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Mind Scrambler by Chris Grabenstein

Mind Scrambler

by Chris Grabenstein

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I always enjoy Chris Grabenstein's Ceepak and Boyle mysteries, and Mind Scrambler was no exception. Strong characters, a strong setting, and a strong mystery laced with Grabenstein's trademark humor. What's not to like?

Although there is humor in the book, it's not as pronounced because the subject matter is serious and our Danny is grieving. Grabenstein knows how to write action scenes as well as strong characters and humor-- and he also knows how to tug on our heartstrings.

There is one thing, however, that I wondered about all through Mind Scrambler. There are times that the tower of integrity that's known as John Ceepak is almost a cartoon figure with his exaggerated "Just the facts, ma'am" language and his unyielding book of rules. Once-- just once-- I'd like to see a scene of dialogue between Ceepak and his wife Rita when they're alone. Does Ceepak still sound like a stuffed shirt then, or does he actually unwind a little? It will probably never happen, but as I enjoy reading each book in this series, I can always dream. ( )
  cathyskye | Jul 23, 2015 |
I love John Ceepak and Danny Boyle. I've loved them since the first book but this book is different and deeper than any of the previous four. Ceepak is dealing with his father and Danny is learning more from Ceepak every day. A trip to Atlantic City to take a deposition about Ceepak's father ends up in a complicated murder case, involving Danny's old girlfriend Katie. Magic, illusion and mayhem follow. This book has the most powerful ending of any of the Ceepak novels. If it truly is the last in the series than Grabenstein ended on a true high. ( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
John Ceepak/Danny Boyle series. Good cozy style mystery series set in a Jersey shore amusement park town. ( )
  BeckyFitz | Oct 10, 2011 |
I thought it was an excellent installment in the series. Yes, it was a different environment, and the underlying crimes are disgusting, but that's probably what I liked about it - it was much darker and grittier and more bad stuff happens than in the Sea Haven based stories.

There were points where I wanted to smack some of the characters for being so frustrating and annoying and full-of-lies. Ceepak and Danny do make it through, but if it wasn't for the fact that they are essential to the series and you know they must prevail so they have to figure it out eventually, you might be worried that the bad guys will get away with their crimes. ( )
  crazybatcow | Sep 7, 2011 |
I always enjoy this series, but I'm having a hard time identifying exactly why.First, I haven't read anything else quite like them, even though I've read quite a range of mysteries.They are more character driven and somehow softer than most procedurals, while clearly having more of an edge than cozies (not to mention featuring two police officers). This book seemed harsher than the previous books, but somehow it didn't cross the line into icky. I give Grabenstein major credit for this, thinking back over the story.The setting on the Jersey Shore is also unusual for me. I enjoy the link to the various amusement park rides the books are named for, particularly this book's Mind Scrambler. This time, the story wanders to Atlantic City, which is more usual mystery stomping grounds (or it felt that way, even though I can't think of any specific examples).The best things about these books are the two lead characters: John Ceepak and Danny Boyle. John Ceepak lives his life by a strict code of honor, and expects the same from those around him. His partner (Danny Boyle)describes him as the worlds oldest Eagle Scout. He's always perceptive and able to think his way to the right conclusion. Again, I give Grabenstein credit for making this work, because it could have been very tedious. In this book, his code of honor is tested, more so than we've seen. Watching him struggle through this adds further depth to his character.Danny Boyle started as a somewhat shallow, carefree young man in search of an easy summer job. Ceepak has had a significant effect on him, and he is maturing very nicely. He has just the right touch of hero worship as he narrates the story, contrasting what he is able to figure out with the conclusions that Ceepak draws. This time, Danny is drawn into the mystery in a very personal way, even being considered a suspect for a period of time. Watching him balance between Danny the individual and Danny the police officer made for good reading.I also want to mention the narrator, Jeff Woodman. He does a fantastic job of bringing these books to life.I recommend reading this series in order, since Danny's growth is such a major part of the books for me. ( )
  ImBookingIt | Mar 26, 2010 |
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Learning that a former crush, Katie, is happily employed as a magician's assistant, Sea Haven police officer Danny Boyle is shocked by Katie's subsequent murder and teams up with partner John Ceepak in a race against time to find the killer.

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