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Trophies And Dead Things (1991)

Trophies and Dead Things (1991)

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3.96 of 5 Votes: 1
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0446400394 (ISBN13: 9780446400398)
mysterious press

About book Trophies And Dead Things (1991)

Trophies and Dead Things, by Marcia Muller, a-minus, Narrated by Laura Hicks, Produced by Audiogo Ltd., Downloaded from McCone is helping Hank of All Souls go through the house of a friend of his, who was also his client, who was murdered by what appeared to be a sniper who had killed several other people in the area. But there are a few things that make this killing somewhat different from the usual killing of the sniper. First, a couple of weeks before he was killed, he wrote a holographic, (handwritten) will to supersede the will that he had had Hank draw up for him. This second will disinherited his sons and divided his surprising wealth among four seemingly unrelated people. But as Sharon begins to dig into the case, she finds that Hank’s friend had a somewhat lurid past in Berkley in 1969 in a group somewhat connected to the Underground Weathermen. She also finds a connection between him and the four people he is now leaving money to, and more murders occur before Sharon is able to sort everything out, and catch the sniper too. As usual, this was an entertaining book. It’s an early book, and I continue to wish that Muller had had Sharon remain with one of her earlier boy friends rather than the man she is now with in her later books, the man she ultimately married.

While it might have been a perfectly enjoyable mystery when first released, this book just didn't hold up over time. Weak characters and dated issues dragged the work down rather than adding to the story, which could have been 5-10 chapters shorter and been more enjoyable. Tired tropes like an overly-confident investigator with no professional experience in tactics or police procedures and a bull-headed policeman incapable of doing his job as well or as ethically as the protagonist simply don't hold up in today's market of mysteries featuring highly skilled professionals or detailed historical backgrounds written by authors with corresponding skills and knowledge.Stale stock characters, armchair politics and a weak understanding of real police procedures could not shore up the story long enough to draw out the action. As a result, once the killer, past secrets and motivations had all been revealed and there was still 40 minutes of the story left for in order to attempt a thriller-style effort to save the lives of characters no one cares about and dressing down of a ridiculous officer in an unprofessional and unbelievable manner by an unqualified heroine, I nearly strained my eyes from rolling them so hard and so often.

Do You like book Trophies And Dead Things (1991)?

I enjoy the audio productions of this series of mysteries featuring Sharon McCone, a private investigator in San Francisco. It's a very long-lived series, and initially the books were sort of hokey because they took place back in the early '80s, but now that they're moving forward in time, they're getting more modern. Still, even this many books into the series, there is much old-fashioned detective work, no cell phones (car phones are still a new thing) and actual brick-and-mortar research at the library and hall of records. Sharon has grown as a person with her share of ups and downs, and several different relationships that seldom last more than a book or two. But with a small, consistent group of secondary characters to shore up the details of her life, there is some consistency as time passes. In this entry, she assists her boss Hal in clearing the home of a random sniper victim who was a friend of his, and discovers it may not have been so random after all, with the victims connected by long ago events in Vietnam during the war.

This was one of my favorite Sharon McCone stories because it centered around two mysteries born of the 1960s, one involving Vietnam vets and the others involve Free Speech and peace protesters from the UC Berkeley campus. I quite enjoyed the focus on history and on Berkeley (even though Muller twists the occasional detail of the latter enough to make it obvious that she's less familiar with the city than her protagonist, who went to school here, is supposed to be).Muller also places a lot of emphasis on McCone's circle of friends, perhaps moreso than in any of the other books, and in doing so reveals that they're a vivid part of McCone's mythology too.Overall, a good book, both for the local color that I was looking for when I started this series and for the mystery.
—Shannon Appelcline

One thing I like about this series is that McCone, while she isn't easily intimidated and can use force when she needs to, isn't constantly getting beaten to a pulp. Instead she uses her wits and spends hours at the library using indexes and microfilm to find answers--gotta love that! Another thing is the idealism that's still present in 1990 when this was written. Though neighborhoods are gentrifying and the world is changing around them, Sharon and All Souls still pursue what is right. I can't help but wonder how her salary gets paid when she's on the trail of something that a client isn't paying for--and never mind her assistant as well--but it makes for a good read.

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