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Crooked Man: A Hard-Boiled but Humorous New Orleans Mystery (Tubby Dubonnet Series #1) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series) by [Dunbar, Tony]
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Crooked Man: A Hard-Boiled but Humorous New Orleans Mystery (Tubby Dubonnet Series #1) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 537 customer reviews
Book 1 of 9 in The Tubby Dubonnet Series (9 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dunbar's (Delta Time) first novel is less a mystery-the murder occurs at the halfway point and is witnessed by the reader-than a deliciously witty caper through the idiosyncratic landscape of New Orleans, where crickets sing in the weeds that grow up through the curbs and St. Patrick's Day paraders toss crawfish and potatoes from floats. Tubby Dubonnet is a lawyer who likes fishing, beer and off-track betting. His clients include a cross-dresser referred by the very doctor he's suing for a botched skin-creolizing, and a lakefront bar owner who has held on to a nearly $1 million payoff after a shrimpboat marijuana bust. The bar owner hands over the money locked in a gym bag to Tubby, then is murdered, leaving behind a death scene portrayed with jarring comic understatement. Tubby grapples with the temptation of riches and the threats of claimants, and, as he sorts out the rogues from and among the buttoned-downs, he dispatches the villain and finds a home for the cash in a conclusion that's as cleverly convoluted and amusing as the rest of this tale, the first in a projected series.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Best known for his nonfiction work (e.g., Delta Time: A Journey Through Mississippi, LJ 7/90), Dunbar creates a lighthearted, fast-moving, comic mystery with New Orleans lawyer and epicure Tubby Dubonnet as the hero. One would think that Tubby's professional life is interesting, given his involvement with a transvestite/entertainer client who's suing for a botched skin-darkening operation (he was referred to Tubby by his doctor, the defendant!). Alas, Tubby finds himself in possession of a gym bag full of cash that may be tied to a drug-deal-gone-sour murder. There are certainly others who will stop at nothing to obtain the bag. Are they underworld or are they from the "right" side of the law? In this well-written, entertaining first novel, Tubby's luncheon menus are as engaging as the plot. Highly recommended for public libraries.
Heather Blenkinsopp, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 552 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: booksBnimble (November 29, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081HNT7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
About 30 percent into this book in my Kindle, I thought, "OK, the main character's charming, but where's the mystery?" I decided I was interested enough in all the characters to give the book a little more time, and I was glad I did.

This isn't a fantastic book, but it's a pretty enjoyable one. It captures New Orleans and its corruption and good ole boyness quite well. I thought Tubby Dubonnet was a pretty likeable character who was realistic when you consider New Orleans culture. And the rest of the characters? Most were offbeat and charming in their own way.

I'd equate this to a Hamish MacBeth novel by M.C. Beaton. You read them because you find the entire cast quirky and fun, not because the mystery's hard-hitting and fast paced. And after a while, you realize you've read nearly all of the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good read, would make a great Noir Film. Doesn't pound you over the head with New Orleans items, just a backdrop, but anyone familar with The City, will get all the locations, food, bars, etc. This was Tony Dunbar's first novel and while the cover(paperback)refers to him as reminiscent of Donald Westlake and Elmore Lenoard; other than some characters that could turn up in either's books, Dunbar has a style of his own style. Makes you anxious to read the next novel in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Tony Dunbar's droll detective series featuring the laconic lawyer Tubby Dubonnet is certainly one of the better evocations of the Crescent City produced in the past thirty years. Tubby devours not only po'boys and numerous other New Orleans delicacies, but he also embodies a benign gumshoe ethic that makes a book like this such fun to read. A tad weak on plot, thankfully, the book puts you in the company of a worldly, energetic gourmand who treats the slings and arrows of the case he's involved with as so many distractions from the real business of living. Dunbar, as a writer, comes across as the epitome of an appreciator, an observer who marvels at the humanity in front of him without genuflecting. New Orleans has taken some big hits in the past decade, but in Tony Dunbar's wonderful Tubby Dubonnet series disasters have met their match. Spend an evening or two with Tubby and you'll be delightfully transformed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first book I ever read where I came to THE END at 4 o'clock in the morning, stared stupidly at those two words and thought, Must be a mistake! Where's the rest of it? Author Dunbar wrapped up the story in fine style but I just wasn't ready to stop reading.

Here's the kind of book CROOKED MAN is:

New Orleans lawyer Tubby Dubonnet and Dr. Marty Feingold sit beneath ceiling fans in a hotel dining room with rows of windows that allow them to watch the passing parade. Tubby orders softshell crabs. Dr. Feingold orders trout and raves about snorkeling in Costa Rica.

Feingold: "It's a great sport. You see things you never imagined."
Tubby: "Actually, Marty, I get enough of that in my law practice. What I see walking around on the streets amazes me on a daily basis."

One by one Dunbar brings on those amazing characters, some for color and the unspooling of Tubby's character, some for plot and further revelation of Tubby's character.

In the thick of the plot are Casey and Freddie, a couple of thugs working for Sheriff Mule, who plans to rip off drug money from one of Tubby's clients. Up to her eyebrows in the caper is Monique, who ran away from a spotty past in Alabama, landed in New Orleans, and worked her way up from a job as an exotic dancer to a better job as her boss's main squeeze and confidant.

Tubby takes on a simple open-and-shut case. Think again. Nothing is ever simple. Tubby is caught up in blackmail and betrayal, but he's quick witted and nimble-footed when his survival depends on it. It all comes together in a drug bust that goes terribly wrong and Tubby ends up holding the bag.

The key to Tubby's character: "Tubby did not like moral dilemmas. He tried to avoid them whenever possible and to see things in practical terms -- what worked and what didn't." What he goes through to save his own skin and get rid of a client's ill-gotten gains is both funny and dangerous.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Tony Dunbar issues the caveat in the disclaimer that "the real New Orleans is different from their (the characters) make-believe city." I've been to New Orleans enough, though, that you could fool me. Tubby Dubonnet is a believable protagonist with just the brush with crookedness to round out his straight shooting. The plot Dunbar weaves among Tubby and his clients and acquaintances is intricate enough to brace the reader for how all the loose ends get tied together in a satisfying conclusion. In between, the gastronomic tour goes from a fast foot breakfast biscuit to the finest delights of restaurants and corner bars across New Orleans. On finishing Crooked Man, it made me want to go back to New Orleans. And to read more of Tubby Dubonnet.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Too many books set in New Orleans overdose on local color. References to famous eateries read like listings in local ad-rags. Droll Ignatius Reilly-types, in company with other exotic characters from America's most Caribbean city, pop up as regularly as the Whac-a-Mole in a carnival funhouse. Granted, some Crescent City spice is necessary to satisfy readers' appetites. Yet too much local seasoning can cause literary indigestion. In "Crooked Man" Dunbar has struck just the right balance, brilliantly so, IMHO. Nor is the writing overwrought (another pitfall of New Orleans-based novels). Lucid, even graceful, Dunbar's voice is pitch perfect throughout. But more than clear writing and clever plotting sets this mystery novel apart from a lot of the rest. It's the characters. The quasi-raffish Tubby Dubonnet, for one, with his wry take on how criminal law is practiced in these latitudes. But a couple of minor characters grab you as well and won't let go, such as the young mother who lights out for New Orleans to escape an abusive husband back home in Mississippi. You really start to care for these storm-tossed people. I don't want to give too much of the story away, other than to mention that the ending packs a pile-driving punch stone-guaranteed to stick in memory.
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