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Caper Paperback – Feb 7 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books; Reprint edition (Feb. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605982504
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605982502
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,699,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The Stanley Hastings mysteries depend on subversively sly wordplay. In Caper, catching criminals is all very well, but in the violently verbal world he inhabits, Stanley would be happy just to win an argument. — Marilyn Stasio (New York Times Book Review)

The charm in Stanley Hastings lies in his chummy, loquacious, self-deprecating commentary as the narrator of his adventures. — The Washington Post Book World

Parnell Hall succeeds in making Stanley Hastings one of a kind. Pleasantly reminiscent of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. — Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Parnell Hall is an Edgar, Shamus, and Lefty nominee, and is the author of the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, the Puzzle Lady crossword-puzzle mystery series, and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas. An actor, screenwriter, and former private investigator, Hall lives in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One Confused PI Aug. 11 2010
By Ted Feit - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nobody he knows ever said Stanley Hastings was the brightest PI on the street. In fact, they usually call him "moron." Even he acknowledges his failures at acting and other endeavors, and his main source of income as an "investigator" for a negligence attorney requires little intelligence. In fact he is the only one filling the position who doesn't leave after a very short time.

So it is no surprise (in this or any other novel in the series) that Stanley is taken in and bumbles along some convoluted path until whatever trouble he finds himself in is resolved. In "Caper," he is retained to find out why the client's daughter is skipping school. Well, of course, everything is not as it seems, and at one point a murder complicates Stanley's path to solving the "case." He even becomes a suspect.

Strangely enough, as one reads, Stanley emerges less as a fool and, perhaps, more as an idiot savant. There are major portions of the novel that are very funny. And more important, in today's often dreary world, it is fast reading and an interesting tale, and is recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An Exercise in Stalling Dec 12 2010
By Sally's Dad - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The centerpiece of a book like this is the witty banter. It's a light read that makes you smile and after you're done, it's hard to recall what it was even about. Which is okay.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work out the way.

Stanley Hastings is his own worst enemy. He runs his mouth when he shouldn't and sometimes makes really poor judgment calls, but in the end he solves the mystery.

The problem is, there's not even story hear for a full book, so the author resorts to scenes that are essentially exercises in stalling. For example, Stanley repeatedly meets with his lawyer, who refuses to get involved and peppers him with put-downs. Same with his policemen friend. It gets old very quickly and does little to nothing to further the story. It's like you're reading the same scene over and over again.

The character and the series have potential, but it's not realized in this book.
True to its title Sept. 28 2010
By D. P. Birkett - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very funny private eye first person narrator mystery with an inept investigator and a deceptive client. I liked it rather better than "Client", the only other one in the Stanley Hastings series that I've read. The jokes were less repetitious. Maybe he repeated them in the intervening ones in the series, which I haven't read. (I plan to fill that gap.) Like "Client" it's set in Mid-town Manhattan with an excursion to Philadelphia. The plot is ingenious and farcical and the dialog is witty in a Night-at-the-Opera kind of way, with rapid repartee and occasional puns. These comic effects are achieved at the expense of character development. Parnell Hall is no Sue Grafton. He does not try for the literary heights he is a master of what he sets out to do.
Decent - enough to pass the time. March 18 2011
By Websearcher - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As some other reviewer remarked, this is a quick read. A decent plot but the dialog can get a bit repetitious.

All in all, a mildly entertaining but by no means a deep book and I may even checkout out another Parnell book from the library.

4 stars for the quick moving plot, believable hero - 1 star off for the unnecessary repetitious dialog.
Stanley tries to not be distracted by pretty women, but he just cannot help himself. Who can? April 13 2013
By S. DiBenedetto - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stanley is stumbling and bumbling and solving crimes again. He kidnaps a teenage girl, discovers dead bodies, and in other words, another day at the office for Stanley. His wife is so sarcastic but helpfull. Still he struggles to find out who is the bad guy. A good read. It seemed to go by very quickly.

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