Groucho Marx, Master Detective

Mysteries Featuring Groucho Marx

Book 1
Sold by Minotaur Books
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"Hilarious." - Kirkus Review

In this inventive mystery set in Hollywood's golden era, Ron Goulart revives America's favorite cigar-wielding comic--Groucho Marx. Needing a project to occupy him between movie stints, Groucho agrees to act in a radio serial. But when a beautiful starlet is found dead before production even begins, Groucho is determined to find out who killed her.

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About the author

Ron Goulart has published a number of mysteries and nonfiction books dealing with the world of the comic strip, including the Groucho Marx mystery series (Groucho Marx, Private Eye; Groucho Marx, Master Detective; etc.). He lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
Jul 21, 2015
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9781250090874
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In Ron Goulart's well received series featuring comedian-cum-amateur sleuth Groucho Marx, Groucho and his writer Frank Denby have made a name for themselves as detectives. In fact, in their last case, they were able to outsmart Sherlock Holmes, or at least the actor playing him. However, both men play down their sleuthing abilities and to escape their new reputation, Groucho agrees to perform in a Broadway play and Frank accompanies his wife on a business trip. When Groucho learns that Frank and Jane are going to New York via train he decides to join them, figuring it will be a nice relaxing journey.

However, murder and mayhem somehow follow them across the country. First, before even leaving for New York they are approached by a local mobster who firmly believes that the recent murder of his associate was not a mob hit. He asks them to look into the matter and Groucho suggests that he try "Philip Marlowe, Dan Turner or some other Hollywood shamus" even though "they don't have our track record...or a strawberry birthmark right here." From there, things only get more interesting. On the train they meet Dian Bowers, the newest star of Daniel Manheim, a domineering Hollywood producer. A series of bizarre events unfolds on the train, including an attempt on Manheim's life. When they arrive in New York, Groucho agrees to escort Dian to the premiere of her estranged husband's play, but the play never makes it into the second act because a body is discovered on stage. When Dian's husband becomes the prime suspect, Groucho and Frank once again find themselves playing detective.

Searching for clues in the Big Apple and trying to see if the second murder is at all connected to the death of the mobster, Groucho and Frank have their hands full. However, the pressure doesn't get to Groucho and as he hunts for clues he still has time for all of his silly gags and terrible puns. Whether or not you are a Groucho fan, "this enjoyable little tale will charm the baggy pants off you."

It could be said that in this episode Groucho Marx operates as a Hollywood-style Scarlet Pimpernel, with a repertoire of outrageous puns covering the steely, daring life of a counterspy. But, as Groucho might retort, his cover is at the dry-cleaner, and, besides, Groucho is not one to hide his light under any bushel (even one of stuffed clams). So he and Frank Denby, his sidekick, scriptwriter and close friend, set out to uphold their reputation as amateur sleuths by looking into the death of British director Eric Olmstead. First Olmstead fainted at a star-studded Halloween party after a man dressed as the Grim Reaper had whispered to him and then disappeared. But it is not until the next day that he is found dead--presumably by his own hand.

It is 1939; everyone expects the U.S. to join the war raging in Europe. And everyone is looking under the bed for spies. Soon the questions surrounding the death of Eric Olmstead takes on an odor of espionage.

The police call Olmstead's death a suicide. After all, he did leave a (typed) note. His widow refuses to believe that her husband shot himself, and persuades Groucho and Frank to look further. Soon the pair is enmeshed in FBI agents and Los Angeles police, while the grieving widow clamors for revenge. Here is where Groucho proves his genius as a detective--he seizes on the clue that reveals the death to be murder.

This, however, is only the beginning. There is another murder. Groucho and Frank are attacked; Frank is shot at (but not hit); Groucho is hit (but not shot at; just knocked to the floor by the fleeing assailant). They not only survive, but they pinpoint the Nazi spy and the Hollywood figures working with them.

In a romp made delightful in spite of spies, murders, and occasional dire peril, Goulart uncannily resurrects the most garrulous Marx brother and his unique brand of patter. The Groucho Marx of these stories is the next best thing to the capering of the late comedian himself, and a happy gift to everyone who remembers him fondly as well as those meeting him for the first time.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens returns to the Cynsters’ next generation to bring you a thrilling tale of love, intrigue, and fabulous horses.

A notorious rakehell with a stable of fabulous Thoroughbreds and a lady on a quest to locate such horses must negotiate personal minefields to forge a greatly desired alliance—one someone is prepared to murder to prevent.

Prudence Cynster has turned her back on husband hunting in favor of horse hunting. As the head of the breeding program underpinning the success of the Cynster racing stables, she’s on a quest to acquire the necessary horses to refresh the stable’s breeding stock.

On his estranged father’s death, Deaglan Fitzgerald, now Earl of Glengarah, left London and the hedonistic life of a wealthy, wellborn rake and returned to Glengarah Castle determined to rectify the harm caused by his father’s neglect. Driven by guilt that he hadn’t been there to protect his people during the Great Famine, Deaglan holds against the lure of his father’s extensive collection of horses and, leaving the stable to the care of his brother, Felix, devotes himself to returning the estate to prosperity.

Deaglan had fallen out with his father and been exiled from Glengarah over his drive to have the horses pay their way. Knowing Deaglan’s wishes and that restoration of the estate is almost complete, Felix writes to the premier Thoroughbred breeding program in the British Isles to test their interest in the Glengarah horses.

On receiving a letter describing exactly the type of horses she’s seeking, Pru overrides her family’s reluctance and sets out for Ireland’s west coast to visit the now-reclusive wicked Earl of Glengarah. Yet her only interest is in his horses, which she cannot wait to see.

When Felix tells Deaglan that a P. H. Cynster is about to arrive to assess the horses with a view to a breeding arrangement, Deaglan can only be grateful. But then P. H. Cynster turns out to be a lady, one utterly unlike any other he’s ever met.

Yet they are who they are, and both understand their world. They battle their instincts and attempt to keep their interactions businesslike, but the sparks are incandescent and inevitably ignite a sexual blaze that consumes them both—and opens their eyes.

But before they can find their way to their now-desired goal, first one accident, then another distracts them. Someone, it seems, doesn’t want them to strike a deal. Who? Why?

They need to find out before whoever it is resorts to the ultimate sanction.

 

A historical romance with neo-Gothic overtones, set in the west of Ireland. A Cynster Next Generation novel—a full-length historical romance of 125,000 words.

 

 

Praise for the works of Stephanie Laurens

 

“Stephanie Laurens’ heroines are marvelous tributes to Georgette Heyer: feisty and strong.” Cathy Kelly

 

“Stephanie Laurens never fails to entertain and charm her readers with vibrant plots, snappy dialogue, and unforgettable characters.”Historical Romance Reviews.

 

“Stephanie Laurens plays into readers’ fantasies like a master and claims their hearts time and again.” Romantic Times Magazine 

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