Murder Your Darlings by J. J. Murphy
This is the August 2011 read for my book club – Pikes Peak Bookworms.
From the back of the book:
On this particular morning, legendary wit Dorothy parker is not the one under the Manhattan’s famed Algonquin Round Table. Someone else is — and he’s not dead drunk, just dead.
When a charming aspiring writer from Mississippi named Billy Faulkner becomes a suspect in the murder, Dorothy decides to dabble in a little detective work, enlisting the help of tablemates Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Sherwood, and other famous and fabulous literary cohorts.
With a marvelous Manhattan mystery on their hands, it’s up to the Algonquins to outwit the true culprit — preferably before cocktail hour — and before the clever killer turns the tables on them. . .
What I liked about this book: It’s not your typical cozy. Thanks to Dorothy Parker, you get just a hint of snarkiness in this book that you don’t find in many cozies. Parker’s acerbic wit comes through loud and clear. I like that it’s historical fiction and a mystery. It’s not easy to work real people into a piece of fiction, but Murphy does an excellent job. I thought characters were rich and well developed. They were not just cardboard cutouts of famous people. Reading this book made we want to do a little research on this famous circle of writers and critics.
What I didn’t like about the book: I found the police detectives very irritating, but that’s not something I would hold against the book. I don’t think we are supposed to like them. Though I will say that I was surprised that they turned out to be rather smarter than I had imagined in the beginning.
All around, I found this a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes cozy mysteries with a historical bent. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.