Laugh Out Loud Mayhem and Murder

Ransom Game, Howard Engel’s 1981 Benny Cooperman mystery from St. Martin’s Press, has too many descriptions for my taste.  The women are complicated, but they all look good.  Cooperman…or Engel…must be lonely.  But excellent plots and passages like this keeps me coming back for more:

“Did he come to the club alone?”

“Sometimes.  Sometimes not.  It depended on whether there were other people with him.

“I see what you mean.” At last, a careful witness.

The plot is delicious, even if Cooperman’s diet is lacking.  When things get thick, you get a belly-laugh moment to break the tension.

I appreciate Elmore Leonard’s advice,  to leave out the parts that people skip.  And if you wax on and on about a character’s looks, I scan through and get back to the action. For all that, I still recommend you find used copies of, or download to your e-reader, Howard Engel’s Benny Cooperman mysteries.  They’ve aged well, like his women.

You might like rambling descriptions.  And even if you don’t, the laughter and the carefully placed clues more than make up for them.