Fat Tuesday Mass Market Paperback – Jun 12 1988
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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!"
--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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).