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Mourners: A Nameless Detective Novel ("Nameless" Detective Novels) Hardcover – February 21, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Book 31 of 35 in the Nameless Detective Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 30th outing for Pronzini's legendary Nameless Detective (after 2005's Nightcrawlers) exhibits many of the strengths of his earlier adventures. Unfortunately, it also suffers from some of the diffuse softness of recent books about the San Francisco PI, especially when it dwells on the private lives of Nameless and his two colleagues. The Nameless books of old were noteworthy for their compressed sadness and anger and for the sharpness of their hero's tradecraft. Those qualities are present to some degree in Nameless's current case involving a wealthy financial consultant, James Troxell, who suddenly starts attending the funerals of women, all strangers who died violently. And Shamus-winner Pronzini can still whip up a descriptive storm in just a few words. "The Good Life, with all its attendant perks," Nameless muses on a visit to Troxell's expensive home. "Unless possibly, for some private reason, you were starting to come apart at the seams." That's the Nameless we know and love, not the sitcom father and baffled husband he's too often seen as here. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Nameless made his assistant, Tamara, a partner in his detective agency and hired Jake, a new operative, he genuinely felt he was moving toward retirement. But business has increased, and Nameless finds himself reluctant to give up the work that has defined him for so long, even though he has recently become a husband and father. His current case involves a wealthy financial planner who attends the funerals of strangers, walks deserted beaches at night, and makes solitary visits to a secret rental apartment. His wife is worried and hires the firm to investigate. While tailing the subject, Jake, the new operative, meets a young woman with a startling resemblance to his late wife. She is mourning her sister, the victim of an unknown killer. Meanwhile Tamara is licking her wounds after getting dumped by her longtime lover, and Nameless doesn't understand his wife's aloofness toward him and their daughter. Pronzini's series becomes more layered and complex with each entry. This time the primary characters are all in one stage or another of mourning, but the only one who recognizes it is the initial subject of the investigation. He is also the only one who understands the timeless omnipresence of grief. It may fade into the shadows, but it never leaves, dogging one's every step. A dark, foreboding entry in a classic series. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: "Nameless" Detective Novels (Book 34)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (February 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765309327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765309327
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,241,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Nameless Detective series was supposed to end with the character's retirement in 2002's "Bleeders." However, fans continued to clamor for more Nameless tales, and Pronzini has since treated fans to "Spook," "Nightcrawlers" and now "Mourners." Instead of quitting, Nameless -- who has now acquired a name, Bill -- has given more responsibility to his two operatives, Tamara and Jake. The books used to be all first person; now, we have alternating chapters told from several different characters' points of view.

A lot of mystery series get stale after a few installments, but Pronzini's new approach has freshened up the series, and I eagerly anticipate each new Nameless book. As Nameless has gotten more domestic, with wife Kerry and their adopted daughter, Jake has sort of become the moody loner that Nameless was when Pronzini started his long-running series.

In "Mourners," the wife of a financial consultant hires the agency to follow her husband, who has started acting very strangely and disappearing for long periods. The investigation leads Jake to go off on a tangent when he tries to solve the murder of a young woman whose sister reminds him of his late wife.

If you have the chance, read the whole series in order; it is one of the towering achievements in modern mystery fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
The "Nameless" agency team knows about separation and death. "Nameless" friend and partner committed suicide, Jake Runyon's wife died of cancer and Tamara's love has moved to Philadelphia. The agency has been hired, by his wife,to follow James Troxell. Rather than another woman, they find he is attending the funerals of women who have been raped and murdered. At a cemetery, Jake sees a young woman who reminds him of his late wife and who's sister was a victim. What is Troxell's connection to these victims?

Pronzini is such a fine writer. He takes, what could be, a basic mystery and layers it with text that deepens and enriches the plot. On the top level, this is a very good mystery. It leads the reader on a fascinating trail finding out exactly what the object character is up to. The sense of place, dialogue and suspense are all very well done. You become involved with all the characters and care about them. Even the minor, and somewhat unlikable, characters are ones you recognize. On a second level is the story of grief and mourning; it's many forms and the impact it has on various people's lives. I can't' say enough about this book. I am ready for the next in the series, and determinedly looking for the ones I'm missing. If you've not read this series, even with a few slight misses, start at the beginning and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!.
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Format: Hardcover
Mourners is Bill Pronzini's thirtieth entry in the Nameless P.I. series which has a bust in the Pantheon of P.I.s. Nameless (now going by "Bill") is probably in his 60s, married to Kerry, and has an adopted daughter Emily who is growing up too fast. His awkward fatherly "sex talk" with her is a classic scene. Yes, Nameless as a family man reveals a gentler, funnier side -- the result of mellowing age. In this case, the affluent financial consultant James Troxell attends all funerals of women who've died violently (thus the book's title). Naturally Troxell's wife is alarmed and hires Nameless to find out just why this erratic behavior. Nameless soon uncovers a women's brutal murder and her distraught sister. The P.I. firm's other two workers, Tamara Corbin and Jake Runyon, inject the subplots of their personal lives. Tamara is getting over her old boyfriend. Runyon does much of the heavy detective work, and his sections give the story its gritty, hardboiled flavor. The prose remains lean and vivid. I've read enjoyed reading all the titles, and Mourners is as good as any.
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Format: Audio CD
Bill Pronzini's MOURNERS receives Broadway acting veteran Nick Sullivan's experienced way with drama to spice another 'Nameless Detective' novel of intrigue. Here troubles at home with his wife lead to more troubles at the office, where he sees too much death and attends too many funerals. His sudden revelation that his problems may be interconnected brings with it uncertain knowledge that he may indeed know the killer. All are excellent leisure and study choices.
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