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The Philanthropist's Danse [Kindle Edition]

Paul Wornham
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $12.00 (80%)
 
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Book Description

Twelve people. Five days. One fortune.

Johnston Thurwell, one of the world’s richest men, dies unexpectedly. His family expects to inherit his wealth, but instead discover the dying philanthropist has spent his last days planning something called The Danse. The twelve most important people in his life are brought together to decide the most important question at the end of it. Who will inherit his fortune?

The family is sequestered in the philanthropists’ remote country mansion with a group that includes his best friend, his most loyal servants, and his greatest rival. They must agree who among them will share the fortune, but they must do it against the clock. Every twenty-four hours, the fortune is reduced. In just five days, it will all be gone.

The thin veneer of civility among the twelve is ripped away by naked greed as their lust for money drives them into betrayal, blackmail and violence.

The desperate family will do anything to save their inheritance. Except share it.


Editorial Reviews

Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing new voice in Mystery! August 14, 2011
By Tammy @NovelOpinion
Format:Kindle Edition
Once I began reading I was immediately drawn in to the story. Each character is intrinsic to the storyline and this author makes sure you are aware of it by allowing the reader to drop into the character's mind and see his point of view. No one character is the main focus of this story and though it may seem unsettling, this story simply flows. I felt like a fly on the wall. I was completely enthralled by each and every one of these characters and the circumstances that had brought them together.

I could not put this down. I had no idea what would happen next or how this could end. I will not ruin this story with too many details but if you like a good Agatha Christie mystery you will be very pleased with Paul Wornham's `Debut' novel, The Philanthropist's Danse.

5.0 out of 5 stars Definately A Must Read. August 23, 2011
By Mr Magic
Format:Kindle Edition
I figured that this was going to be a "Cluedo" type murder mystery when I read the synopsis of this story, I couldn't have been more wrong.

This story has it all, murder, mystery, suspense, prostitution, blackmail and a small mixture of romance intrically woven together, masterfully.

About the Author

Paul Wornham is the author of The Mercy Contracts and The Philanthropist's Danse.

Paul grew up in the city of Bath in England, a place that everyone should see once before they die.

He began his work life as a bookseller with WHSmith in the UK before they convinced him to sell music instead. He sold music and movies on both sides of the Atlantic over the next decade and a half, shifting with the times and technology from vinyl to CD and from VHS to DVD. In 2000, the emergence of Napster and file sharing convinced him the music business was over for retail, so he went back to school.

In 2002 he graduated with an MBA from the University of Alberta School of Business, joined a medical device manufacturer based in Edmonton, traveled to China and all over North America and generally had a blast.

He later moved to Ontario, where he now lives and writes in the company of a patient spouse and less patient felines. A lifelong reader, Paul's favorite books are A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo and everything by Charles Dickens.

Product Details

  • File Size: 581 KB
  • Print Length: 410 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057J4ZMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definately A Must Read. August 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I figured that this was going to be a "Cluedo" type murder mystery when I read the synopsis of this story, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Paul has taken 12 beautifully written characters (15 if you count those involved in the story but not the invitees) and placed them into a fantastically woven plot that kept me captivated to the point where i'd be very annoyed when I had to put the book down due to work commitments etc etc.

12 people, family, associates, enemies & employees are invited up to a billionaire's mansion in the middle of nowhere to find out that they have to agree on how to share their late benefactor's inheritance.
It's not until the rules of the danse start coming into effect that things start to turn nasty for the majority of the 12.

This story has it all, murder, mystery, suspense, prostitution, blackmail and a small mixture of romance intrically woven together, masterfully.

You get an in depth knowledge of the characters through a mixture of storytelling and flashbacks and you are in a constant turmoil of emotion as to who is good and who is rotten. Then just when you have them figured out you are thrown back into turmoil and start doubting your judgements.

The story is very fast paced with plenty of little twists to keep you enthralled right up until the very last page.

This is Pauls first book and i'm looking forward to reading his next one.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing new voice in Mystery! August 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Once I began reading I was immediately drawn in to the story. Each character is intrinsic to the storyline and this author makes sure you are aware of it by allowing the reader to drop into the character's mind and see his point of view. No one character is the main focus of this story and though it may seem unsettling, this story simply flows. I felt like a fly on the wall. I was completely enthralled by each and every one of these characters and the circumstances that had brought them together.

Only two characters have a definite role to play in the events to come; William Bird, who is the late Johnston Thurwell's lawyer and holds the instructions laid out by his employer and Johnston Thurwell himself who fills the minds of every guest and pervades each room of the mansion.

