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Twospot: A Mystery Scene Book Paperback – Sep 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CARROLL & GRAF PUBLISHERS (Sept. 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786700424
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786700424
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.6 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,148,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 23 2003
Format: Paperback
In 1971, author Bill Pronzini was only 27 when he wrote The Snatch, building on a shorter and different version of the story that appeared in the May 1969 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine under the same title. With the publication of this book, one of detective fiction's great characters was born with full fledged power and authenticity. If you have not yet read the Nameless Detective novels by Mr. Pronzini, you have a major treat ahead of you. Many of these are now out-of-print, so be sure to check your library for holdings in near-by cities.
The Nameless Detective is referred to that way because Mr. Pronzini never supplies a name until this book, when police lieutenant Frank Hastings tells what his poker playing friends call Nameless, employing a first name. But it's never acknowledged by Nameless that this is his name . . . so it's probably a nickname. But you'll have to decide for yourself after reading page 56 of the original hard cover edition.
Mr. Pronzini presents a world in which people take evil actions to further selfish interests, and many innocents struggle because of that selfishness. The police and private investigators suffer along with the victims, for evil-doing has painful consequences for everyone. Mr. Pronzini's plots are complex, yet he provides plenty of clues to help you identify the evil-doer on your own. Despite the transparency of many plots, he successfully uses plot complications to keep the action interesting and fresh.
But the reason to read the books is because of the character development for the Nameless Detective. Nameless is a former police officer in San Francisco who collects pulp fiction about tough private detectives.
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By A Customer on Sept. 8 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book many years ago, and I'm reviewing it only to say that a previous reviewer had said that the book is not as good as others in the Nameless Detective series. I think it is a very strong addition. It would probably be better if the reader first read some of the Lt. Hastings novels by Collin Wilcox to get a feel for his character. Also, Nameless doesn't really have his name revealed. Hastings calls him Bill, but nowhere in the novel does it reveal that this is his true name. Sharon McCone, Marcia Muller's character calls him Wolf, but nowhere does she say that this is his real name. The Nameless Detective novels are my favorite private investigator novels, and the Lt. Hastings novels are my second favorite police procedural novels (second only to Ed McBain). I do agree that "Double" is a better novel, but "Twospot" is worth the reader's time.
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By A Customer on Sept. 8 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book many years ago, and I'm reviewing it only to say that a previous reviewer had said that the book is not as good as others in the Nameless Detective series. I think it is a very strong addition. It would probably be better if the reader first read some of the Lt. Hastings novels by Collin Wilcox to get a feel for his character. Also, Nameless doesn't really have his name revealed. Hastings calls him Bill, but nowhere in the novel does it reveal that this is his true name. Sharon McCone, Marcia Muller's character calls him Wolf, but nowhere does she say that this is his real name. The Nameless Detective novels are my favorite private investigator novels, and the Lt. Hastings novels are my second favorite police procedural novels (second only to Ed McBain). I do agree that "Double" is a better novel, but "Twospot" is worth the reader's time.
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Format: Paperback
I'm currently devouring every book in Bill Pronzini's fantastic Nameless Detective series, in order. So far, they've all been terrific, but I must admit that I had to force myself to finish this one. Is it because we actually learn the Nameless Detective's name! Is it that the final plot twist is foreshadowed to the point where a six-year-old could guess what was coming? The story is told in alternating points of view by Pronzini's PI and Wilcox's police detective; that technique worked far better in Pronzini's "Double" (which he wrote with his wife, Marcia Muller). "Twospot" was a disappointment, but I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Twice the Fun! Oct. 23 2003
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In 1971, author Bill Pronzini was only 27 when he wrote The Snatch, building on a shorter and different version of the story that appeared in the May 1969 issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine under the same title. With the publication of this book, one of detective fiction's great characters was born with full fledged power and authenticity. If you have not yet read the Nameless Detective novels by Mr. Pronzini, you have a major treat ahead of you. Many of these are now out-of-print, so be sure to check your library for holdings in near-by cities.
The Nameless Detective is referred to that way because Mr. Pronzini never supplies a name until this book, when police lieutenant Frank Hastings tells what his poker playing friends call Nameless, employing a first name. But it's never acknowledged by Nameless that this is his name . . . so it's probably a nickname. But you'll have to decide for yourself after reading page 56 of the original hard cover edition.
Mr. Pronzini presents a world in which people take evil actions to further selfish interests, and many innocents struggle because of that selfishness. The police and private investigators suffer along with the victims, for evil-doing has painful consequences for everyone. Mr. Pronzini's plots are complex, yet he provides plenty of clues to help you identify the evil-doer on your own. Despite the transparency of many plots, he successfully uses plot complications to keep the action interesting and fresh.
But the reason to read the books is because of the character development for the Nameless Detective. Nameless is a former police officer in San Francisco who collects pulp fiction about tough private detectives. Overcome by the evil he sees as a police officer and drawn to the complex imagery of the strong, silent hero who rights wrongs, Nameless tries to live that role as a private detective. But he has trouble getting clients, and operating as a one-man shop causes him to lead a lonely existence. In his personal life, his career keeps women at a distance. Like a medieval knight errant, he sticks to his vows and pursues doing the right thing . . . even when it doesn't pay. At the same time, he's very aware of art, culture and popular trends. And he doesn't like much of what he sees. At the same time, he's troubled by a hacking cough that cigarettes make worse . . . but doesn't really want to know what causes his phlegm to rise. He's been afraid of doctors since he saw them operating on wounded men during World War II.
