Item description for Don't Blame the Snake (Margo Fortier) by Tony Fennelly...
It's the sweltering summer of '95 and poor souls all over the country are dying from the record-breaking hot spell. Most of the public remains indoors, close to their TV sets, fascinated by the news event of the decade, the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Down South in stifling New Orleans, a literary celebrity lies dead of a mysterious rattlesnake bite in his penthouse hotel suite, while Margo Fortier, the Bourbon Street stripper-turned-society columnist deals with the heat by stretching out under a ceiling fan covered by a wet towel. Margo's husband Julian invites her to escape the heat and join him at a mystery writers' conference aboard the (blessedly air-conditioned) cruise ship Julep Queen. While sailing down the Mississippi, the Fortiers become acquainted with the arcane world of crime fiction publishing and the characters who populate it. Margo fends off the advances of the lecherous and conniving publisher, Harvey Gould, who soon afterward is found murdered in his cabin. And the fatal weapon appears to be another poisonous snake. Some suspects on hand are a reclusive literary star of the fifties who remains in his stateroom, naked, 24 hours a day, a former jewel thief who had bought his noble title, a plump cozy writer in search of romance, a degenerate author of gruesome best-sellers and his leather-clad dominatrix, and woebegone midlist authors who have plenty of reason to hate Harvey Gould. Other passengers include a priest traveling incognito with a handsome companion, a portly Elvis impersonator who sings the King's repertoire in Yiddish and a "pre-published" English professor who stalks the corridors waylaying all and sundry to read his tattered thousand-page manuscript.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.94" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.81" Weight: 1.04 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2001
Publisher Top Publications
ISBN 1929976054 ISBN13 9781929976058
Availability 0 units.
More About Tony Fennelly
Tony Fennelly currently resides in New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana.
Reviews - What do customers think about Don't Blame the Snake (Margo Fortier)?
Tony Fennelly Strikes Again! Jan 10, 2003
Tony Fennelly is not merely an excellent mystery writer, but a sharp social satirist, as well. In fact, most of "Don't Blame the Snake", the latest Margo Fortier novel, is a distillation of the zeitgeist surrounding the O. J. Simpson trial married to a comical study of mystery conventions. The mystery itself, the identity of a murder suspect, is rarely discussed, though it hangs over the action like a dark cloud.
Instead of a standard whodunnit, Fennelly offers her readers something more, an examination of our own foibles and eccentricities, particularly those surrounding the dark days of the Simpson Trial. Her characters treat the televised event like a Roman Circus, a train wreck from which we cannot look away. It took me back, made me remember those freaky, surreal days. That the novel is set on a cruise ship only makes the passengers' obsession with the trial funnier.
Setting the action among the attendees of a mystery convention was also a stroke of genius. I got the impression Ms. Fennelly placed Margo and her husband, Julian, with the characters Fanny and Alice, two humorous and jaded midlist authors, as a way of expressing her own feelings about the world of publishers and writers. I especially enjoyed this insider's peek into the mysterious world of writers.
Another aspect I enjoyed was Ms. Fennelly's concept of "Fictional New Orleans", a place where it's always Mardi Gras, the residents are always in costume and the Cajuns speak in Parisian French. As authors setting books in Fictional New Orleans is a pet peeve of mine, I got a particular belly laugh from the exchange between Margo and Julian. Their snide but friendly interplay is always hilarious.
For the sake of mystery, Margo's pal, Lt. Frank Washington, is on board as a convention presenter. Before the cruise, Frank was investigating the death of a famous author by rattlesnake. While aboard, a publisher is also bitten by a snake. Coincidence? We think not. The best part of the mystery is that, this time, Margo isn't even TRYING to solve it. She just makes sense of the clues before anyone else.
One complaint I have: Frank Washington is friends with Margo Fortier and with Fennelly's other protagonist, Matty Sinclair, yet the subject never comes up. Matty is New Orleans society. Margo is a society columnist. They MUST know one another . . . It doesn't detract from the books, but it is curious.
As always, a new book by Tony Fennelly is an event to be celebrated by anyone who loves a sharp tongue, witty banter, and engaging characters. I recommend it highly and await the next installment.
A fun read! Sep 21, 2001
Don't Blame the Snake was a fun mystery beginning with the prelude. From the moment a body is discovered in a New Orlean's hotel, with a rattle snake on the toilet seat the excitment begins. With most of the book set on a Mystery Cruise Ship, mystery readers will enjoy every word. You will also find yourself laughing out loud and remember, don't blame the snake!