The first of a series of mystery thrillers, featuring Police Sergeant Merryll Manning of the Paradise Police Department. (Paradise is the author's fictional capital city of Florida, and is not based on Miami). The action takes place on an otherwise deserted island in the Florida Keys, where a number of guests assemble in an old Dominican Priory for a "mystery weekend".
John Howard Reid’s Merryll Manning TRAPPED On Mystery Island is number 1 in the Merry Manning series. When Florida Police Sergeant Merry, Merryll, Manning and his 20 something girl friend arrive for a a murder mystery weekend in an old Dominican priory on Cross Key Island complete with a throng, 16 in all, of captivating fellow guests who have paid a thousand dollar fee per person for the opportunity to attend, and perhaps win the $5,000 prize for correctly naming the victim, or victims and who has accomplished the dastardly deed of murder they are expecting nothing more than perhaps an interesting weekend, and maybe coming home a little richer. The setting is perfect, an old monastery. The mystery weekenders are perfect and include a Catholic priest, two men who profess to be actors, another who says he is an attorney and one who is a semi retired businessman. Several are artists or artisans including craftspersons, and a novelist, while 3 hold positions in the Paradise, Florida,... More > AVEPA Club. All in all they are a mixed bag and sure to add to the fun of the weekend. To date; Mr Mystery, Clifford Yates, has conducted several of these murder mystery weekends. The weekend begins as is wont for murder mystery dinner, weekend or what have you as the various ‘guests’ arrive aboard Clifford Yates boat. Passengers become acquainted, take one another’s measure and formulate their idea as to the identity of the soon to be victim whose demise they are to ascertain as the first requirement for winning the $5,000 prize. The game is two part, first name to victim, then discover the murderer. Soon the group individually tender their vote for identity of the victim before gathering for supper prior to the all important Reading of the Will. With group assembled for the reading of the will the first actor is revealed, he is the one playing the lawyer who will be revealing the contents of the will. And, the lights go out, when power is returned the lawyer lays dead with a rubber dagger to the heart, and no will, it has been pinched as has the second one to be ready only if --. The second actor is revealed within minutes as a police Inspector takes over the situation; he opens the envelopes and it is found the only Merry provided the correct answer regarding identity of the first victim. Grousing ensues immediately with various of the players insisting that Merry has an unfair advantage because he is a police officer while others insist no way Merry is a cop. And the plot thickens. One of the guests goes out for a smoke break on the beach, and does not return, Merry discovers that while there are 16 guests listed there are actually some extra people on the island and Merry steps into what must be blood which leads him to an actual murdered victim. And now, Merry has his work cut out for him. There is no way off the island until Mr Mystery returns with the boat at the end of the weekend, various of the guest are being conned by one of those extra players who wants to share the prize money for information he can impart, the phone lines are not working and everyone is suddenly fearful and suspicious of everyone else. Merry takes over the investigation until even Merry himself is thought to be the murderer by some. The narrative surges forward, Writer Reid adroitly uses more than a little tongue in cheek bantering between Merry and various of the players to present plausible reasons for why first one and then another of the characters just may be the actual murderer. Writer Reid provides the details, factors, and aspects to paint his scenes with realism, cloak his characters with credible traits and present a just plain fun read. I like the asides, repartee and diverse group of characters with which Reid peoples his works. While the launch work for the series, TRAPPED On Mystery Island is the second Merry Manning work I have read. Both have proven to be filled with the suspense, use of expression, parlance and idiom along with intricate stratagem needed to keep me turning the page. Trapped On Mystery Island serves to introduce to the uninitiated the unmatched visualization of Reid’s one of a kind leading character. On the one hand Merry is a rough, straightforward investigator who tends at the odd moment to lapse into moments of whimsy. Providing splendid character growth, flamboyant scenarios, and an engrossing plotline serving to maintain and forward the flow of the tale Reid constructs classic cozy type detective novel certain to satisfy fans of well wrought unassuming mysteries. All in all John Howard Reid’s Merryll Manning TRAPPED On Mystery Island is an engrossing read sure to please those who enjoy cozy type mysteries. I look forward to reading more of this most pleasurable series. Happy to recommend John Howard Reid’s Merryll Manning TRAPPED On Mystery Island. =========================== Reviewed by Molly’s Reviews molly martin www.angelfire.com/ok4/mollymartin www.AuthorsDen.com/mjhollingshead =========================== Product Details and Shipping Information from Amazon TITLE Merryll Manning TRAPPED On Mystery Island AUTHOR John Howard Reid GENRE cozy mystery Paperback: 200 pages Publisher: Lulu.com (June 24, 2008) Language: English ISBN-10: 1435720857 ISBN-13: 978-1435720855< Less