The books are also written in a more sophisticated version of the pulp fiction style, employing greater style through language and plot. The whole experience is like looking at an image in a series of mirrors that reflect into infinity.
These books are a must for those who love the noir style, and the modern fans of tough detectives with a heart of gold like Spenser . . . and can live without the wise cracks and repartee.
In Twospot, we find out about the lesion that was found on Nameless's lung in Blowback, the fourth book in the series. We also find an unusual collaboration of two outstanding novelists, Mr. Pronzini and Collin Wilcox. Unlike most collaborations where two authors create one set of words, Twospot alternates between authors. The book opens from the Nameless perspective and narration and shifts back and forth from there into the Frank Hastings perspective and narration. The Nameless parts of the book are typical Pronzini, and the Wilcox parts are typical Wilcox, written in police procedural style.
The teamwork allows the book to have much more richness of detail and plot development than a typical Pronzini book, that's the strength of the police procedural style. On the other hand, police procedurals have less mystery in them than most Pronzini books. So those who want to be left dangling until the end will find this book doesn't dangle. I liked the book better because of the collaboration . . . because Mr. Wilcox does a better job of developing the police perspective than Mr. Pronzini usually does in the Nameless books.
The story begins with Nameless arriving at a Napa Valley winery to report about the seedy background of a winery employee. Events take an unexpected turn when Nameless arrives while his client, Alex Cappellani, is being attacked. From there, the story veers off into all kinds of unexpected directions. I found I couldn't put the book down.
After you finish this exciting story, think about where obsession can be harmful in your life. Are you willing to let go of your obsession? When? How about now?
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not one of Pronzini's best June 13 2000
By Kinsey Millhone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm currently devouring every book in Bill Pronzini's fantastic Nameless Detective series, in order. So far, they've all been terrific, but I must admit that I had to force myself to finish this one. Is it because we actually learn the Nameless Detective's name! Is it that the final plot twist is foreshadowed to the point where a six-year-old could guess what was coming? The story is told in alternating points of view by Pronzini's PI and Wilcox's police detective; that technique worked far better in Pronzini's "Double" (which he wrote with his wife, Marcia Muller). "Twospot" was a disappointment, but I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
excellent story from two points of view, just like a real mystery July 19 2005
By jon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
another in the satisfying line of "nameless" stories, wonderful idea of two authors. Appreciate the idea of giving "nameless" a name, at least a first name. Thank you Bill Pronzini for penning another super tale. Always a pleaure to read about "nameless"
Another solid mystery! Aug. 19 2013
By col2910 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Synopsis/blurb....
Pronzini and Wilcox combine their superlative talents--and their two popular San Francisco-based detectives, "Nameless" and Lieutenant Frank Hastings--on a harrowing case of murder and bizarre conspiracy surrounding an old California wine-making family.
I've read a couple of novels that were collaborations, most recently the Hard Case Crime series starring Max, co-authored by Jason Starr and Ken Bruen. Going back further, there was The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub and coming forward again a PJ Tracy novel which is apparently a mother/daughter writing duo. What these all have in common is that I'm ignorant of which author wrote which bit. This time with Twospot there is probably more clarity as to which author provided which section of the novel. There are chapters devoted to Nameless that are written from his point of view and chapters from Wilcox providing a perspective of the investigation from Hastings. (I say this claiming certainty, but I guess they could have had some fun and changed things up.)
This is the fifth outing for Pronzini's Nameless detective and it also introduced me to Collin Wilcox and his cop, Frank Hastings. Prior to this I was ignorant of both Wilcox and Hastings, but there is a 19 book series starring the detective. These were published between 1969 and 1995, with the last appearing a year before the author's death. Twospot dates back to the late 70's. One interesting thing for me was Hastings referral to Nameless throughout the book as Bill. Throughout the 40 book series, the author never ascribes his detective a moniker, so it was fun to see Willcox do it for him.
We open with Nameless engaged by Alex Cappelani to investigate his mother's latest companion. Alex is suspicious of Jason Booker's motives and is certain he is trying to worm his way into her affections and gain a stake in the family business. Nameless visits Alex at their vineyard, arriving just after Alex has been attacked and rendered unconscious. Nameless himself is attacked and gives chase, but eventually loses his man. When Alex recovers and his suspicions about Booker are confirmed, Nameless is asked by Capellani to meet him so he can confront the boyfriend. Nameless shows up, Alex doesn't and when our PI inspects the property he finds Booker dead. This is when we meet Willcox's detective, Frank Hastings.
Hastings and his team start investigating the murder, whilst Nameless fades into the background. Until there is a second attempt on Alex's life and he is engaged by the matriarch of the family to adopt a bodyguard role for Alex. With some disgruntled employees and some sibling rivalry in the mix Hastings and Nameless work from opposite ends to resolve the mystery. There's an interesting twist which shows us, that all is not as it seems.
I enjoyed this outing and it was interesting to see Nameless share the limelight with another author's well established detective. Probably not my favourite of the 5 in the series that I have read so far, but far from a waste of time. Hastings shares many of the same characteristics of Nameless......honesty, decency, a desire to ensure justice is served and there's a mutual respect between the two detectives which was to be expected. Nameless in this book, also seems less obsessed with his health having established that his troubling lung lesions are benign; for now at least.
I will be continuing my journey with Nameless and look forward to the next in the series. To be honest, I'm probably not going to revisit Willcox and Hastings unless the book fairy deposits some of his case files on my doorstep as a gift. It's not that I didn't enjoy meeting Frank, there's just too much other stuff both new and old already waiting.
4 from 5
I obtained my copy second hand recently from Amazon.

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