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A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction. A rich, attractive femme fatale. A missing husband. A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending. Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Ree A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction. A rich, attractive femme fatale. A missing husband. A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending. Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Reed’s computer geek friend, This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies is detective noir at its best. Follow Reed as he solves crime akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart. Great for fans who love a fast-paced, humorous read, without a lot of swearing or sex.


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A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction. A rich, attractive femme fatale. A missing husband. A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending. Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Ree A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction. A rich, attractive femme fatale. A missing husband. A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending. Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Reed’s computer geek friend, This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies is detective noir at its best. Follow Reed as he solves crime akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart. Great for fans who love a fast-paced, humorous read, without a lot of swearing or sex.

30 review for This Doesn't Happen In The Movies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivy

    I'm actually quite proud of myself for having made it to the end of this book. There is nothing more irritating than a book that belittles the intelligence of its readers. Trying to fit itself into the genre of Noir fiction, This Doesn't Happen In The Movies is Renee Pawlish's first instalment of a series. When a striking blonde becomes a potential first client for amateur PI Reed Ferguson, he finds the case hard to resist. She was beautiful and wealthy, ready to pay whatever the price for Reed t I'm actually quite proud of myself for having made it to the end of this book. There is nothing more irritating than a book that belittles the intelligence of its readers. Trying to fit itself into the genre of Noir fiction, This Doesn't Happen In The Movies is Renee Pawlish's first instalment of a series. When a striking blonde becomes a potential first client for amateur PI Reed Ferguson, he finds the case hard to resist. She was beautiful and wealthy, ready to pay whatever the price for Reed to find her assumed-dead husband. Despite learning the fact that she had tried to plan her husband's death before, Reed commits to the case and sets the premise to this frustrating novel. The book really tried (and lost) my patience for how wide a stretch of the unbelievable would be allowed. It was a forced narrative, padded with distracting, unnecessary details. If it was Pawlish's objective by being overly-descriptive to illustrate how astute her detective can be, she unfortunately missed her mark by a long shot. Reed was a flat character surrounded by equally flat secondary characters who all exchange unnatural and cringe-worthy dialogue. My dislike for the protagonist mostly stems from his shallow tone of voice that tries too hard to be Mister Funny Man, only to come off sounding more like an insufferable meathead. It doesn't matter how many times you make the other characters say or suggest how "smart" he is, you fool no one when the only reason he was able to "successfully solve the case" was that events were unfolding impossibly favourable for him from cover to cover. My overall lasting impression of the novel is that this is a piece of novice detective fiction written for novice readers. Perhaps I'd feel less insulted by this style of writing if I were back in the third grade.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Whitebeard Books

    Just what I hoped for, a new series that would grab me right out of the gate. Now I can look forward to more of this interesting character and his escapades. Thanks Ms. Pawlish!

