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Ten Dead Comedians

Ten Dead Comedians: A Murder MysteryTen Dead Comedians: A Murder Mystery by Fred Van Lente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A clever riff on Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, Fred Van Lente’s fun, fast-paced debut novel traps a gaggle of comedians on a remote island owned by a Woody Allen-like comedy legend, where they are picked off one by one by an unknown killer. Each of the characters is modeled after a popular, real-life comedian you’re sure to recognize, although Van Lente knows not to make them 1:1 replicas or simple stand-ins; each has his or her own personality and motivations that are important to the novel. Some of the murders are gruesome, but to Van Lente’s credit he understands that, for this novel’s purposes, the comedy is more important than the deaths. He manages to keep things light and brisk. Although (just to toot my own horn) I did figure out who the killer was before the big reveal, this is still a fun, enjoyable mystery I would recommend to anyone.

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