Every contingency has been allowed for by Thurwell and William Bird, armed with several sealed envelopes given to him by Thurwell, need only to find the appropriate one which contains further instructions. The lawyer doesn't have any idea what is written in these and can only open them if events match the handwritten labels on the envelope.

As you are introduced to each participant of The Danse, you may form a feeling of empathy or of dislike for each but I guarantee each of these opinions will change many times throughout the events of this book. Not only do these people have to decide who gets part of the fortune but what percentage each one gets. The situation is explosive and seemingly impossible when each person has dark secrets or allows greed to control their actions.

I could not put this down. I had no idea what would happen next or how this could end. I will not ruin this story with too many details but if you like a good Agatha Christie mystery you will be very pleased with Paul Wornham's `Debut' novel, The Philanthropist's Danse.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Mystery March 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
People like stories about wealthy people. My particular affinity for lifestyles the super-rich is not based on the things they own, or the power they possess. I am more interested in the psychology of the rich: The mindset and choices that brought them to, and kept them at the top.

The Philanthropist's Danse delivers smart, psychological drama of the type I haven't seen in quite some time.

Take "12 Angry Men", the psychological gymnastics of "The Game", add a little sexual innuendo, and tie it all together with 12 personalities that clash incessantly. Then, let an impartial lawyer lay out and enforce the ground rules with the assistance of a highly skilled majordomo.
With that, the Danse is off to a smashing start, full of arguments, tantrums, and a fair bit of grousing about who "deserves" the money. The question is a legitimate one, as many in the room don't even know why Mr. Thurwell summoned them posthumously.

The Billionaire

Johnston Thurwell continues to assert his control through carefully planned contingencies that give us some insight as to why he was so wealthy to begin with. All of his commands are executed with swift and exact justice. His wishes are honored exactly.
People may dismiss this scenario as far-fetched. They would be wrong. One of the things I find engaging about this book is its realistic portrayal of the ultra wealthy.
Individuals who possess a great deal of money, respect, and power attempt to keep that once they are dead. The Pharoahs did it? Why should this aspiration be beneath your common, modern-day billionaire?
The author gives us ample detail as to Thurwell's motivations and machinations. Every twist is worth the wait.
Read more ›
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed in the Pay-Off July 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I love a good suspense/thriller/whodunit style book. Stories filled with twists, turns, and intellectual banter rank among my faves.
This book has all the right ingredients to create the book of a dreams: a cast of random characters, each with a secret, an intense setting, and a mystery.

I found myself reading because I just had to know what the big reveal would be. Something had to be happening at the end of the book that would blow my mind and make me think about the book days later, right?

WRONG. It felt like I invested a lot of my time to read the book and was left with an empty, almost nonchalant feeling at the end. I didn't care about the conclusion because it didn't live up to the rest of the book. It was like, umm...ok. That's it?!

It seems like I spent more time conjuring what I thought would be the final twist in the end than the author did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this story. It moves in unexpected twists and turns, yet it was satisfying in the end.
Published 23 days ago by P. Hermes
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book during a recent vacation
I enjoyed this book during a recent vacation. I wish the ending or prologue would have been fleshed out a bit more but thought it was a unique concept that I hadn't read before.
Published 1 month ago by stacy brigham
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Written!
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I'm a mystery novel reader for years and this kept me captivated to the last chapter. I would recommend the booked to all my avid reading friends. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Liz
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique plot
The closer I got to the end of this novel, the more convinced I became that it would have a surprise ending. But it didn't! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Henry Herlong
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Something different and a good take on human nature but tends to run too long.
Published 2 months ago by BxBomber
5.0 out of 5 stars CDGSreads
Great read! Couldn't put it down. Looking forward to reading Mr. Wornham's next book, The Mercy Contracts. I've added his books to my must read list!
Published 3 months ago by Paul S.
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
I liked reading this book. It had twist all through it to the end. When I finished the book I bought and read his other book and enjoyed it also. Job well done.
Published 4 months ago by Randy
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Consequences
Reminiscent of Agatha Christie's style, the characters in this book are introduced and then dissected gradually to reveal how their past actions affected the dead but nevertheless... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Given as a gift
Published 5 months ago by Kim D.
4.0 out of 5 stars great story
I got this book as a free one a long time ago, and I came across it the other day to give it a shot. I LOVED this book. It really made you think.
Published 5 months ago by April
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More About the Author

Paul Wornham is the author of mystery novels The Philanthropist's Danse and The Mercy Contracts.

Paul grew up in the city of Bath in England, a place that everyone should see before they die.

He lives and writes in Ontario, Canada in the company of a patient spouse and less patient felines.

A lifelong reader, Paul's favorite books are A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo, and more recently the Wool series and just about anything else by Hugh Howey.

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