Mystery Writings of L.G.Fabbo-Gonnella :
Murder & mayhem with a dash of comedy
Thursday, January 19, 2017
The first review of the Max, Brad & Maisie mystery series
Series Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Author L. G. Fabbo-Gonnella spins the classic noir murder mystery for modern times in the Max, Brad and Maisie series. Max and Brad are two young (early 20s), struggling actors trying to break onto Broadway who work in a local pub to pay the bills. When signing up to audition for a role in a new play at a renovated theater, they encounter the ghost of Maisie, a burlesque dancer who was murdered in 1959. This begins an unusual friendship between the three as go about trying to emulate Hercule Poirot and Topper at the same time.
Brad is a straight male of Italian heritage who fancies himself a ladies man with a thing for voluptuous women. Max often complains that he thinks with the head in his pants instead of the one on his shoulders, which can get him into trouble.
Max is a gay male who is searching for something meaningful. Having moved to New York from Kansas, he finds a friend in Brad and they decide to room together. He knows that they should not get involved in trying to solve these mysteries, but as Ethel always seemed to go along with Lucy, he backs his friend whole-heartedly. He just hopes that they don’t get killed in the process.
Maisie doesn’t have that problem as she’s already dead. Previously tied to the theater where she was killed, she know moves around with “her boys” as they try to solve the mysteries that they encounter. While she was a burlesque performer, she is still a lady. She laments the decline of civility in the modern world but finds a hobby in watching wrestling on television.
In Murder in the String of G, the trio set about to prove that Maisie was in fact murdered and whom committed the crime. In Murder in the Square Circle, Maisie insists that she and her boys investigate when her favorite wrestler is charged with the murder of his rival in the ring. In Murder in Noir, the boys finally have parts in an upcoming Broadway play (bit parts, but you have to start somewhere). The boys find blackmail notes tossed on the floor and decide to investigate further.
To say that these three are not Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot would be an understatement. While they have good instincts as to what paths to follow, it seems they always stumble unto the proper solution to the mysteries. Add to that the fact that Brad somehow seems to find himself naked and tied or handcuffed to a bed and you see that they should not be in the private investigating business. If you are nostalgic for classic mysteries, give this series a try. I will state that the books could use a more thorough editing but was not a major problem.
Dustin Kime does a good job with the covers of the three books. For String of G, the ghost of Maisie is superimposed on the backdrop of the Cassandra Theater where she was murdered. For Square Circle, a young wrestler is on the cover. And for Noir, the lead actor for the boys’ play is featured in a classic noir pose.