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Beyond the Grave [Mass Market Paperback]

Marcia Muller , Bill Pronzini
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 14 1999 Pronzini, Bill
The bestselling author of The McCone Files teams up with the creator of the "Nameless Detective" for a collaborative mystery that bridges the San Franciscos of 1894 and 1986. Muller and Pronzini masterfully parallel the investigations of turn-of-the-century detective Quincannon and Chicana amateur sleuth Elena Oliverez.

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Product Description

About the Author

Marcia (Eye of the Storm) Muller and Bill (Boobytrap) Pronzini are husband-and-wife mystery writers. They live in Northern California.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Double your fun when Pronzini and Muller team up Oct. 31 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The best thing about being a Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini fan is that there always seems to be a book by one of them that I somehow missed. Sure, I've read every Sharon McCone and Nameless Detective novel, their short story collections, and many of Pronzini's stand-alones; however, these married authors have written and edited DOZENS of books, including many that are out of print. What a treasure trove for the discerning reader of suspense!
As far as I can determine, Muller and Pronzini have collaborated on three novels: LIGHTHOUSE, a stand-alone thriller; DOUBLE, a Nameless/McCone mystery; and BEYOND THE GRAVE, featuring two of the authors' lesser-known series characters, Muller's art museum director Elena Oliverez and Pronzini's late-19th-century San Francisco detective John Quincannon. As in DOUBLE, the authors alternate -- first, we get a few chapters told from Oliverez's point of view, and then we switch to Quincannon. What makes this collaboration noteworthy is that the Quincannon chapters take place in 1894, Oliverez's in the 1980s.
Oliverez has bought a Mexican wedding chest at auction for her art museum, and when she's examining it, she finds an old report written by Quincannon inside a hidden compartment. He had been on the trail of some lost religious artifacts, but apparently was never able to find them. By using Quincannon's report, Oliverez hopes to recover the valuable pieces. In the process of searching, both characters encounter murder and face danger.
The story flows seamlessly between past and present. While these may be the authors' second-string characters, this book is definitely never second rate.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not bad at all. Oct. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, Beyond the Grave (Carroll and Graf, 1986)

Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini team up for a novel that takes place in two times focusing on the same mystery. Elena Oliverez, in the present day, accidentally stumbles upon a piece of the report of one Detective Quincannon, hired to find the stolen treasures of a Mexican ranchero in the 1890s. As Oliverez gets absorbed in Quincannon's story, she finds herself looking to solve the mystery Quincannon wasn't able to uncover eighty years previously.

The two stories interlock without a hitch, and both Oliverez and Quincannon are engaging protagonists. This is quick, easy beach fare; fast-paced, homey, digestible, and well worth the time for mystery fans. Those who haven't yet discovered either Muller or Pronzini, this is one of many good starting points. ***
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not bad at all. Oct. 1 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, Beyond the Grave (Carroll and Graf, 1986)

Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini team up for a novel that takes place in two times focusing on the same mystery. Elena Oliverez, in the present day, accidentally stumbles upon a piece of the report of one Detective Quincannon, hired to find the stolen treasures of a Mexican ranchero in the 1890s. As Oliverez gets absorbed in Quincannon's story, she finds herself looking to solve the mystery Quincannon wasn't able to uncover eighty years previously.

