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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It was not until this book arrived, that I discovered that this was not the run of the mill mystery. I was a little apprehensive that this kind of novel would be too cute and fussy. However, by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. This is the third in a series of morgue mystery/thrillers, but it is a stand alone book.

The author, Jutta Profijt, went to visit a morgue and the unusual surroundings gave birth to a series of books taking place in a morgue in Cologne, Germany. The spirit of a man, Pasha, an ex-car thief and ladies man, hangs out at the Institute for Forensic Medicine. For some reason this morgue feels home to him, and he wasn't forced to leave. He can see the other spirits arrive and leave for destinations unknown. Besides, he has a friend, Martin, the coroner. Poor Martin is the only human who can hear Pasha, and though he has grown fond of Pasha, he is not the type who wants a spirit living near him. Pasha, however, turns out to be a terrific partner in investigation. He is able to lead Martin to places no one else can see. The downside is that Pasha wants to inhabit Martin's life, and that is not OK. Martin tries every devious trick to get Pasha to leave, to no avail. Martin and his girlfriend, Birgit, who has no idea that Pasha exists, are stuck with this spirit.

We get to know Martin's colleagues at the morgue. All of them have characteristics we find fun and irritating. Katrin, is the closest to Martin. Smart and beautiful, she has no love for their new boss, 'Piggy Bank'. His only mission is to save money and in the meantime makes life a little miserable. It is his idea to rent out the morgue drawers to pull in some money. There are many adventures in this novel, some are amusing and others a little less so. We learn about life in the morgue and the bodies that inhabit this place, and how they come to be.

Pasha can be wearing, but entertaining, and he does grow on you. The writing and characters are so well done, that they draw you in, and you are attached.

Recommended. prisrob 11-08-12

Morgue Drawer Next Door

Morgue Drawer for Rent
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 2, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the third book in the series featuring Pasha, the spirit who hangs out at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Cologne. He can only communicate with one living being, the coroner Martin Gänsewein. Poor Martin isn't very happy about the voice he hears inside his head, Martin being a principled, clean-living, nerdy vegetarian and Pasha being an unprincipled, foul-mouthed ex-car thief. But despite their total incompatibility, they make a great investigative team.

There's a new director at the institute who's obsessed with increasing efficiency and cutting costs. This is a timely theme nowadays when number crunchers are taking over the management of all sorts of businesses and services they know nothing about. The new director's income-generating policies are pretty funny, like deciding to rent out morgue drawers to funeral homes.

Under new management, alarming things start happening at the Institute. Bodies are kidnapped. Corpses are mutilated. A coroner is attacked. It falls to Pasha to figure out what's going on, since he can whoosh around wherever he pleases and spy on people unseen.

Meanwhile Pasha has fallen in love with the granddaughter of the new night watchman. To see the normally lecherous Pasha revel in "pure, radiant, incandescent love" is endlessly amusing. After all, it's not easy for an electromagnetic wave to court a flesh-and-blood woman in another dimension.

Pasha is full of surprises in this book. He's become very knowledgeable about autopsy procedures. And he's growing less selfish. He's beginning to see Martin as a friend, not just a useful connection to the realm of the living. Pasha might even be willing to put Martin's happiness before his own.

Pasha is the most original amateur detective I've encountered in recent memory. I just hope he won't mature too much. I'd hate to lose him to the White Light. I want more books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
MORGUE DRAWER FOR RENT by Jutta Profijt gets off to a slow start with pages of backstory. Near page 150 the story picks up with some interesting twists. What seems obvious from the beginning isn't what you assumed in the first place.
Pasha is a fun protagonist who as a ghost can only communicate earthwise with Martin Gansewein. Martin is not mentally equipped to handle the advent of a ghost in his life, but relies on Pasha unique abilities to find out what is happening.
Good read, but remember it takes a while.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
ARC/Mystery: This book is a German to English translation and book three of the morgue drawer series. After reading Dragon Tattoo, I've been interested in authors from other countries simply because I'm tired of the same ole plots. This is a ghost story, but it is different.
First, I had to look up the name Pascha because it sounds feminine, and in most cases it is. However this Pascha is a male ghost. The only person this ex-car thief can communicate with is the nerdish coroner, Martin. Unlike most talking ghost stories, Martin and Pascha can talk through thoughts. I liked that aspect because there was none of the supposed comedic "communication" that has been done so many times. The author does a good job of balancing what is said, and how, with who "knows" about Martin's spiritual friend.
In the middle of an asbestos move, Martin's boss is replaced by the bean counter that is nicknamed "Piggy Bank". The book is done in the first person of the snappy and rude Pascha. After body parts, and bodies, start to disappear, Martin starts to implode over the investigation.
The first half of the book is slowish at points. Over time, you understand what happened in the first two books. The second half is a lot better. It's a faster pace in which Pascha tries to solve the case.
One good point of reading book three without the other two books: I have a feeling Pascha was even more egotistical and obnoxious in before this book. Yes, his character grows in this one too. However, I can't imagine how Martin was before. He seems a little to static.
The translator did a good job and the writing is done well. I do think that Pascha's gender needed to be explained earlier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 8, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Once again, our dead but alive Pascha uses his skills in helping coroner Dr. Martin Gansewein solve some crimes. Of course, in doing so he also sticks his nose into Martin's private life. This is the third in the series and the storytelling still remains fresh.

