Rachel Goldman writes mysteries in which Duffy Madison, consultant to the county prosecutor's office, helps find missing persons. Rachel is busy working on her next book when a man calls out of the blue asking for help in a missing person case. The caller's name? Duffy Madison.
Is this real, or has she lost her mind? She doesn't have much time to find out, because a serial killer is on the loose, kidnapping and murdering mystery authors. And Rachel may just be the next target.
Full of uncanny intrigue and witty humor, E. J. Copperman's imaginative series debut, Written Off, is sure to be a new fan favorite for listeners of Donna Andrews.
©2016 E. J. Copperman (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
It's been waiting for me for a while and I just thought, "let's see what it's all about," I'm so glad I did.
This is a fun story where a crime writer's mail character gets in touch one day and turns out to be real. Murders happen (I'm not spoiling stuff here) and they work together to find out what happened while she's also trying to work out who he is.
This is the first thing I've read (listened to) by this author, I'm off to find more :)
I love 'The Haunted Guesthouse' series by this author. As well as the narrator being the same for those books and this one.
A perfect way to get me to try the new book is to bring the two together again. So much so, I had this on pre-order, and once it was in my library I listened to the story in less than 24 hours. It is a different genre to what I have heard from E. J. Copperman before, but I wasn't disappointed.
The official summary does the book justice, so I won't repeat that.
I liked the fact that this is engaging enough to keep you interested. Yet is light enough to not be too taxing, giving you a good listen when you want something fun, but still with a bit of substance to the overall story.
This is tagged as the first book in a new series, and (hopefully without giving anything away) I'm looking forward to finding out if they can solve the mystery of D.M.
I like the narrator, and she does a good job of keeping the main character upbeat. It was nice that her voice didn't have me thinking of any other books she's read, because in the past I have found that can be distracting with some narrators. The engineering quality was also good - which is something that can be seriously lacking with some of the downloads from Audible.
All in all, I was pleased with pretty much everything this book had to offer.
"Not just suspend disbelief, but kill it dead!"
Before I get to the main problem, I'll get out of the way that the narration was convincing, and the main character, Rachel, well enough presented that I was interested in following her through the story. Her "creation" Duffy Madison, on the other hand, was about as boring as it could get. Copperman has a series featuring an Asperger's protagonist, so having a similar one here is just too much. The other secondary characters were okay, but not especially impressive.
I wasn't all that drawn into the plot regarding a serial killer targeting mystery writers, but am willing to give a first book a bit of a pass as the focus is on setting up a series. However ... the Big Reveal as to the killer left me shouting "NOOOOOOOOO!" Since Audible doesn't have a feature to hide spoilers, the most I can say is that Duffy and the Bergen County authorities are Too Stupid to Live (to borrow a phrase used repeatedly by Rachel).
Most charitable thing I can say is that having a character come to life unexpectedly was a idea with possibililities, but poorly executed here. I'll stick with Samuel Hoenig instead.
"Another Great Hit by E. J. Copperman"
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy his Haunted Guesthouse series. The characters are engaging and well developed. The plot was realistic and fast paced. I can't wait for the next book.
The main character is totally unrealistic. Her life is in danger.... so she goes to bed. Magical duct tape shows up after the author drills into your head over and over that there "was nothing in the room"
Waste of 9 hours.... i kept waiting for it to get better.... it didnt.
Great narrator tho.
"I got bored"
I love Copperman's Haunted guesthouse series. They're funny, nothing too terrible happens the endings are always happy. They are fun entertainment between heavier and darker reads. So, I had the same expectations for this book.
My expectations were not met.
I didn't like the book's heroine, mystery writer Rachel Goldman. For someone who apparently is a able to make a living writing mystery books, she seems to have very little understanding of how investigations work, or any curiosity about how they work. When confronted with the news that someone is killing off mystery writers, she just wants to go home and work on her current book. It isn't until she becomes a target herself, that she begins to show some interest. Not, "Oh, my God, someone is trying to kill me" interest, instead "I just want to go home - alone" and pretend it's not happening kind of interest. At a minimum you would think that maybe she would think there might be book in it for her.
Cozies aren't meant to be taken all that seriously, I get that. But, they should at least be entertaining and this book wasn't. That said, I'm still looking forward to the next book in the Haunted Guesthouse series.
As for Amanda Ronconi's narration, it's always great, even when the story isn't.
People in the next car thought I was nuts. I AM listening to Written Off again. It still makes me laugh..........the reader is perfect for this book!
Hope there is a follow up soon!
"Has promise as a series."
I liked the overall storyline and the concept of the 2 main characters. however, the author needs to tighten up the actual crime features; the weren't always believable. the story was told in first person- Racheal-who spent a lot of time repeating that Duffy, the other main character, was created out of her imagination. more character development would have been better rather than hearing Rachel's internal thoughts. the narrators voice had a hint of whineyness that became grating towards the end. I do look forward to the next installment.
"Excellent start to a new series"
Well written E.J. Cooperman and well performed Amanda Ronconi. But I expect no less from the two of you. I can't wait to purchase the next book to this series.
"I have "Written Off" this Author!"
Where to start??? First, according to the Author, she has had moderate success, and is in the process of finishing her fourth book. A man insists that he is the "real" fictional character, provides proof, shows up at her book signing, insists that a woman's life is in danger, and what does this so-called author do? Goes to bed, calls someone else about the man, so that person can call someone else! The Author has a business card in hand, she has been told a life is in danger, and she is concerned about her revisions! And all of her thoughts, and musings!!! I cannot hear what others heard and liked about this Author.
Someone Always Knows by Marcia Muller
Nothing, she worked with what she had.
"Another Great E.J. Copperman book"
Can't wait to listen to the next book. This series is even better than the others
"Falls down in the reveal chapter"
This would have been a solid four star book except for the reveal chapter.
In a room with at least two decent, easily improvised weapons, failing to use them truly is "TSTL."
A standing lamp with the base and head removed can be a decent stabbing weapon for at least one thrust. In the alternative, the sections could be uncoupled and used as improvised hanbo (fighting sticks).
Using a trunk as a weapon by lying on your back and kicking it with both legs at a person climbing a ladder-stair is an obvious choice. If you hit them half-emerged you should be able to knock them down the ladder. Follow up with rudimentary hanbo technique and you have a decent shot at keeping them down.
I generally like E.J. Copperman's books, and generally liked this book. However, I cannot believe that anyone would bypass two obvious weapons in favor of swinging a full lamp at someone. (It would have even made more sense to use a full lamp as a ram.) It was incredible and inconsistent with an otherwise intelligent character. It changed her into a "TSTL" character.
I still plan to buy the next book in the series, but the protagonist's willful stupidity when the chips were down lowered the book from four stars to three stars.
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