The two stories interlock without a hitch, and both Oliverez and Quincannon are engaging protagonists. This is quick, easy beach fare; fast-paced, homey, digestible, and well worth the time for mystery fans. Those who haven't yet discovered either Muller or Pronzini, this is one of many good starting points...
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double your fun when Pronzini and Muller team up Oct. 31 2001
By Kinsey Millhone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The best thing about being a Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini fan is that there always seems to be a book by one of them that I somehow missed. Sure, I've read every Sharon McCone and Nameless Detective novel, their short story collections, and many of Pronzini's stand-alones; however, these married authors have written and edited DOZENS of books, including many that are out of print. What a treasure trove for the discerning reader of suspense!
As far as I can determine, Muller and Pronzini have collaborated on three novels: LIGHTHOUSE, a stand-alone thriller; DOUBLE, a Nameless/McCone mystery; and BEYOND THE GRAVE, featuring two of the authors' lesser-known series characters, Muller's art museum director Elena Oliverez and Pronzini's late-19th-century San Francisco detective John Quincannon. As in DOUBLE, the authors alternate -- first, we get a few chapters told from Oliverez's point of view, and then we switch to Quincannon. What makes this collaboration noteworthy is that the Quincannon chapters take place in 1894, Oliverez's in the 1980s.
Oliverez has bought a Mexican wedding chest at auction for her art museum, and when she's examining it, she finds an old report written by Quincannon inside a hidden compartment. He had been on the trail of some lost religious artifacts, but apparently was never able to find them. By using Quincannon's report, Oliverez hopes to recover the valuable pieces. In the process of searching, both characters encounter murder and face danger.
The story flows seamlessly between past and present. While these may be the authors' second-string characters, this book is definitely never second rate.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Book in Elena Oliverez trilogy Oct. 3 2004
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the third and final book of Marcia Muller's Elena Oliverez trilogy, completing the exploits of her Hispanic art museum curator. The first was: "The Tree of Death" and the second was "The Legend of the Slain Soldiers." However, this final outing was co-authored with Bill Pronzini (who is now Muller's husband). Pronzini employs his lesser-known (to his famous Nameless Detective that Sharon McCone calls Wolf) Quincannon who lived about a century ago. I think this trilogy gets better book by book, so I actually liked this one the best. It's interesting to see both Muller and Pronzini write about protagonists other than their famous ones (Sharon McCone and Nameless, respectively). Muller also authored the Joanna Stark trilogy about an art security expert. The Elena Oliverez series is heavily into the world of Hispanic art but is highly dosed with the personalities of its highly divergent characters--highlighting human foibles. It is not a continuing saga like the Stark trilogy, but is connected in time and in the characters involved. Interestingly, Muller gives Elena a cameo appearance in her latest Sharon McCone adventure: "The Dangerous Hour." I find both Elena and Quincannon appealing. I consider this one of her best works--I liked this book very much, and it's worth reading the entire trilogy. I am not as familiar with Pronzini's works, however, the two have collaborated on several novels so far "Duo" and "Double" as well as editing numerous themed short story collections together (e.g. "Child's Play," "Kill or Cure," "The Wickedist Show on Earth," and the western story collection, "She Won the West"). In other of the novels written together, sections describing each character's actions flip flop between the two authors. However, in prior efforts, they employed McCone and Nameless; here each uses a different protagonist. Also, in this book there is a major time lapse between the eras of the two characters making this an unusual and especially intriguing work. I've read over 30 of Muller's works, and I consider this one of the 5 best. Enjoy!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing effort by talented storytellers April 9 2007
By viewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Marcia Muller and especially Bill Pronzini are each great storytellers and two of my favorite mystery writers. While less impressive on plot, they are generally strong on characters, dialogue, and setting (in particular, their descriptions of the varied parts of California). They collaborated to decent effect in "Double," a fairly absorbing mystery. Muller has written passable books featuring different detectives. But, contrary to the other, happy-talk reviews, the sad reality is that Beyond The Grave is a very disappointing effort.

The transition in narration from the present (Muller's modern curator) to the past (Pronzini's dusty detective) is not smooth. It grinds the story to a halt every time. It leaves too little room for development of either the modern or the historical characters and situations. The historical story is incredibly slow-paced, drawn-out, and cliche-ridden. The ending is anticlimactic. The curator is far too slow on the uptake and her "detective work" is minimal and unimpressive. Key events that provide the only sense of menace or suspense in the present turn out to depend on the tired plot device of an old, delusional drunk. The solution to the puzzle of where old Mexican treasure was hidden also turns out to be simplistic and implausible. The reader deserves a lot better from these talented authors than trudging through hundreds of pages of dry, turgid, tired material to an uninspired, let-down ending.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not bad at all. Oct. 1 2002
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini, Beyond the Grave (Carroll and Graf, 1986)

Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini team up for a novel that takes place in two times focusing on the same mystery. Elena Oliverez, in the present day, accidentally stumbles upon a piece of the report of one Detective Quincannon, hired to find the stolen treasures of a Mexican ranchero in the 1890s. As Oliverez gets absorbed in Quincannon's story, she finds herself looking to solve the mystery Quincannon wasn't able to uncover eighty years previously.

The two stories interlock without a hitch, and both Oliverez and Quincannon are engaging protagonists. This is quick, easy beach fare; fast-paced, homey, digestible, and well worth the time for mystery fans. Those who haven't yet discovered either Muller or Pronzini, this is one of many good starting points...
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Grave Nov. 2 2010
By Sara D. Brunker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been looking for this book for over a year. It is a collaboration by Muller/Pronzini which uses each author's main character. A very good mystery.
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