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The Mango Opera by Tom Corcoran
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The Mango Opera

by Tom Corcoran

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Really enjoyed the first in the Alex Rutledge mysteries - Key West details abound, but not so much that they detract from the story. Makes me want to go to key West sooner rather than later.
  sriemann | Apr 2, 2013 |
Having been a frequent visitor to central and southern FL over my lifetime this book captures the "feel" of southern FL and the Keys spectacularly. As for the pace, the book gets a bit meandering at times, but thankfully only for brief bits. I had a terrible time keeping up with the characters though. Too much similarity on the bad guys side made for some difficulty. I do think the recurring charcters could have been better developed, so I am hoping the next installment focuses more there. If you're looking for interesting mystery, this is worth the read. ( )
  debavp | Jan 9, 2009 |
What a great read…I think all of us like books were we can feel some kind of identification with the character. We get to know another flawed hero in Florida. This series has a great cast – Alex Rutledge a freelance photographer who picks up jobs when he can in wonderful Key West. A former Cleveland boy (like me) who found himself drifting towards the heat and sun of Key West. One of those jobs is crime site photographer. Local’s that give you that taste of real “Conchs” and our Hero’s friends – a Florida Fishing guide and former vet. In this first story in the series our hero finds himself doing the mope thing with the departure of his girl and her sudden reappearance with luggage and no explanation at his doorstep. This story has wonderful dark humor that I enjoy… a taste of the tropics that I love and appreciate having lived on the Big Island for years. I am all about Hawaiian shirts – flip flops (“Slippers”) or tropical formal – Dockers – Top siders- with a Hawaiian shirt tucked in and real formal with a button down collar. It has the flavor of small towns that I know and even a transient place like Key West has its Local’s and long time residents who know each other. (Just like Hilo and Kona)…it has touches of Carl Haissen – a little Hoke Mosley … its good fun! ( )
  ckNikka | Dec 23, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312969880, Mass Market Paperback)

Key West has been a geographical muse for a gamut of writers from Wallace Stevens to Jimmy Buffett. Cast almost adrift, the last pearl on the string of islands that make up the end of America's East Coast, Key West endures in our imaginations as an expatriate paradise, a pirate hideaway, and a perpetual party. In his debut novel, The Mango Opera, Tom Corcoran does little to shatter these illusions. Indeed, he does quite a bit to fill out the uninitiated reader's understanding of the secretive and steamy history of Cayo Hueso.

Corcoran's hero, Alex Rutledge is a freelance photographer whose island life has taken a turn for the worse with the recent departure of his girlfriend, Annie Minnette. When he isn't shooting magazine glossies and menu food, Rutledge does a bit of forensic work for local law enforcement agencies. It's easy money until the morning he finds Annie's look-alike roommate posed for some gruesome portraits on the other side of his lens. Police begin to suspect a serial killer as the list of victims grows, and Rutledge suspects something more sinister when he realizes the list of victims reads like a page or two from his own little black book.

Like a tropical chef, Corcoran flavors The Mango Opera with colorful characters, crisp dialogue, island history, and quite a bit of dark but highly appropriate humor. He serves it all up in tasty bites that promise to satisfy almost any mystery lover.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:42 -0400)

Crime-site photographer Alex Rutledge of Key West, Florida, probes the murder of two women and the attempted murder of a third, all three having been his girlfriends. A debut mystery.

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