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The Bughouse Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery Hardcover – January 8, 2013
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“Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini have brought together the distinctive personalities and differing investigative styles of their fictional snoops. The result is a team [Sharon McCone and the Nameless Detective] that is as memorable as Nick and Nora Charles.... When they combine forces, they double our pleasure.” ―San Francisco Chronicle on Double
“Muller and Pronzini are a duo who make beautiful mystery music together.” ―Atlanta Journal Constitution on Double
“A virtuoso performance by two virtuosos....” ―Norfolk, Virginia Pilot on Double
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Top Customer Reviews
The detective offices of Carpenter and Quincannon have two cases they are working on. He is working on a case for an insurance company where a series of burglaries involving insurance holders leads them to believe someone has gotten a hold of their client list. She is trying to catch a clever pickpocket who is robbing people at Chutes Amusement Park and affecting their business. The two cases seem completely unrelated but clues begin to make them fear otherwise. While trying to apprehend the housebreaker, Quincannon is detained by a man professing to be the dead man Sherlock Holmes. The tale that unfolds was suspenseful, witty and reminded me of old detective novels.
Muller and Pronzini did an excellent job of introducing us to Carpenter and Quincannon. I got a real sense for these quirky detectives, and found them to be amusing and confident. I loved how Holmes unnerved them, especially the overly confident, easily ruffled Quincannon. Sabina is still morning the loss of her husband, a former detective at Pinkerton and he has made his feelings for her well known. I found their banter to be delightful and funny. While there is no romance in this first book, the possibility is there. Holmes or whoever this man is was perfectly portrayed as the pompous, long-winded detective himself.Read more ›
Authors Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini have started an interested series starring Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon as owners of a detective agency in 19th century San Francisco. In this particular tale, an insurance company seeks their assistance after a series of robberies of prominent homes. At the same time, the owner of a local entertainment park hires the duo after a number of visitors are pick-pocketed. They divided the work and the tale evolves.
The beauty of the book rests in the authors' descriptions and evolution of San Francisco and the Bay Area during the time period. Although the mystery is entertaining and well ascribed, the addition of Holmes does little to advance the mystery and seems to open the gate for further adventures of the three. Holmes is in the US, by the way, after a respite from solving cases and mysteriously vanishing in Switzerland.
Carpenter and Quincannon make interesting partners. She, a former Pinkerton Agency operative; and he, a former Secret Service agent, have joined forces after her husband's death. Having them manage through an evolving attitude towards women and each other makes for interesting observations. The beauty of this book is not so much with the mystery...although it is certainly entertaining and well managed, but rather lies in their descriptions and incorporation of San Francisco and its melting pot of people and conditions.
The book read quickly, and the plot moved smoothly and consistently. I liked the tale and the characters and especially liked the historical narrative. In the late 1800s, San Francisco was a metropolitan city with international flavor. I suspect we will enjoy more of their escapades as they grow the Carpenter and Quincannon Professional Detective Services.
"The Bughouse affair" takes place in the 1890's in a San Francisco area setting. The story features an otherwise unlikely partnership in a detective agency by one Sabina Carpenter, a former Pinkerton detective - "Pink Rose" and John Quincannon a former secret service agent. Together they run the Carpenter and Quincannon Detective Agency. The drama begins with two seemingly distinct cases, each pursued separately by the respective detectives. In the one case, Sabrina is after a pick-pocket and Quincannon a burglar. As the plot thickens, the illustrious detectives find themselves at the root of two mysterious murders; and to the detective's chagrin, the perpetrators are seemingly uncovered by none other than the renowned Sherlock Holmes.
The thread of circumstantial evidence finds its way to be exposed in much the manner that Mr. Holmes would aspire had Mr. Doyle written the composition. To this end the mystery was plausibly solved though the participation of Sherlock Holmes seemed altogether unnecessary, however quaint. In all, the novel was a fun read, with some comical banter and light hearted confrontations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini and like most of their books.Published 4 months ago by Carissima
I wish the Publishing Gods would deliver the reading public from the "original" works of mystery writers that are dependent on the deductive powers of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by JFletcher
This was a library find.
I've been reading the work of Marcia Muller for quite some time now and she has given me much reading pleasure. Read more
It is rather a hodgepodge of cliches, though I did like wandering through Victorian San Francisco. Quincannon is a dud, he is reminiscent of the block of Irish Peat that Molly... Read morePublished 10 months ago by jdp
Not as good as when Muller and Pronzini write on their own.Published 18 months ago by James R. Sharpe