Sleuth Slayer
Bruce W. Burton and Jeffrey B. Burton
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Buy *Sleuth Slayer* by Bruce W. Burton and Jeffrey B. Burton online

Sleuth Slayer
Bruce W. Burton and Jeffrey B. Burton
Pocol Press
250 pages
April 2008
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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Avid mystery fans cannot help but be intrigued by the plot of this book. Someone is killing all of the mystery writers by re-enacting the plots from mystery writers’ previous stories. Unfortunately, although the idea is a good one, the cliches and awkward dialog throughout the book don't make for the promising storyline.

Guy Davitt is a struggling mystery writer whose rich friend and fellow author dies in a car crash hours after warning Guy that he believes there is a killer out there. At first Guy doesn't believe that his friend was killed; here, he tries to convince himself:

“Chill out Guy, chill out, I ordered myself. Potential murders ain't necessarily actual murders. Suspicions ain't necessarily reality. Despite appearances, it ain't necessarily so...thank you, George Gershwin.”
Much like the serial mysteries from the Forties and Fifties, he of course ends up working with a beautiful woman who happens to be a much more successful writer than he is. Some of the characters are familiar, even stereotypical. Guy's father is a successful judge who clearly doesn't understand his son's choice of careers. An over-the-top movie producer fairly oozes the caricature of a Hollywood producer. In one scene, Guy is meeting with Robbins (the producer) who has just taken a call from Barbara Streisand: “Well, Hello Dolly! How's everything in Saville this month?” A predictable approach to a well-known star.

If the writers could refrain from using well-worn phrases and quotes from much more famous authors and celebrities, they might be more successful themselves. Sleuth Slayer does have an interesting twist at the end, and certainly if you like the hardboiled pulp fiction mystery in the style of Spillane, this book does make for an acceptable light read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Lisa Ladd, 2008

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