Customer Reviews: Mirror Ball Man
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 19 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on November 1, 2010
Great book written by this up and coming author. Joel Brown has long been a presence in new England as a writer for the Boston Globe and other properties, but with Mirror Ball Man there is no more hiding Joel Brown. The prose is witty yet flows together almost as lyrically as the songs attributed the the book's star, Baxter McLean. As I read the book, I kept tying to picture movie stars for the scene. Baxter is a rough and tumble Harrison Ford type who still has his charm with the groupie rockers. Elaine has to be Diane Lane. The suspense builds quickly, in just a few pages you'll be hooked - unlike the 100 or so it took to get hooked on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. As a "local" New Englander, I loved all the masked Newburyport references, but even folks in California and outside the US will enjoy the pure storytelling and dramatic plot.
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on September 10, 2010
Loved "Mirror Ball Man." It was witty, engaging, mysterious and really captured the Newburyport I knew when I lived there from 74-89. It was fun to pick out the names and places and match them up against my memories. But the story was an engaging mystery that would have stood on its own without all the Newburyport references. I did not guess the murderer until it was revealed near the end of the book. It's been compared to a North Shore Hiassen, but the comparisons diminish the quality of the work. This is a new voice with its own unique character -- one that I hope we will be bearing a lot more from in the future.
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on May 30, 2015
I absolutely loved this book! Since I grew up in Newburyport (Libertyport) and still live there I recognized several of the characters. It was a lot of fun figuring out where McLean was in the city, sometimes I spent too much time with the landscape and not enough time with the murder.
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on January 22, 2012
Just moved to the area (King's Island) and stumbled onto this book at the local Libertyport Book Store. Devoured this book and quickly read the follow-on Mermaid Blues. Enjoyed the local color and the fast moving and humorous who-done-it. Enjoyable read, even if you are not familiar with the area.
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on August 17, 2013
Joel Brown is another fine example of why e-books are so good for readers and writers. I probably would not have found his books offline -- and I'd have missed out on good characters, good plotting, and good writing. I know I've found a keeper when I don't want to rewrite anything from the first word on, and it's an extra treat when the characters are worth following and the author is willing to stick with them for at least a few more books. Thanks, Mr. Brown.

I've just downloaded #2 in the series and am about to order hard copies for our library.
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on February 26, 2012
I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I started this book but this is a kindle book worth reading!

It is well written and grabs your attention almost immediately. It was plausible and the story progressed in a logical fashion making me sneak breaks to go and read when I should have been doing other things.

I found myself trying to guess who the killer was and what was going to happen with the different characters. I think this could be a series written about the interesting people in this charming town. I would also love to know what happens with his career and love life.

Very nice read.
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on January 4, 2013
A murder occurs in a small resort town in the Northeast. The protagonist, who immediately comes under suspicion, is an "ordinary" guy (i.e. he's not an ex-FBI agent, a down-and-out drunk ex-cop, etc.). The characters "fit" the town, and you almost feel like a visitor. It's not an acton-packed thriller, but it holds your attention and makes you keep on reading. You will keep guessing until the end, but it's neatly wrapped up. Go spend a week in Libertyport--you'll enjoy it.
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on April 4, 2011
This book features singer/songwriter and small town native Baxter McLean, who is thrust into the role of "detective" to clear his name of a possible murder charge. Perhaps hyper-aware of his own flaws, and as quick to make fun of himself as of others, McLean is a middle-aged small New England town native. He once thought it possible to break from his "townie" role to see the world, but he never quite hit the mark to make the leap. Author Joel Brown brings us on a fast-paced journey that cleverly weaves interesting characters into a believable setting and exciting mystery that also highlights the struggles of middle age. Brown's comparisons between old and young, successful and not-so-successful, hip and not-so-hip, make this book thought-provoking as well as fun. "Mirror Ball Man" brings me back to my college days when I read hard-boiled detective novels for relaxation. The sardonic wit of Joel Brown's Baxter McLean is reminiscent of Robert B. Parker's Spenser. I highly recommend this book.
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on July 19, 2012
I enjoyed the low-key main character who had a sense of humor about himself and life in general. I like mysteries, and this one was fun because the main character wasn't a cop or detective. A good look at life in small towns and the personalities that inhabit them.
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on September 14, 2011
A great, fun read for mystery lovers. Although author's fictitious Libertyport makes reference to my home town of Newburyport, MA, I believe all Mirror Ball Man readers will find a kernel of their own hometown in the characters, plot line and local politics. Author Brown's style, wit and creativity have made me eager to read the sequel. It's great to find a new author worth following.
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