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Nervous Laughter (The Thomas Black mysteries Book 3) by [Emerson, Earl]
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Nervous Laughter (The Thomas Black mysteries Book 3) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 288 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Earl Emerson's acclaimed series about Seattle private investigator Thomas Black is much beloved by readers and critics. And with justification. (These novels, running the gamut from THE RAINY CITY to the just-issued CATFISH CAF, are among my all-time favorite detective tales, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Earl's editor.) But I don't know any other crime novelist who amasses such fervent praise from his peers. It would be a crime to call Earl Emerson merely a "writer's writer." But there sure are a lot of talented authors who revere him. To wit . . .

Aaron Elkins: "In every book he tries something new, and he always comes up a winner. In the best tradition of American crime fiction, Emerson is a master of witty dialogue; clever, complex plotting; and lucid, meaty prose."

Robert Crais: "Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet, evincing a quality of phrase and nuance that elevates the genre."

Ann Rule: "Earl Emerson and Thomas Black only get better and better! Earl Emerson has taken his place in the rarefied air of the best of the best!"

'Nuff said.

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

From the Inside Flap

"Destined to rank among the best of the new generation of American private eye writers."
--Chicago Sun-Times

Thomas Black hits P.I. pay dirt when he shadows a alleged philanderer to a tryst. But instead of two illicit lovers, he finds two bodies, an apparent murder-suicide. The dead man's grieving widow doesn't believe her late husband pulled the trigger--on his lover or himself.

Everyone--including Black's own sexy client--seems to be hiding something. Maybe the name of the murdered man's equally dead girlfriend, Bea Hindenburg, should have warned Black that this case was destined to crash and burn. . . .

"Emerson's sense of creating lean plot and dialogue improves with each book."
--The Seattle Times


Product Details

  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BCSHLB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,768 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I started to look at Emerson's reviews, I was startled that "Nervous Laughter" only got a "2 star" ranking. One reviewer obviously had something else in mind and probably didn't read the entire book. PI Thomas Black is following a rich man who is suspected of cheating on his wife. As he stakes out the site of the supposed tryst, he discovers that the rich man and his teenage lover are dead. Black must find out if it's murder or suicide. Earl Emerson is one of the best mystery writers working today. He paints a perfect picture of Seattle, and his 2 main characters, Thomas Black and Kathy Birchfield, are 2 of the most likeable characters in the mystery genre.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a nice book in the Thomas Black style. Nothing was a big shock. The story emerged with good pacing, wasn't totally predictable. I enjoyed it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Third in the Thomas Black series, and as entertaining as the previous two. Despite how crowded the mystery/p.i. genre was during the years that this series was created it is pleasant how fresh the author keeps the story. There is a feeling of familiarity with each entry but there are surprise along the way. Thomas and Kathy remain enjoyable characters that the reader will root for and feel for even if we know everything we be nicely tied up by the end.
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By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mr. Darell Y. Hamamoto wrote a review that Mr. Black had copped the title from one of his book. The funny thing is that Mr. Emerson's book was written in 1986 and Mr. Hamamoto's was written in 1989. Seems like Mr. Hamamoto should make an apology to Mr.Emerson rather than the other way around. This a fine addition to the Thomas Black series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "Nervous Laughter" (a great title), private detective Thomas Black once again gets dragged into a case by his close friend, lawyer Kathy Birchfield. This time the case involves the death of one of her corporate clients, and found dead with him in his office is a teenage girl with whom it looks like he is having an affair. During the investigation, Thomas is distracted by the client's gorgeous widow and her slimy TV evangelist friend and comforter. Of course, it is all more complicated than it seems at first.

Overall, this is a reasonably "fun" mystery to read. I can't think of any great praise or censure for it. I will say the banter between Kathy and Thomas is occasionally off putting--being sophomoric and hokey at times. I also am finding that Emerson includes rather unrefined human behavior in describing his characters, eg, they might be picking their noses or digging wax out of their ears. I find this rather gross, and, in addition, unfair, as the beautiful people are all perfect and it is only the "lower-class" characters who are doing these things.

Finally, I would like to learn a little more about Thomas besides the fact he was a cop who left the department after killing a teenager who was trying to run him down with a car. Does he have a family--siblings, parents? Has he ever been in love? What does he eat for supper? Just a few more details would make him come more alive to the reader.

For more mystery series that may entertain you, check out my website describing and reviewing many series (see my Amazon profile for the URL).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another in the fantastic Thomas Black series. Well written at a lively pace. Anyone who is not already hooked on Emerson's detective will be after this book.
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