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Saint Mudd: A Novel of Gangsters and Saints Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451176820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451176820
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A reporter in St. Paul, Minn., in the 1930s mounts a front page campaign against gangsters and crooked politicians in this engrossing first novel.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This raw, gritty first novel hews fairly closely to the hard-boiled detective tradition, with the twist that protagonist Grover Mudd is a newspaper columnist. The journeyman journalist covers early-Thirties St. Paul, Minnesota, one of the most crime-riddled cities in the country. Against a backdrop of bank robberies, prostitution, drug deals, and money laundering, Mudd uses his columns to alert citizens to the corruption that enfolds St. Paul at all levels. Plenty of violence and some very explicit descriptions of sexual encounters will put off the squeamish, but Saint Mudd tells a realistic tale of how those courageous enough to fight back can ultimately defeat the criminal element dominating a city.
-Patricia Altner, Dept. of Defense Lib., Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This was an intriguing story.
Mel
Sex, crime, compassion, good guys, bad guys,excellent story telling, and Grover Mudd, who is one of the most fascinating characters there is in any book out there.
Daniel Swanson
Steve Thayers books are filled with intriguing characters, imaginitive plot twists, and always great endings.
SmokinJ420

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher B. Jonnes on October 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thayer's Saint Mudd immediately catches your attention. He drops the "efenheimer" in the very first sentence. He manages to continue the pace and hold your attention throughout the book. What I found pleasantly surprising was the depth of historical research on gangsters and the city of St. Paul, MN and his ability to weave it into the story and make it interesting. I've lived most of my life within 20 miles of St. Paul, and never knew one tenth of the history that Thayer reanimates in this novel. While a fine tale well-written, it is the professional rendering of the history aspect that elevates the book from middle-pack to 4-star fiction.
I would add that Saint Mudd is not a book I would put in my 10-year-old's Xmas stocking. Thayer writes about a time in America when violent death, easy sex, drugs and corruption were commonplace. He uses appropriate language to accomplish this. There's plenty of profanity, sex, and violence. I like that; the PTA might not. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason Birkby on February 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are not many writers out there these days that can write a good solid gangster novel. Steve Thayer shows that the gangster novel genre is not dead. Thayer has woven all the elements together to make the reader not want to put this book down.
The story revolves around Grover Mudd, a World War I vet, and now journalist in St. Paul Minnesota. The era is the depression and Al Capone is not the only gangster in the nation. Just up the river from Chicago in St. Paul a new syndicate selling opium is on the rise. Mudd uses his column too expose the mob, and in turn gets himself in trouble with these bad guys.
Mixing in real life mobsters like John Dillinger and Babyface Nelson, Thayer takes the reader on a real joyride through one of this countries more interesting eras. Strongly recommend
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schwinghammer VINE VOICE on March 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Thayer authored the best-seller THE WEATHERMAN. Wasn't all that thrilled with the book, hated the ending. It was as if he'd written himself into a corner and settled for the easy way out.
But then I read SAINT MUDD. Thayer really knows depression-era St. Paul, Minnesota: the river caves, the trolley cars, the gangsters. There's a quote from Alvin "Creepy" Karpis before Book One. "But, of all the Midwest cities, the one that I knew best was St. Paul, and it was a crook's haven..."
The lead character, Grover Mudd, WWI veteran and reporter for the St. Paul Frontier News, has that FRONT PAGE kind of newspaper-reporter angst. He smokes Lucky Strikes, drinks Stearns County 13, refers to his ex-wife as that "lousy bitch". There's lots of Minnesota flavor in the book: St. Paul Cathedral, South St. Paul stockyards, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Floyd B. Olson, Cass Gilbert, and the beginnings of 3M, a small sandpaper company.
Two little boys are murdered, hog-tied at the ankles, one a mongoloid, their bodies in the water for a week before being discovered, one with broken legs, and Grover sets out to find the sick-o who did it. Fourteen unsolved murders in the last eighteen months. Twenty-four police chiefs in the last twenty-one years and they can't be fired, only demoted. Along the way, Grover falls in love again, with a colored maid. With Grover's penchant for trouble, you'll worry about her. Although I loved Grover and would just about excuse anything Thayer does because of him, some of the characters, such as Big Holy Spook and Gunderson the cop, are a bit over the top.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Swanson on May 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Growing up in St. Paul, I always heard the stories and whispers: St. Paul was rich in gangster history in the '20's and '30's. My parents next door neighbor delivered illegal liquor to the gangster bars etc. etc. for instance. But I won't bore you with the stories.

It's too bad this book hasn't raised more interest than it has. I've read this book several times and have recommended it to all my friends and relatives. All have read it and loved it.

And you don't have to be a St. Paul native to appreciate it. This book has it all. Wonderful story telling with a wide variety of real and fictional characters, who you get to know. It's very historical and you learn a few things about US history, not just Minnesota in general. Well known gangsters hung out here, and important arrests took place in the area. I've read plenty of mystery novels and I have never been a big fan of gangster stories, but this was one of the best books I ever read.

If you are from the area, after reading this book you won't be able to see the Cathedral, drive down Warner/Shepard Road, drive by the entrance of Swede Hollow on Payne Ave or see the bluffs of Mounds Park without thinking of this wonderful story. I promise you that.

It has it all. Sex, crime, compassion, good guys, bad guys,excellent story telling, and Grover Mudd, who is one of the most fascinating characters there is in any book out there. It's a fun, fast paced book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thayer does an excellent job of combinging the true, compelling mob stories in Saint Paul with his well developed charachter Grover Mudd. I would recomend this to anyone who likes historical fiction and a good crime story.
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