of the joys of owning a Kindle.

I looked at this book because of the witty promotional message the author posted on the Kindle Community. He announced a close out sale of his two ebooks that will only last until the current supply runs out.

I bought the book because it looked like it involved both running and poker. I've run marathons and play poker on line and in casinos. As it turned out, the plot doesn't include any actual poker play or significant running, but the author used these interests skillfully to flesh out his characters. The book also provides interesting looks at Vegas outside of the strip and downtown

Mr. Kusler writes with great wit. His characters are interesting and sympathetic. I especially liked the 85-year-old marathoner. The advice she gave the main character after learning of his training woes was very wise.

The plot is crisp and engaging. The author shows respect for his readers by not throwing in red herrings or gratuitous violence to keep things moving along. This book reminded me a little of Robert Parker, but with less wise cracking and macho posturing.

There was one formatting glitch. Every few pages, blocks of text would be indented for no apparent reason. Also, words were unnecessarily underlined for emphasis. Italics would have been better and no special emphasis best. I only noticed one distracting editing error - he used sited when he meant cited. Overall, the formatting and editing were excellent for an independent book.

I was pleased to read that Mr. Kusler's other book is very different. I look forward to reading it and am happy to know that he is not confining himself to one genre.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I started Punctured and could not put it down. It has lots of kooky characters, all with their own issues, twists and turns, offbeat descriptions, everyone seems to be a runner or do marathons, there is a murder mystery to solve to start it all off, and a snake named Arnold. I'll admit it gets a little wacky, but I wouldn't expect anything less being set in Las Vegas. There are some obvious suspects--the main characters sister and her neighbor--and it kinda spirals out from there with dead ends and somewhat-absurd theories, but it all starts reeling back in just when it needs to. Quite a few Sin City stereotypes made it into this book too. If you want a good wacky page turner, nothing too difficult or fancy, just a fun read, give Punctured a try.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder In Las Vegas April 2, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am an avid mystery fan, so I jumped at the chance to review this book. It doesn't hurt that I lived in Las Vegas for seventeen years of my adult life, so I have a feel for "what is". From this perspective, I felt that the book reflected the tone and temper of this lovely city - the attitude of the people, the way of life, the somewhat transient nature that pervades some levels of existence there.

The storyline was reasonably well written - an ex-detective turned gambler helping his sister prove that she did not kill her husband. The requisite separation between his sister and her husband (he moved out to have an affair with a co-worker), and his sister's involvement with her neighbor flow well. Of course, the neighbor is also a suspect, as he may have been the last person to see the victim alive (with the exception of the person who killed him).

There are multiple stories in this book - that of the main character, Jim Snow, his sister Karen, and the vagrant Willie to name a few. Some are better presented than others, but the story does hold together, and the ending is not what one would expect.

A few too many slurps of coffee, a few too many intense descriptions of vehicles for my taste. More action and less description would work here, especially as this is one in a series of mysteries based in Las Vegas.

This is a quick read, enjoyable, with the promise of better books as the series progresses.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super good read February 28, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not great at writing reviews, but I must tell you that this book is not to be missed. It is a great mystery -- quickly moving to a great conclusion. The characters are real and very endearing (one even begins to like the sister). I would love to see Snow and Alice appear in another mystery (soon).

This is not a mystery with an abundance of blood and violence. The crime is solved without every bit of scientific data gathering and lab machine known to man. There is a perfect amount of well placed humor to be found in the pages of this tale. One will even find little snatches of subtle smiles hidden in unexpected places: "It was a few minutes after four p.m. on a Wednesday when Jim Snow, the lady and the tramp strode in through the front door."

Parts of Las Vegas that tourists would probably never see, are describes so well. It has one thinking of the area as a real place with real people living there. This is a Vegas that one does not see on CSI.

The editing was much better than I find in most independent works. There were just a few errors and none that made the reading difficult.

Please take the time to read this book - you won't be sorry. I plan to read Angela by Rex Kusler soon - even though it is not a genre I often read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Felt as though I was there.
Published 1 month ago by Jim McLaughlin
3.0 out of 5 stars Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?!
Not a bad plot for a first novel. The pace is excellent and the killer is well masked. Just enough humor to make it fun!
Published 1 month ago by Pepper M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plotting
I was a little disappointed that there was not much casino action. The story was well written and moved along at a good pace. Read more
Published 2 months ago by bill
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the characters and look forward to reading another book ...
This was my introduction to Rex Kusler. I enjoyed the characters and look forward to reading another book by this author.
Published 2 months ago by Debbie C
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
entertaining quick read
Published 3 months ago by sdhs
5.0 out of 5 stars Good writer!
Haven't read this & "Punctured" yet. I just know I really like this author's work.
Published 3 months ago by Pam Majoria
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read mystery that will keep you guessing almost to the end.
A clean murder will keep your interest until near the end with its clear picture of each and every person. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty decent
Nice who did it. Lot of interesting characters and some humor the killer was pretty clever and took me by surprise
Published 4 months ago by Linda Cole
3.0 out of 5 stars Good light read
I chose a 3 rating due to the simplicity of the plot line. However this is nice read for a comfy quick move along mystery.
Published 5 months ago by endlessreader
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice read - will continue to read the series
Nice read - will continue to read the series
Published 5 months ago by Dorothy Dutkevitch
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More About the Author

Rex Kusler was born in Missouri and raised in a small town in Iowa. He spent his most formative years reading Mad Magazine and playing tiddlywinks. His writing began with a newsletter for a beer club he founded in San Jose in 1982. Soon afterward he tried his hand at short stories. After success selling some of them to a few regional magazines he began writing novels. Seven years, four novels, three agents, and a pile of rejection letters later, he gave up--for a while. In 2003 he wrote ANGELA. In 2009 he completed the first novel in his Las Vegas Mystery Series PUNCTURED, based on his experience selling his trailer for cash in an RV storage lot after dark. After success as a self-published e-book, it was re-released in May 2011 by Amazon Publishing. The second in the series is ASHES TO DUST, followed by DESERT DROP, and many others.

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