- Series: A Double Feature Mystery (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (October 2, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 042521799X
- ISBN-13: 978-0425217993
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,027,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Some Like It Hot-Buttered (A Double Feature Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Introducing Elliot Freed, rescuer and proprietor of an abandoned New Jersey movie theater, Cohen fires up the gag reel for a new tongue-in-cheek mystery series sure to please fans of his Aaron Tucker mysteries (As Dog Is My Witness). After selling his novel to Hollywood, movie-obsessed Freed sinks the windfall into a beloved single-screen relic. When the lights go up after a showing of YoungFrankenstein, it appears customer Vincent Ansella has had his last laugh-what at first looks like a fatal heart attack is soon revealed to be murder-by-popcorn. After the police shut down his theater, Freed decides to help investigate (if only to quicken the reopening), getting some help from his amicable, alimony-paying ex-wife and an alluring police detective. When Freed's projectionist, a young film student, suddenly goes missing, he's billed suspect number one by the police, but Freed has other suspicions. Ruffling feathers and getting violent warnings, Freed solves the mystery and earns his amateur sleuth credentials, promising more comic adventures to come. Cohen develops his lively characters almost as effortlessly as he delivers the jokes-and the occasional guffaw-and manages to sneak in some suspenseful twists besides. (Oct.)
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But this book was more than just a great mystery...it was a fantastic comedy as well. Mr. Cohen has a great sense of humor. The narrator (it's told in first person) is witty at his cores and there were definite laugh-out-loud moments in some of the things he says through the course of the investigation. What's more, often books like this tend to try a little too hard. They lose sight of what they are. Is it a mystery or is it a comedy? In this book, Mr. Cohen did a fantastic job balancing the two. I never got the impression that this book was a comedy first. It was most definitely a mystery. But it just happened to have the perfect amount of humor poured on top like a dollop of hot butter over an incredibly tasting bag of theater popcorn.
Well done, Mr. Cohen. On to book 2 for me!
How can a murder mystery be lighthearted, you ask? It's all in the dialogue. Witty banter and seemingly random exchanges hide a surprising amount of detail. In that, Mr Cohen was delightfully sneaky. The first ten pages give you the idea that it's going to be a fluff story. Pay attention. It's not fluffy, just easy to read. Sure, I saw some aspects of the story coming from miles away. Others, however, caught me by surprise.
Like watching a film, when you go in with the right expectation, you'll leave happy. So, if you're looking for a light murder mystery with witty banter, then this is a great book to polish off in an evening or under an umbrella sitting at the beach. If you're looking for a murder mystery full of psychological insights to tortured souls, then you'll be sorely disappointed. Take another look at the book cover. Sometimes you can judge a book by just that.
As a small heads up to the instinctive proofreaders of the reading world: my eye caught a few typos and punctuation gaffes, but not enough to pollute the reading experience. In fact, I'm off to buy book two.
Great stories, wonderful characters and references to classic comedy, what could be better?