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Fat Tuesday [Mass Market Paperback]

Earl Emerson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 12 1988 Thomas Black Mysteries
When Fred Pugsley receives a dead rattlesnake in the mail, ex-Seattle cop Thomas Black and his friend, lawyer Kathy Birchfield, are called in to investigate. But when they get there, Fred is dead, and his stunned wife sits huddled in the kitchen, clutching a tool used on racing bicycles -- the murder weapon. But the wife says she's innocent, and suddenly there are plenty of other suspects. Just as Seattle stages its own Mardi Gras, Black is getting ready for a wild blow-out of his own . . .

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Emerson's previous mysteries include the Edgar nominee Poverty Bay and other praise-winners. This one, though, seems to have been thrown together. Series hero Thomas Black, the Seattle private eye, narrates events surrounding the murder of Fred Pugsley, but the story is lumpy with excess verbiage. An executive with a lucrative computer company, Pugsley had been an associate of brilliant Eric Castle, who was fired on evidence that he molested children. Black and his friend, lawyer Kathy Birchfield, investigate Eric and others during the frantic festivities in the Northwestern city's Mardi Gras, which are dimmed by the detective's fight with an outraged bull, attacks from a villain on the Space Needle, other murders, etc. Emerson seems so enamoured of figurative speech that he uses the same likeness twice: "a grin on his face where else? wide enough to slide a 747 into."
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Earl Emerson's acclaimed series about Seattle private investigator Thomas Black is much beloved by readers and critics. And with justification. (These novels, running the gamut from THE RAINY CITY to the just-issued CATFISH CAF, are among my all-time favorite detective tales, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Earl's editor.) But I don't know any other crime novelist who amasses such fervent praise from his peers. It would be a crime to call Earl Emerson merely a "writer's writer." But there sure are a lot of talented authors who revere him. To wit . . .

Aaron Elkins: "In every book he tries something new, and he always comes up a winner. In the best tradition of American crime fiction, Emerson is a master of witty dialogue; clever, complex plotting; and lucid, meaty prose."

Robert Crais: "Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet, evincing a quality of phrase and nuance that elevates the genre."

Ann Rule: "Earl Emerson and Thomas Black only get better and better! Earl Emerson has taken his place in the rarefied air of the best of the best!"

'Nuff said.

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fat Tuesday Feb. 27 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fat Tuesday is the fourth Thomas Black novel by Earl Emerson. When Black and his friend, lawyer Kathy Birchfield go to meet with Fred Pugsley, they find him dead in a pool of blood. His wife, Maggie is found holding the murder weapon, a bicycle sprocket remover. The police think Maggie killed him because of Fred's numerous affairs. Another prime suspect is Eric Castle, a cycler and former co-worker of Pugsley at Micro Darlings, a manufacturer of computer games. There are other suspects who may have killed him because Fred may have slept with their wives or girlfriends. Black's life is also in danger from a motorcycle "mama", a 3000-lb. bull named Aunt Mabel, and a crazy man. This is the most complex Black novel to date, and is an excellent read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Book Dec 19 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fat Tuesday was my introduction to Earl Emerson and I intend to read all of his books. Fat Tuesday was funny, refreshing, and I found it to be a great page turner. Wonderful characters. The plot I didn't figure out. I enjoyed this book very much.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Book Dec 19 2000
By C. Irish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fat Tuesday was my introduction to Earl Emerson and I intend to read all of his books. Fat Tuesday was funny, refreshing, and I found it to be a great page turner. Wonderful characters. The plot I didn't figure out. I enjoyed this book very much.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Black still entertains within a subpar outing. Sept. 13 2013
By Chad Roller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my second time through the series, as I read them during their original run, and Fat Tuesday remains to be my least favorite in the series. Thomas and Kathy are still great, but the story and mystery here are just not put together well. Do not get me wrong, the book is still better than other author's efforts, and if you are invested in the series don't let it keep you from continuing. Even the author ad,it's he wished his audience could start with the sixth title (Yellow Dog Party).
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down July 6 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very fast paced, cleverly written suspense novel. The protagonist is one you will find interesting and will want to garnish your trust. You will read this book in less than a week. Kudos.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fatuous in Seattle Feb. 11 2012
By Booker G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Earl Emerson's "Fat Tuesday" is a step backward in this series. While I found myself fully engaged initially, the story peters out into a disappointing ending with poorly executed typical elements, in particular a group confrontation of all the suspects and an unlikely chase scene. The idea of a mystery involving a group of suspects from a high tech software company in Seattle was a good beginning, though the underlying premise for the murder was weak and rather creepy and doesn't fit with the high tech conception.

Emerson somehow managed to make this book interesting despite a number of missteps. The poor title, "Fat Tuesday," suggests that the pre-Lenten celebration of Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) actually plays a role in the story, and it doesn't. It isn't a necessary backdrop to the story--it only gives his "girlfriend" Kathy a chance to be annoyingly zany yet again. A subplot involving biker women and a dangerous encounter for Thomas with a bull just seem too unbelievable and hokey.

As to the characters, the suspects in this case are interesting, which definitely helps the story. However, as in previous books, Thomas and Kathy are overly cute as a quasi couple. Thomas's own dialogue with other people in the story tends to be overly clever also. Finally, Emerson makes Thomas a man obsessed with women's bodies, which is a rather disgusting trait for a mostly likeable character.

For more mystery series that may entertain you, check out my website describing and reviewing many series (see my Amazon profile for the URL).
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Service Aug. 28 2008
By S. R. Sondheim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank you for sending my book so promptly. It arrived when you said it would and was in very good condition for a used book.
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