The Bughouse Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery, Book 1 Audiobook | Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller | Audible.com
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The Bughouse Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery, Book 1 | [Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller]

The Bughouse Affair: A Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery, Book 1

In The Bughouse Affair, this first of a new series of lighthearted historical mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco, former Pinkerton operative Sabina Carpenter and her detective partner, ex-Secret Service agent John Quincannon, undertake what initially appear to be two unrelated investigations. Sabina's case involves the hunt for a ruthless lady "dip" who uses fiendish means to relieve her victims of their valuables at Chutes Amusement Park and other crowded places. Quincannon, meanwhile, is after a slippery housebreaker who targets the homes of wealthy residents.
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Publisher's Summary

In The Bughouse Affair, this first of a new series of lighthearted historical mysteries set in 1890s San Francisco, former Pinkerton operative Sabina Carpenter and her detective partner, ex-Secret Service agent John Quincannon, undertake what initially appear to be two unrelated investigations. Sabina's case involves the hunt for a ruthless lady "dip" who uses fiendish means to relieve her victims of their valuables at Chutes Amusement Park and other crowded places.

Quincannon, meanwhile, is after a slippery housebreaker who targets the homes of wealthy residents, following a trail that leads him from the infamous Barbary Coast to an oyster pirate's lair to a Tenderloin parlor house known as the Fiddle Dee Dee. The two cases eventually connect in surprising fashion, but not before two murders and assorted other felonies complicate matters even further. And not before the two sleuths are hindered, assisted, and exasperated by the bughouse Sherlock Holmes.

©2013 Pronzini Family Trust (P)2013 AudioGO, Ltd.

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  •  
    Patrick Kitchener, ON, Canada 01-27-13
    Patrick Kitchener, ON, Canada 01-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific, engaging detective story!"
    Would you listen to The Bughouse Affair again? Why?

    Yes, I would. It's a terrific book with excellent characters and is also a very good detective story. It proposes an interesting "impossible" crime -- the kind of crime where it seems nobody could have done it -- and while I was busy looking to the left, the book sneaks its solution from the right, only to surprise me when I turned my head around. While not the most ingenious locked-room problem I've ever read -- for that, we'd need to turn to John Dickson Carr -- it's excellent as is.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sabina Carpenter was a terrific character. I really liked how she keeps coming across women who have been abandoned by society -- widows, the elderly, mothers, etc. left to fend for themselves. A free spirit by nature, Sabina sympathizes with these women and tries everything in her power to help them, giving them the kindness and support that they desperately need.


    Which character – as performed by Nick Sullivan and Meredith Mitchell – was your favorite?

    I preferred Nick Sullivan's narration, because the Sherlock Holmes impression is uncanny. It sounds like he's channeling Basil Rathbone from those old radio shows, and it's a blast to listen to. Meredith Mitchell does a terrific job with the female characters, but when she reads the "bughouse Sherlock"'s lines, the English accent was unconvincing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Well, I loved it -- does that count as extreme? It combines an interesting time period and a great detective duo with a tricky plot. The clues are all there and the reader is on equal footing with the detective. There’s a good locked room mystery. The historical colour is terrific. Sherlock Holmes sort-of shows up as a crazy Limey who calls himself Sherlock Holmes, but it couldn't possibly be Holmes because he fell over the Reichenbach Falls, right? (It's a very fun little parody.)


    Any additional comments?

    It’s a delicious book and a promising start to the series’ incarnation as novels -- Bill Pronzini previously wrote some short stories with these characters, but this is the first novel and the first collaboration with his wife Marcia Muller. It was a very enjoyable, entertaining book. Here’s hoping they continue!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen Duluth, MN, United States 01-17-13
    Colleen Duluth, MN, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2008

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A single narrator would have been better"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Because each chapter was from the perspective of either the male or female protagonist, the male or female narrator read that chapter. This caused the odd situation that "conversations" sometimes had the male narrator doing both the male and the female parts, sometimes the female narrator did both the male and female parts, and sometimes both narrators conversed. It was particularly confusing that each narrator had a different voice for Holmes.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller ? Why or why not?

    Yes, I have enjoyed books by both authors in the past and this book was actually a good beginning for a series.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Better continuity of voices for the characters; either by having only one narrator or having each narrator assigned the same characters throughout the book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ada cedar rapids, IA, United States 01-12-13
    Ada cedar rapids, IA, United States 01-12-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I kept thinking it was going to get better"
    Would you try another book from Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller and/or Nick Sullivan and Meredith Mitchell ?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nick Sullivan and Meredith Mitchell ’s performances?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I kept thinking this was going to get better but it never did. The whole premise was a little off. Also I would think a former Secret Service agent would be more adept at their profession. Sherlock Holmes, really? I also had problems with the male voice. Something about it just didn't fit also the male voice would do the female character and the female voice would do the male character then they would switch back so I never felt that I knew the right voice.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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