Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Death of the Mallory Queen

Death of the Mallory Queen Death of the Mallory Queen by Lawrence Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Mavis Mallory, owner and operator of Mallory Mystery Magazine shows up at the home/office of Leo Haig, she has one odd task in mind for the detective and his young assistant, Chip Harrison: find out who murdered her.

I was looking for a way to avoid coworkers while eating my lunch and found this Lawrence Block short on my kindle. It was a very enjoyable way to avoid human contact.

First off, Leo Haig and Chip Harrison are Lawrence Block's homage to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Haig is obsessed with tropical fish instead of gardening and Chip Harrison is obsessed with chasing skirts.

Death of the Mallory Queen is a satirical throwback to the mysteries they don't publish many of these days. Mavis knows she is going to be killed and wants to make sure whomever does the deed gets punished. The story's primary setting is a mystery convention and all of the suspects are modeled after real people in the mystery genre, like Mickey Spillane, Otto Penzler, and others.

The conclusion was as outlandish as those in the mystery novels it parodies. The case was okay but I really enjoyed the interplay between Leo Haig and Chip Harrison. I'll have to pick up more of their adventures at some point. Four out of five stars.

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