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Hide & Seek: A Murder Mystery by Thomas…

Hide & Seek: A Murder Mystery

by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield

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Where is my sandwich board? This book was more than fantastic it was the ultimate pleasure read! If you’re a Clue lover, this book is a must! I loved every second of it placing it at the top of my favorite mysteries! There was a “Scarlet”, a “Colonel”, a “Professor” there was everything and even more. The twists and turns, the psychological thrillers…quel homage to the classic! What a difficult genre to surmount and Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield did it impeccably! It took me a while to read this…because I was devastated that it was closer to being finished the more I read. Great lexis, great imagery…overall A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! ( )
  lb12 | Oct 15, 2012 |
A fun mystery read that is turned up on its head. From the beginning we know who got murdered and who the murder is, but we don't know why someone is looking or the murderer. This is what keeps us glued to the book. It was fun to read this type of book for a change. The characters were well done and made you want to like some and hate the rest. This is a book I would want to read again. Reminds me of the old Clue game. ( )
  BarbsReviews | Dec 27, 2011 |
Article first published as Book Review: Hide & Seek: A Murder Mystery by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield on Blogcritics.

I’ve heard it said that given the right circumstances anyone is capable of murder. If so how does the person who is basically kind and good deal with the aftermath of such a decision? In Hide & Seek by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield, we follow a story of a murder and the life of a man and his family.

Falling in love with Melanie Carson, a young actress is not at all in David Drapers plan. The real problem was that Melanie loved men, she loved attention and she created a jealousy in him that was not at all a part of who he was. As David becomes even more concerned and jealous, and finding Melanie with another, David waits until the assignation is done and murders Melanie in a fit of rage. While covering his tracks seems to have put him in the clear, the internal makings of David keep it in constant turmoil. His family including his
Aunt Grace and his sister Dorothy (Dots) are quite concerned about him. They are worried at the changes that the murder of his girlfriend have wrought in him. His Aunt Grace has made friends with the Detective in charge of the case, and has continued to help him investigate.

In their way they look for a way to pull David out of his doldrums. When they have an invite and a fun getaway planed they invite David to go with them. It is a Murder Mystery Weekend at an old courthouse located on a small island just of the coast of the Cape. While David reluctantly agrees he becomes alarmed with the group of guests that are also invited to attend this fun sleuthing weekend. His alarm turns to suspicion as his worst fears come to fruition. Each guest appears to have some form of background relating to the murdered Melanie Carson. As each clue turns up for the fake murder more clues also unfold for the real murder.

David is now convinced that he is being played and that someone knows the real truth of what happened the night Melanie was murdered. Should he stay and maintain his innocence, or should he cut and run? Knowing if he runs he will become an immediate suspect he remains cautious. Can he win in this strange and twisted game being played out?

This is a fun and unique whodunit, one where you know the murderer from the beginning. There is humor and familial obligations, and it is difficult not to like David regardless of his memory of the murder. He is a connoisseur of women; he loves them to distraction, and yet somehow gets caught up in an unimaginable situation that is totally outside the realm of his experience. He feels guilt and is at a point where he feels the need to come clean about his part.

His sister and aunt are wonderful. While David certainly has no alibi and seems guilty, they just do not believe him capable. The same is true of the detective handling the case. It is such a disingenuous situation with the Murder Mystery Weekend thrown in it keeps you guessing what will happen next.

Kaplan-Maxfield has done a great job with red herrings, twisting and curling the truth into such a string of happenings you begin to get dizzy with the threads. The characters are fun and exciting with just a hint of mystery and fun, and the story flows like chocolate, smooth and dreamy. Even knowing much of what is happening the author delivers a stunning surprise, one I wondered at and yet did not see coming.

This would be a great book for the mystery and suspense aficionado. It is well written and begins with the mystery solved–well sort off. This would be a great read for a book club or a nice book for a reading group. It is entertaining and fun.

This book was received free from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material. ( )
  wrighton-time | Oct 2, 2011 |
An interesting telling of this murder mystery, this book is fun, like a game of Clue except we already know who the murderer is, who was murdered, how, why, and where. We know this because it happens very near the beginning of the book. Or do we? Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield has presented an interesting concept in writing this mystery. He has a descriptive way of writing, extending this to the several characters that are introduced later in the book. The reader needs to pay a lot of attention to wording. The mystery is complex, based on jealousy, greed, and unsavory lifestyle.

