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The Highly Effective Detective Crosses the Line: A Mystery Hardcover – February 15, 2011
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Teddy Ruzak, Yancey’s mildly OCD—and currently unlicensed—private detective, makes a welcome return in this fourth series installment. Farrell, Teddy’s cop friend, asks Teddy for a favor: keep an eye on his daughter, whom Farrell believes is in danger of being attacked by her ex-con ex-boyfriend. Teddy thinks it would be a good idea to find out where the ex-boyfriend is and whether he really is a threat, which turns out not to be such a good idea, after all. Yancey’s gently comic Highly Effective Detective novels are thoroughly enjoyable mysteries, cleverly plotted and narrated by Teddy himself, one of the genre’s more interesting creations. A nifty subplot involves the line, referred to in the title, that Teddy crosses, and for which there are a couple of candidates, one professional, the other personal, and about which Yancey keeps us guessing for most of the book. Readers of the previous three series entries will note that Yancey continues to develop Teddy’s character and his various neuroses and compulsions; readers new to the Ruzak novels will have a great time and be eager for more. --David Pitt
Praise for The Highly Effective Detective series
“Yancey deserves mention with the wackiest of today’s comic crime novelists...similar to Donald E. Westlake or Carl Hiassen.”--Booklist on The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs
"Move over, Sam Spade. A priceless nebbish has joined the private-eye ranks. An adorably quixotic adventure."--Kirkus Reviews
“Delightful…Yancey has given Teddy a distinctive voice – wry, rambling, and self-reflective – that will endear this surprisingly effective bumbler to all kinds of mystery readers.”--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“It is difficult to top an outstanding series debut, but Yancey does so here with great aplomb. For readers who enjoy humorous mysteries with quirky detectives in the tradition of Janet Evanovich.” --Library Journal
“A delightful and easygoing whodunit.” --The New York Post
Top customer reviews
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I'm sorry that I didn't think to look at the reviews here before reading a book billed on the inside jacket as "funny and engaging" and "will delight and entertain." I'm not arguing the book shouldn't exist, obviously. Tastes differ. Reviewers exaggerate. But author, editor, publisher: please try to be accurate, or at least not completely inaccurate. I'm adding my review in the hope that it will help someone else.
(spoiler alert below)
Kill off all the characters you want in a murder mystery, but not in a comedy, and NEVER EVER kill the dog. This is the very LAST Yancey novel I will ever read, I didn't even bother finishing it after Archie was killed. Yancey, you are a cruel SOB!
The key problem, at least for me, was the characters - almost all of them. I know our hero, Teddy Ruzak, is supposed to be lovable bungling nebbish, but I found him neurotic, depressed, and prone to psychobabble. One of the characters mentions that talking to Teddy depresses her - I felt the same way reading about him. As for his love interest, Felicia - she's thoroughly unlikable, and it's probably a sign of Teddy's psychological problems that he likes her so much. The plot is thin, with little to propel the narrative forward.
This is the first book of this series that I've read, and I won't be looking for others.
Most recent customer reviews
I've read all of the Ruzak books including this one...gratefully BEFORE I read the reviews.Read more
"The Highly Effective Detective Crosses the Line" is my first Yancey/Ruzak.
It is very well done overall.Read more