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Friday, July 15, 2011

Elementary, My Dear Groucho, by Ron Goulart


Elementary, My Dear Groucho
By Ron Goulart
1999


I like mystery fiction and I like the Marx Brothers, but I wasn't exactly convinced of the merits of a book in which Groucho Marx moonlights as an amateur detective. I decided to give Elementary, My Dear Groucho a shot, even so, and ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Goulart wrote six books in his Groucho Marx series between 1998 and 2005. This one is the third. This time around Groucho and his writing partner, Frank Denby, team up again, this time to find out who killed Felix Denker, a German director who is found dead on the set of his latest movie. Nazis and anti-Nazi groups play a part in the proceedings and Groucho and Denby are challenged by a well-known actor (whose latest role is Sherlock Holmes) who vows to solve the crime before they do.

Probably the best part of all this is how it takes place while Groucho is tossing off a non-stop stream of very Groucho-ish wisecracks. Goulart has got these down to an art so if you like Marx Brothers' styled humor be sure to check this series out.

Now if anyone could do Harpo as an amateur detective, that would be a feat...

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