  3. 5 out of 5

    RJ

    This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies is a very satisfying and well-paced novel. I rarely select a front row seat when I go to the movies, but was delighted to be afforded that perspective in this gem from Renee Pawlish. Fans of the genre enjoy figuratively donning their Sherlock hats when reading quality mysteries. Most of us like to step into the protagonist’s shoes, analyze clues, and speculate on whodunit as the plot unfolds. Generally, there is a substantial gap between the expertise of the sleu This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies is a very satisfying and well-paced novel. I rarely select a front row seat when I go to the movies, but was delighted to be afforded that perspective in this gem from Renee Pawlish. Fans of the genre enjoy figuratively donning their Sherlock hats when reading quality mysteries. Most of us like to step into the protagonist’s shoes, analyze clues, and speculate on whodunit as the plot unfolds. Generally, there is a substantial gap between the expertise of the sleuth and our rank amateur status. This is definitely not the case with Pawlish’s detective, Reed Ferguson. The author informs us at the outset that a Colorado PI needs neither a license nor formal training. Reed's qualifications come from being a detective film noir buff, and we meet him as he accepts his first case. By putting the reader on the same skill level as the detective, Pawlish creates common ground and establishes a solid bond. Cozy mysteries differ because their amateur sleuths are propelled into the role by circumstances. Like a reader who selects a particular book, Reed puts on his Sherlock hat by choice. I hope you revel in the vicarious thrills as much as I did. The plot works on all levels, the supporting cast is great, and Pawlish reveals key elements of Reeds character with light brush strokes and a master’s touch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    This may not be what happens in the movies, but it did remind me of detective TV series of the seventies and eighties. A female mafia accepts hits on big bad men who get away with violence against women. When one of their clients breaks the rules and wants out of a contract (or so it seems), she runs to Our Hero to get her fingers uncaught. Nothing is what it seems...is it? Short, fast "noir wannabe" novel about a noir wannabe detective. A good enough read to pass the time on a sleepy day subseque This may not be what happens in the movies, but it did remind me of detective TV series of the seventies and eighties. A female mafia accepts hits on big bad men who get away with violence against women. When one of their clients breaks the rules and wants out of a contract (or so it seems), she runs to Our Hero to get her fingers uncaught. Nothing is what it seems...is it? Short, fast "noir wannabe" novel about a noir wannabe detective. A good enough read to pass the time on a sleepy day subsequent to a sleepless night, but somehow the narrator's voice doesn't ring true, in the sense that it really does sound like a woman trying to sound like a man. I can't really give examples but the main character didn't convince me as a guy. Well, yeah, okay, I thought of an example. Not many men I know go around saying "Excuse me?" to denote disbelief or you-just-said-the-wrong-thing. Women do, though. And a guy wouldn't say he had a "crush" on a woman, at least none of the men I have ever known. I got pretty tired of the whole Sam Spade/Bogart comparison thing, way before the end of the book. Also, his home office sounded a lot more like a writer's space than a detective's, wannabe or not. The ending was pretty darn Hollywood, but then who reads light "noir wannabe" fiction for plausible plotting? The author would do well to either hire a better proofreader or brush up on her parts of speech. Verbs that come after the preposition "on" are indeed gerunds (or "-ing verbs" for the uninitiated), but unfortunately saying "he intended ON making a pun" is entirely incorrect. You can intend TO do things, but not on them, just as you can plan TO do something, but you plan ON doing it. It's so basic, and so eighth grade, and makes a writer look so silly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I gave this two stars mostly because it didn't piss me off and I was able to finish reading it. But it wasn't ok, really, it was pretty dumb. I really love mysteries and I chase detective stories because they are one of the foundations of my love for reading (Sherlock, baby), but those stories only work when their author is capable of creating an intriguing plot, appealing characters and a surprising ending. This book had none of it. Reed is too simple and everything he does 'well' is unimpressive I gave this two stars mostly because it didn't piss me off and I was able to finish reading it. But it wasn't ok, really, it was pretty dumb. I really love mysteries and I chase detective stories because they are one of the foundations of my love for reading (Sherlock, baby), but those stories only work when their author is capable of creating an intriguing plot, appealing characters and a surprising ending. This book had none of it. Reed is too simple and everything he does 'well' is unimpressive. The rest of the characters are flat. The whole 'X Women' business was borderline stupid. Had Maggie been what she was supposed to be, Reed & Co. would've been killed instantly without the classic cartoonish scene where the villain explains her evil plans just in time to be defeated by the good guys. That happens in the movies. In the awful ones.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    A good soft-boiled mystery. When rich kid turned private eye is hired by a rich woman to find her husband, things start to stink immediately. His client is lying to him, and doesn't really appear any too anxious to find her husband. Continuing to poke around, with the help of his computer genius friend, he finds a whole group of assassins. Things get worse from there for our detective. I enjoyed it, but maybe would have been better if it were a bit more hard boiled. A good soft-boiled mystery. When rich kid turned private eye is hired by a rich woman to find her husband, things start to stink immediately. His client is lying to him, and doesn't really appear any too anxious to find her husband. Continuing to poke around, with the help of his computer genius friend, he finds a whole group of assassins. Things get worse from there for our detective. I enjoyed it, but maybe would have been better if it were a bit more hard boiled.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kent

