Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mandy Reviews: Literally Dead by James Conroy

ISBN #: 978-1908483003
Page Count: 344
Copyright: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

In the midst of the Great Depression, one man must do battle against corruption with nothing but his wits and a host of great literary figures ...

Amos Jansen is merely a clerk. He is not a crime fighter, the next great writer, or a man of privilege. He is the humble employee of a Chicago literary society. That is, until he is arrested for murder. The scapegoat of a perfidious lieutenant, Jansen stands wrongly accused while his idols rally around him. Literary personalities the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nelson Algren, and H. L. Mencken, as well as civil liberties warhorse Clarence Darrow, join Amos in his search for the real murderer of both the society's vice-chairman and his own father.

Will the pen prove mightier than the pistol? Will mercenary police, politicians and money-barons meet with justice? Or will Jansen fail to solve the mystery and wind up literally dead?

Mandy's Review:

I love a murder mystery with twists and this book has them. What I enjoyed most was the use of historical literary figures. It was a pleasure seeing them come to life and be involved in the solving of a mystery.

Set in Depression-era Chicago, the book is vibrant with corrupt cops, struggling immigrants and a constant struggle to ensure right wins out over wrong. Amos is in the midst of one such struggle ... and not because of anything he's done, but because of simply who he is.

When he realizes his father was murdered, Amos feels the need for revenge. It's revealed to him through some friends that an investigation on his father's murder had already been started by a former colleague of his. Amos uses that information and continues to dig until the murderer, or murderers, is/are revealed. With the cops being corrupt, it's difficult going for Amos to prove the guilt of any persons involved with his father's murder.

I would recommend this book to any person who enjoys a suspenseful murder/mystery. The addition of historical literary figures does make this story an enjoyably unique read that will have you turning pages to the end.

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