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The Simeon Chamber Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1994


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The Melody Lingers On
An interior designer's assistant gets pulled into the mystery surrounding an über-wealthy fund manager's disappearance—and inadvertently puts her and her child's lives in danger. Learn more | Learn more about Mary Higgins Clark
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If one can be cheerfully jaded, Sam Bogardus, attorney-at-law, fits the bill in this intriguing first novel by Martini, a lawyer himself. Using his professional skills to authenticate the slick plot, he captures the reader's attention in a chilling prologue to this provocative murder mystery set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bogardus is the law partner of his former lover, though the relationship is now platonic. Bored, he takes on elegant Jennifer Davies as a client. She has fallen heir to an ancient, valuable document belonging to her father, which surfaced 33 years after he mysteriously disappeared in a 1942 Navy blimp crash. When Bogardus discovers the literary legacy is probably an excerpt from lost diaries of 16th century explorer Sir Francis Drake, word of the find leaks out and the net closes on Davies and Bogardus. Willing to kidnap, maim and kill to possess the papers, his covetous adversaries unwittingly lead the counselor to San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst's castle, where he unearths a startling wartime black-market scandal. Events that stretch the imagination emerge here, but Martini's enthusiasm keeps the reader engrossed. A fast read, the novel provides a peek at the Bay environs, its interesting past and, finally, "history's cruel irony," which brings the story to a stunning finale.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Steve Martini, a former trial attorney, lives on the US West Coast with his wife and daughter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515113719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515113716
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the first book by Steve Martini that I read and it was superb. It was recommended to me by a friend and I just couldn't put the book down. He has an average cast of characters but a plot which keeps you going with every twist. Anyone who likes Clancy or Grisham, would really enjoy this book, with its slew of lawyers, and action hero sidekicks. Overall a wonderful read, and one of the best (unexpected) endings to a novel.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on August 24, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unlike lawyers Grisham, Turow, and Scottoline, turned writers, Steve Martini is a journalism graduate and writer who went on to become a lawyer! (Seems there ought to be a good joke in there somehow!) He must be doing fine, as his booklist now numbers eight (five of which comprise the defense attorney Paul Madriani series), with a ninth hardback due out late this year. Let's get real here folks -- this is his first book, and we thought, not bad at all.
In a very complex plot, almost shades of Clancy, we're quickly engrossed into the hunt for possible survivors of a 1942 blimp crash; a search for 16th century documents, possibly the journal of the explorer/pirate Francis Drake; the murder of the partner (and former {?} love interest) of the leading man, lawyer Sam Bogardus; and some other crimes and problems too numerous to recount. There's really not much lawyering happening, and sure, some of this winds up a little silly and improbable, but hey, it's mystery fiction. We thought the goings-on, climaxed by a very neat wrapping up of all the puzzles and murders, plus one totally unexpected revelation in the epilogue, were indeed quite entertaining. And the huge surprise ending left us aghast -- we cannot imagine many at all will be the slightest bit prepared for this icing on the cake!
In sum, a fine plot with quite a neat ending, with good story telling hurt somewhat by a few weak characters and/or some improbable action, gives Martini's first effort a passing grade, leaving us anxious to try his second outing and first of the Madriani set. Why not!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some of the other reviews considered this to be a pretty poorly written book, but I found it to be very entertaining and the ending was a real surprise. The Simeon Chamber is not on the level of a Grisham or Turow novel, but I'd put it right there with a writer like William Bernhardt. It's a quick read and it is a page-turner. You may also learn a little about Sir Francis Drake that you didn't learn in high school or college. Give it a try.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vic Tellez on January 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book cover to cover on an airplane. I was INFATUATED with it, because I could not belive how horrible it was! I kept thinking that the next page would jump to life unlike the rest of the book which is nothing more than empty characters and plot that was obviously written after many viewings of the movie CHINATOWN. I must admit, I found the ending stunning, stunningly predictable and depressing. It does have nice title and the history noir is well researched, but that simply isn't enough for me. It truely is one of the worst books I've ever. read.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Von Gerds on August 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Simeon Chamber is the second Steve Martini book I have read (Compelling Evidence being the first) and I was thoroughly disappointed. The book tells the story of Sam Bogardus, a lawyer who is hired on what seems to be a simple adoption case at first. All of a sudden the plot evolves into a search for the lost journals of Francis Drake as well as trying to solve a murder that is 30 years past. Martini just fails to build a believable chain of events. Again, don't waste your time with this book. I will definitely give Martini another chance, because I found Compelling Evidence to be outstanding
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as plot driven as other novels lackluster dialogue,character development very weak and unbelievable.too much unsupported info about this money mogul Hearst
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
One of Martini's best. Rivoting and could not put down until I finished it. Definitely worth reading. Will read again.
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