Merryll Manning: Trapped On Mystery Island Police sergeant Merryll Manning is on vacation on an island in the Florida Keys for a Murder Mystery weekend. The plan is to solve the mystery and win a cash prize of $5,000.00. Easier said than done. Merry has his teenage-looking girlfriend Susan Ford along for the trip. Susan isn’t above using her sexuality to keep Merryll flustered and under her thumb. Merryll Manning: Trapped On Mystery Island by John Howard Reid was published more than twenty years ago in Australia. The first installment of the twelve part Merryll Mysteries made its American debut in the spring of 2008. The game players are an eclectic group including a priest, lawyer, novelist, as well as several actors who may or may not be playing parts in the game. Merryll begins mingling with the players as only he can. His abrasive, eccentric style quickly puts him at odds with several of the gamers. Merry continuously aggravates the priest with religious debates; while Susan’s... More > sexy and spunky charms push and pull Merryll’s concentration from the game. Soon the first victim of the game falls as Merryll has predicted. The others have a problem with a policeman’s unfair advantage in the game. Others believe Susan is under-age and doubt Manning is a cop at all. When blood is found, Merryll traces it to a real murder victim. The horrific bloody murder scene has a profound affect on Merryll. Another gamer disappears during a smoke break. With no way to contact the mainland, to leave the island, or to inform the police, Merryll takes over the investigation. Author John Howard Reid has an undeniable skill for keeping the reader guessing who-dun-it. Reid points the finger of guilt, through Merryll, at many of the characters. The reader keeps turning pages to see who Merryll will infuriate next with his accusations and taunts. Tension, mistrust, fear, and a quick pace keep the reader captivated to the final page. Don’t mistake this as another self-published vanity project. John Howard Reid is a talented, experienced writer with more than 70 books to his credit. His dialogue is brilliant in the back-and-forth banter between Merryll and the priest, and Merryll and the novelist. He paints scenes so well that you expect to see Merryll and his suspect burst into your living room. Books three and four in the series are scheduled for release in 2010 with Merryll Manning: Beachfront Holiday set for release in June. Merryll Manning is a wonderful, old-fashioned style mystery series. Start here with Trapped on Mystery Island and you’ll be hooked. Highly Recommended. Lulu.com (June 24, 2008) 978-1435720855 By William Potter for Reader’s Choice Reviews.< Less
Merryll Manning would rather be anywhere but Cross Keys Island. The only reason that this police sergeant is here is his girlfriend Susan. For some reason, Susan has in her head that she’s going to win the five thousand dollar prize during this Mystery Weekend. Merryll really isn’t up for a murder mystery drama. After all, he has plenty of real police work at home. Still, Susan has a way. The weekend starts off pretty well. Merryll correctly identifies the first “victim”. Unfortunately, the second victim turns up actually dead. Now, Merryll and Susan are stuck on the island and there’s a murderer on the loose. Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island is very entertaining. Merryll has a charming wit and a sharp eye for detail. He’s a great character.
"The Mystery of Mystery Island " The first of a series featuring Merryll "Merry" Manning, a sergeant in the Miami Police Force, "Trapped on Mystery Island" takes such standard thriller ingredients as a group of assorted yet colorful characters stranded on a no-escape island with a murderer in their midst, and revitalizes these conventional ploys in a vigorous, highly exciting manner. Adding to the suspense, of course, is the interplay between the well-rounded but credibly individualized characters themselves. "Trapped on Mystery Island" marks the first American suspense thriller by John Howard Reid, hailed by overseas reviewers as "one of the world's most original and gripping mystery novelists" (John Champness). The distinguished American critic, Richard Deutch, described John Howard Reid as "the best natural storyteller his country has yet produced." Fellow mystery author, Robin Wallace-Crabbe, states that "Reid's... More > novels bear the stamp of an original mind... Brilliant!" "Trapped on Mystery Island" is a real page-turner. To quote Leonard Ward: "John Howard Reid solidly grips the reader's undivided attention from the first page to the last."< Less
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