This time around we have some bureaucratic bungling (imagine that) mixed in with a fluctuating body count. The book description above is woefully inadequate, but to tell much more would be to tell too much. If you like humorous mysteries, albeit with real crimes, blood and real life situations, then this series is for you. Start with Morgue Drawer Four; then move on to Morgue Drawer Next Door and on to this one. While waiting for the next in this series (at least I hope there will be more), check out Profijt's Dust Angel.

The translations by Erik Macki are very well done. He brings the English speakers into the story without writing the German setting out. It all flows seamlessly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 19, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is a heat wave in Cologne, Germany that has eveybody on edge. People are actually dying because of the heat which increases the work load of everyone in the coroner's office who has to perform the autopsies. When a new administrator for the facility puts his cost-cutting measures in force the work place becomes more and more tense. But that is nothing compared to what happens when bodies start to disappear and the administrator decides to begin charging funeral homes rental fees to store the bodies they have prepared for funerals. All heck has broken loose in the Institute for Forensic Medicine. As if all that isn't enough, Pascha is in love. Of course Pascha is also dead.

I began reading this series with Morgue Drawer Four and continued with the second book, Morgue Drawer Next Door. These novels feature black humor and a decidedly non-politically correct character. Pascha is a dead car thief who has yet to "see the light", meaning the light that will supposedly allow his spirit to move on from his earth bound existance. Only one person can hear Pascha, but Dr Martin Gansewein is not at all happy about that situation. This author does a fine job of pointing up exactly what opposite personalities Martin and Pascha have and this leads to conflicts of interest and abilities on the part of each character. The mystery always plays a prominent part in the novel, but the author also advances the development of all the major characters as well. If you have any problems with gallows type humor, this series might not be right for you. The characters are often less than completely professional in their treatment of the deceased. In view of how the novel ended I can't help but wonder what will happen with this series. I certainly hope it will continue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoy this series. Martin Gänswein is a coroner in Cologne, Germany. Sascha (who wants to be called Pascha) Lerchenberg, is a car thief who died but for some reason did not depart. Martin is the only living person who can hear and carry on conversations with Pascha's ghost. They drive each other crazy, but, yet, manage to solve mysteries and even come to grudging respect.

In this book, Morgue Drawer for Rent, the 3rd book in the series, Martin has all manner of stresses. The office building which houses the morgue must undergo asbestos removal. Everyone's office and lab equipment is temporarily housed in a new office. It wouldn't be such a problem, except the autopsy room and refrigerated drawers are the one part of the old building NOT needing refurbishing. Martin and his colleagues must travel to and fro.

Next, Germany is under the longest driest hottest heatwave anyone can remember. The work load is exacerbated by the addition of deaths related to the heat. Funeral homes are parking their corpses at the morgue because they don't have the room or refrigeration. And the contractor manages to cut off the power every once in a while.

Last, but certainly not least, the Morgue Director has a non-fatal heart attack, and his temporary replacement is a bean counter of the worst kind. Little sense to his penny-ante directives, no science or law enforcement background so he has no idea of what he's directing, and a rigid determination to not look at his employees as people. Martin could tell they were in for a rough ride from the director's very first speech to the assembled staff: "I have been tasked with this assignment with the goal of implementing a few optimizations under the rubric of cost effectiveness."

Then things get weird. In a night-time electricity cut-out, someone comes into the morgue and starts to skin one corpse and then absconds with a second. All the new director can think about is whether or not they can make an insurance claim on the theft of the body.

