Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dangerous Illusions

Dangerous Illusions, Joseph J. Gabriele, Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2014

This novel is about a murder that happens right in the middle of an upper-class Manhattan dinner party.

Eliot is the author of a couple of well-regarded books on economics. He lives in a fancy apartment building, with a doorman, and actual elevator operators. During the dinner party, Eugene, a member of the Mayor's administration and a former diplomat, is found dead in Eliot's office. An extremely valuable set of drums is missing (Eliot is working on writing a history of drums). Detective Garielik of the NYPD is a no-nonsense type who is convinced that everyone is guilty (not all at the same time). He asks very pointed questions of everyone involved, including the staff of the apartment building.

Charles is related to Eugene. His wife, Kate, is a lawyer and an overbearing you-know-what who loudly proclaims her anger at not being named executrix of Eugene's will, and at learning that she will get little or nothing of Eugene's considerable assets. Blair is a beautiful woman with several years of government service. She is in New York working for a jerk of a boss, and has developed a major drinking problem. There are a couple of other loveless marriages going on. A couple of times, Detective Garielik thinks that he has found the drums (they are much too valuable to go through the local pawn shop), but Eliot takes one look at them and says No.

As a murder mystery, this book does not work. The was no feeling of needing to keep reading to find out whodunit. It works better, but not much better, as a book about members of Manhattan's upper class. The reader will certainly learn more than they ever wanted to know about drums. Personally, the last quarter of the book, aside from the revelation of the killer (and thief) is the best part of the book. Ultimately, this book is not worth the time.

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