Saturday, April 7, 2012

Morgue Drawer Four: Review

I found Morgue Drawer Four by Jutta Profijt just sitting there on the New Arrival Shelf at the Library begging me to take it home. Like the protagonist, Dr. Martin Gänsewein, I tried in vain to ignore the little voice calling my name, picked up the book, read the synopsis and was hooked. Not that I don't have oodles of books sitting in TBR piles in my backroom calling my name as well...but, you see, they were across town in my house so their voices were fainter. After reading the blurb on the back:

Most people would shiver at the thought of spending their days surrounded by the dead, but not Dr. Martin Gänsewein. Shy, but scrupulous, Martin appreciates his taciturn clients—until the day one of them starts talking to him. It seems the ghost of a recently deceased (and surprisingly chatty) small-time car thief named Pascha is lingering near his lifeless body in drawer number four of Martin’s morgue. He remains for one reason: his “accidental” death was, in fact, murder. Pascha is furious his case will go unsolved—to say nothing of his body’s dissection upon Martin’s autopsy table. But since Martin is the only person Pascha can communicate with, the ghost settles in with the good pathologist, determined to bring the truth of his death to light. Now Martin’s staid life is rudely upended as he finds himself navigating Cologne’s red-light district and the dark world of German car smuggling. Unless Pascha can come up with a plan—and fast—Martin will soon be joining him in the spirit world.

I was hooked. I told myself that it was okay that I bring home another library book--after all, this one is set in Germany and written by a German author and I could use it for my European Reading Challenge! (Shhh, let's not talk about the other European settings and authors that are sitting in the TBR piles...)

This was a fun read. I loved the unique set-up and hearing/seeing things form Pascha's point of view was quite interesting. Now, I have to admit, Pascha isn't the most likeable fellow. It's not clear why we should care who bumped him off (other than we ought to care when anyone is killed)--I mean, after all, he's rather egotistical and opinionated and well....not sympathetic at all. But that doesn't matter. It was a great concept and I did want to know. And the translator has done a wonderful job with the story. I think he got the tone just right. And, I didn't guess who did it--which is a big plus. Three stars for a decent debut mystery and interesting concept. I liked it enough that I'm interested to see where the next installment takes Martin and his ghost.

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