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The Topless Tulip Caper by Lawrence Block
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The Topless Tulip Caper (1975)

by Lawrence Block

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I don't know what to think of The Topless Tulip Caper by Lawrence Block. I think, it was a case of missed expectations.

First: the title of the book leads one to think that it will involve a con in some way, or a heist. Neither of which was the case. It was a straight forward case of murder.

Second: the person who had written up the back of my issue had certainly not read the book. Everything was wrong. Even the cover art had almost nothing to do with the story. So again, expectations were wrong.

For these two points I would have to lay the blame on the editor or publisher.

Third: some reviews have called this a spoof of Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. I must admit I was confused as to why a writer like Block would write such an obvious knock-off. (The names are changed and Haig collects fish instead of orchids.) It did have the sarcastic humor of a hard-boiled detective but the humor seemed too subtle for it to be a spoof.

So, I was left with a Nero Wolfe book that wasn't a Nero Wolfe book. If I could judge it apart from that then it was good. But, because of these three things - it only gets three stars from me. ( )
  mysterymax | May 16, 2014 |
In a spoof of Nero Wolfe and others, Chip Harrison is a young, not-so-tough, quick-witted, horny, apprentice/Boswell to not-so-super detective Leo Haig, in a case revolving around the "fishy" deaths of 123. The motley cast of characters includes 2 spectacularly endowed nude dancers, a Chinese houseboy/gourmet chef, and all the usual suspects.

The story is dialog-driven, with a predictable plot - it's a spoof, after all - and will keep you turning page after page. Boring it's not - witty and funny, definitely. ( )
1 vote btuckertx | Jul 8, 2013 |
The last of Lawrence Block's Chip Harrison novels, this is somewhere in between mystery and just plain entertainment. Block's Harrison "mysteries" play at the genre, but many of the techniques used in these books evolved into trademarks in his Bernie Rhodenbarr burglar series. ( )
1 vote TTAISI-Editor | Nov 11, 2006 |
The last of Block's Chip Harrison novels, this is somewhere in between mystery and just plain entertainment. Block's Harrison "mysteries" play at the genre, but many of the techniques used in these books evolved into trademarks in his Bernie Rhodenbarr burglar series. ( )
  TTAISI-Editor | Nov 11, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451187997, Mass Market Paperback)

Edgar Award-winning author Lawrence Block returns with another outrageous caper featuring Chip Harrison...a sleuth who always seems to get into trouble with a capital T!

Now a man about town working for a famous detective, Chip Harrison finds himselfat a Times Square Club waiting for his latest client, a stripper, to finish a night's work. When she completes her set, she introduces him toher roommate, a dancer who's targeted for murder...and killed in the club right before their very eyes! The list of suspects is as long as the line outside the club, and now it will take all of Chip's street smarts to trap a killer!


* Lawrence Block is one of the most respected and bestselling authors ofmystery fiction
* Lawrence Block has won the Edgar Award three times, the Shamus Award four times, the Maltese Falcon Award twice, and was named Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America
* Previously published under pseudonyms and in omnibus collections, this isthe first time the Chip Harrison novels are being individually published under Lawrence Block's name
* The Chip Harrison mystery series also includes Make Out With Murder,Chip Harrison Scores Again, and No Score

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:25 -0400)

"Tulip Willing is the star attraction at the Treasure Chest [club], and also Chip's newest client. It seems she wants cover for a mysterious stranger who's been scaring her out of her clothes."--Container.

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