And then, another night, someone comes in and steals all the corpses' eyeballs. Yeah. Pascha and Martin are on the case. Unofficially, especially as Pascha once again causes Martin enough trouble that he gets fired.

Jutta Profijt's writing is engaging and fun, not forgetting that Erik Macki's translation from the original German allows it to shine. Here's an example, where Pascha is scoping out a clinic devoted to cosmetic surgery: "Every morning at 9:31, half of the population of Germany can be found stuffing rib fat into their mouths, while the other half is having it vacuumed back out again. Is that what they call a 'circular economy'?"

One thing I thought got repetitious in "Morgue Drawer for Rent" is Pasha's asides on what his editor says. Using Martin's voice recognition softwear, which somehow Pascha can inhabit, Pascha has typed up an earlier case and successfully submitted it to a publisher. So this book has also been submitted and published, and there are too many asides such as: "There were a couple of token trees left here and there on the grounds. No idea what kind of trees. (That was a stupid question my editor asked. She said readers will want to know what kind of trees they were so they can picture the park. Fine: trunk on bottom, leaves on top. Or needles. Or needle leaves, what do I care?)"

Recommended reading. Both the first in the series, Morgue Drawer Four, and the second, Morgue Drawer Next Door, had laugh out loud moments for me.

Happy Reader
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The adventures of Pascha and Martin continue in this wonderful book. Pascha, the deceased car thief, still has not found 'the light'. Martin, the placid, conservative coroner, is still the only person who can hear Pascha.

Martin continues to attempt to get some privacy from the lonely ghost, Pascha, as he searches for an apartment to share with his girlfriend, Birgit, during the worst heat wave ever to hit Cologne, Germany. The temperatures soar in the coroner's office, too, when the new boss turns out to be an efficiency expert who knows nothing about forensics and whose only concern is the bottom dollar.

In this adventure, body parts are stolen off corpses at the morgue. Between trying to help solve this mystery, Pascha has also had his first book accepted by a publisher. Since he is dead, and he can communicate with no one but Martin, there is a problem in promoting his book. On top of these two problems, Pascha falls in love! This presents yet another impossible situation for the ghost. Difficulties for Pascha and Martin mount, while laughter and suspense keep the reader entertained with nonstop action. This third book in the MORGUE series is another winner.

I think it is helpful, but not necessary, for the reader to have read Ms Profijit's two other books in the series, MORGUE DRAWER FOUR and THE MORGUE DRAWER NEXT DOOR. Thanks for the delightful surprise at the end, Ms Profijit! I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 11, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book was fun to read: What could be better?

"Morgue Drawer for Rent" is the third in the series, but it catches you up pretty quickly. If you read the books out of order, it doesn't matter--they are all fun.

Pascha is just an ordinary 24 year old--enjoys women, action movies, hanging out. Except that he is a ghost and only one (kind of stuffy) person can hear him. In this volume, Pascha and Martin Gaensewein continue solving crimes--much to Martin's displeasure. However, in the series, Pascha is growing up a bit and Martin seems to be adapting to the fact that he has to be a detective as well as a body slicer (coroner). This time Pascha and Martin have to figure out why people show up dead with missing organs--not helped by the fact that the temporary director is much more interested in "cost effectiveness" than solving crimes.

Jutta Profijt works as translator and Erik Maki is credited as translating the novel into English. They have done an excellent job, using English vernacular so that it reads as if it were originally written in English. It makes the novel much more fun to read when I don't have to trip over strange language constructions as I am reading.

Not only an enjoyable book and series to read, but one that I will probably return to occasionally, just for the fun of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 16, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really enjoy this "Morgue Drawer" series. The plots are interesting, the characters are relatively believable, and the humor is excellent! To those of you who have not read the first two books in this series, the plots basically follow the adventures of a "lost" soul (or spirit) who can't "go to the light" and is only able to communicate with one living person, a coroner in a German Forensic Institute. I know it sounds silly, but just accept the premise that the author presents and you'll have a great ride.

This latest work begins during a heat wave in Cologne, when folks are dropping dead in droves, and the Institute's work is becoming overwhelming. Adding to that is a temporary director who is only bottom line oriented, and who is also something of a martinet. Also, corpses seem to be disappearing from the morgue, and parts of bodies appear to have been removed, and the spirit and his reluctant living "friend" begin to look into the matter.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot, and of course the humor is almost non-stop. It's difficult to keep oneself from laughing out loud many times. I hope the author continues to grace us with more of her stories, and I will certainly look forward to reading them!
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