The story begins with a party hosted by David's Aunt Grace, where he meets a beautiful wraith of a girl, unsubstantial as air yet bewitching and willing. The girl is an actress, and they begin a relationship as mysterious as she is. Totally mesmerized by her, David becomes overcome with jealous thoughts whenever he is not with her. When she is killed, he is overtaken with guilt, grief and loss.

Aunt Grace and Dots, his sister, come up with a brilliant idea for a fascinating weekend... the Murder Mystery game being held on a small island off Cape Cod at an old courthouse converted to a Bed and Breakfast, which adds to the atmosphere of the book. Reluctant at first, he finally agrees to join in the fun. Shortly after arrival, there seems to be something more sinister afoot. David is shocked to find that one of the participants is the actual detective who was investigating the murder of Melanie Carson. Not only that, but when the "corpse", Marilyn Carpenter, is found, she is dressed exactly like Melanie was, right down to her silver blonde hair and Melanie's particular shade of lipstick. Even her nails are done the same. Who is playing mind games with David, and why? Is this a trap? When the roles were given out at the beginning of the game, he was designated as the murderer, his aunt designated as the detective. Who is the real detective? This is what David will have to find out as soon as possible.

Great characterization, a unique variation on the usual cozy murder mystery, surprises all through, psychological suspense and well-written. My attention was held throughout, my guesses all over the place. This book was fun and I'll be watching for more from this author. ( )
  readerbynight | Sep 26, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0971377073, Paperback)

A pre-Internet murder mystery set on Cape Cod in the 1980s, "Hide and Seek" tells a murder mystery backwards: we know the identity of the murderer, but not that of the detective. David Draper, scion of an old, wealthy Boston family, meets the lovely actress Melanie Carson at one of his Aunt Grace's fabulous Beacon Hill costume parties. As they become romantically involved, David grows increasingly and wildly jealous of the elusive, secretive, and ultimately disloyal Melanie, finally murdering her in her North End apartment in a fit of rage.

Because David has covered his tracks, Detective Gallivan of the Boston Police does not suspect him of the crime, and David feels he is in the clear. But six months later, David's close sister Dorothy (Dots) invites both David and their Aunt Grace to a Murder Mystery Weekend at an old courthouse turned venerable hotel on a tiny island just off the east coast of the Cape.

David is hesitant, but his suspicions turn to alarm as he realizes that someone among the cast of participants in the murder mystery weekend is out to catch the murderer of Melanie. When the pretend corpse is dressed, down to Melanie's unusual lipstick color, to resemble Melanie, David becomes convinced one of the guests is in fact a real detective on the hunt.

Unfortunately for David, everyone in the game must play detective, and so everyone looks suspicious! It's a race against time as David must determine motive and opportunity to figure out the real detective before said detective fingers David as the real murderer. His work is complicated by the fact that he is unnervingly assigned the part of the secret murderer in the game they are ostensibly playing. He must detect the detective among guests that include the effete British Lord Alfred; a hard-boiled insurance salesman from Providence, Rhode Island; a beautiful female psychologist from Boston; David's own Miss Marple-like aunt and his Nancy Drewish sister; and even a Boston priest, Father Cerubini. Or could the detective be the mysterious and sullen hotelier John Fredericks or, perhaps, his crazy wife-in-the-attic Elaine? Or is it, after all, the one person at the weekend game who is an actual detective as well as friend of Aunt Grace, Detective Gallivan from Boston?

As David finds to his horror, each member of the cast has not only a connection to Melanie but also a reason to want to avenge her murderer. David must carefully outwit the stealth detective by intuiting his way through a reverse mystery in which the game is deadly serious-and what he thinks is serious might be but the tricks of paranoia. Are the guests out to get David as the game murderer, or is their pursuit much more than a game?

"Hide and Seek" is a psychologically suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat page-turner that weaves together strands of the major genres of crime fiction, from British detective puzzle to American hard-boiled whodunit, from old Miss Marple detective to Nancy Drew girl-sleuth, from scientist and doctor to patient, from priest to sinner.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:58 -0400)

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