Monday, 21 November 2011

Book Review: The Marinara Murders by Erik Hanberg

Over the summer I reviewed the first book in the Arthur Beautyman series, The Saints Go Dying and enjoyed it. I was keen to read the second, The Marinara Murders. The blurb for the latest book, released on 15th November, goes like this - "A grown man living in his mother's basement, disgraced detective Arthur Beautyman knows his life has fallen off a cliff.

But that doesn't mean he has to be happy about his mother's solution to his woes: volunteering him to solve a case for her favorite bridge partner. Oh, and to make matters worse, she wants to be his partner on the case as well ..."

The Marinara Murders
Having left LA in disgrace Arthur has moved to Minnesota to live with his mum. Determined to get him working again she as good as forces him to investigate the recent death of her friend's grandson, the same grandson who was believed to have committed suicide 3 years earlier. Where has Jake been and who was hiding him? 

Arthur meets and questions the dysfunctional Diamond family, and finds his hacking skills come in handy again. Not as handy as his mother's instincts though! Their differences in approach make it hard for them to work together, so while the reader sees Arthur's progress we don't see what mum Ruth is achieving without him. The story climaxes in a Thanksgiving dinner that will make the average family get together seem far more tolerable.

Again Erik Hanberg has produced the sort of book it is easy to get into and fly through. I read it in about half a day. The tone is a bit lighter than the first book and I found myself laughing at points. The relationship with his mum shows a different side to the man in the first book and I sympathised with him and the difficulties he faced having to move back in with an over-anxious parent. The unlikely hero even manages to find a potential love interest again.

The outcome of the investigation reveals a slightly complex series of events, and I appreciated the recap Arthur provided to new friend (and client) the dazed and confused Matt, although I had to re-read it a couple of times to try and get my head round exactly what had happened and why. I was pleased that the formatting and typos I noted in the first book were absent this time & I liked the note at the end explaining the inspiration for the story.  

Another really good outing for Mr Beautyman!

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*


Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Sounds awesome but I just can't do the cover. It makes me feel a little sick looking at it. Just a little big.

TC said...

It's funny because I think it has a bit of humour about it, and it has something of an impact with the red on white. I guess it's a benefit of the kindle if you don't like a cover, you barely need look at it.

Anonymous said...

Sounds enjoyable!

Shelleyrae @ Book'd oUt

Erik said...

Alexis, I hope the cover's not too nausea-inducing for you.

For the record, it's cheap spaghetti sauce that I got to splat onto a counter and then my wife photographed it. We did take out the mushrooms bits because they did look a little gross.

Pretty much the most fun cover I've ever actually got to take part in creating. :)