    I always feel bad when I encounter a book I didn't like. I feel like Anton Ego in "Ratatouille": "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment." This book is, undoubtedly, the culmination of years of hard work and aspiration. Renee Pawlish was probably overjoyed at the publication of her first Reed Ferguson novel, and being heralded as "a new voice to the comic murder mystery genre." All I always feel bad when I encounter a book I didn't like. I feel like Anton Ego in "Ratatouille": "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment." This book is, undoubtedly, the culmination of years of hard work and aspiration. Renee Pawlish was probably overjoyed at the publication of her first Reed Ferguson novel, and being heralded as "a new voice to the comic murder mystery genre." All that said....I feel bad for what I am going to write: I did not like this book. At all. I did not find it funny, and I found the mystery too convoluted to build any real suspense. I found the conversation to be campy - but not funny campy, just "simple" campy. It starts out predictably well - the private eye is approached by the sultry woman walking in and saying "I want you to find my dead husband." The brand-new-never-trained private eye then manages to outwit the FBI and a criminal gang, even while finding out that his client lies to him. A lot. Every time, in fact. The big reveal scene contains too many surprises that were not foreshadowed at all - leaving me unable to even wonder what happened. I just read it with a reaction of "Oh, OK....that happened now. That's odd." There weren't any pieces to put together - you just opened your eyes and there was this completed puzzle. The characters are flat and one-dimensional, and I am not sure at the end of the book what purpose many of them were supposed to serve. The main character is a trust fund baby that is trying out detective work because he likes Humphrey Bogart movies. His neighbors and Ace and Deuce - a pair I can only describe as an "amateurish" portrayal of would-be sidekicks. (By way of providing tangential context, I say this only because of a screenplay I once read from some South-Cali nutjob by the name of Bret McDonnell. He's the epitome of an unbalanced aspiring writer, and he wrote about two mob-style characters named Duke and Mule that were as unfinished as Ace and Deuce). Ace and Deuce have a competent brother, Bob, who appears out of nowhere to perform heroic acts of competence and then....nothing else. There's a slight romantic interest in a neighbor...but that never develops, nor is there enough pipe laid to make me wonder what happens to the two of them in future books. The last line in the book is a call-back to a meaningless line uttered earlier in the book. I love call-back endings...but they usually tie back to something meaningful. I'm so sorry, Renee - and everyone else who really liked this book - but I won't be reading any other books in the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    (Note to self: Beware of free books on Amazon--If they aren't classics, they are usually free for a reason.) The book has an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the author does everything he can to make the reading experience as infuriating and distasteful as he possibly can. The characters--including the main character--are thinner than tissue paper. The situations are ridiculous--and not in a funny, good way. The dialogue is stilted and painful the way bad, unfunny jokes told in bad, unfunny way (Note to self: Beware of free books on Amazon--If they aren't classics, they are usually free for a reason.) The book has an interesting premise. Unfortunately, the author does everything he can to make the reading experience as infuriating and distasteful as he possibly can. The characters--including the main character--are thinner than tissue paper. The situations are ridiculous--and not in a funny, good way. The dialogue is stilted and painful the way bad, unfunny jokes told in bad, unfunny ways are painful to listen to. A few examples: A stereotypical computer whiz who has no common sense...so little common sense that he doesn't know you should peel an orange before eating it and therefore takes a bite of it rind and all. Various detectives around the country who raise not a single eyebrow when a moron posing as one of their colleagues gives his name as "Phillip Marlow" or "Sam Spade" when calling to ask for information. Neighbors who are too stupid to live. Stupid neighbors are fine in a book, but these are--as so many other things in this book--so overboard it's ridiculous. He can't even keep track of what's going on with his own characters. This happens a few times, but the most infuriating is when, after spending over 20 minutes in a convenience store, the main character gets into a vehicle and immediately begins to warm his half-frozen hands under the heater vent. What? The convenience store was unheated? What about the cup of hot chocolate the main character had when he first came into the store...you know, the cup of hot chocolate that warmed up his hands while he held it? Remember? YOU WROTE IT--CAN'T YOU EVEN BE BOTHERED TO RE-READ IT? Overall, this book gave me the impression that the writer has somehow gotten the idea he is the only person in the world who has ever watched classic noir movies--that his 'secret' knowledge of them sets him apart from the rest of the world who has never even heard of them or who are barely sentient beings who are astounded by his knowledge of them. There are two possible reasons for a book to be this bad and this insulting to a reader's intelligence: 1. The writer bases his writing and his characters on real people, and therefore must be hanging around with some real losers. 2. The writer is just an insufferable jerk. (I'm leaning more toward #2.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    "Promising start, but faded away" At the outset I thought I'd found a winner. I liked the idea of a brief nod to the crime noir of the old days. The private eye and the femme fatale were there and the premise of the missing husband seemed plausible and promising. The trouble was that it wasn't a brief nod, the writer kept hitting me over the head with a sock full of rocks throughout the book. Where I got confused was the introduction of Cal, the computer nerd who hacked his way into every site go "Promising start, but faded away" At the outset I thought I'd found a winner. I liked the idea of a brief nod to the crime noir of the old days. The private eye and the femme fatale were there and the premise of the missing husband seemed plausible and promising. The trouble was that it wasn't a brief nod, the writer kept hitting me over the head with a sock full of rocks throughout the book. Where I got confused was the introduction of Cal, the computer nerd who hacked his way into every site going. The blend of old style and the internet didn't work for me. The FBI characters were exactly as you would expect, they don't seem to vary from one book, film or TV series to another do they? Surely they can't really be that wooden. The further I read, the less engaged I became and in the end I was left disappointed. Perhaps I expected too much. If you set out with the idea that this is just something to fill time on a flight or at the beach then it will suffice. Just don't expect Raymond Chandler is alive and well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    2.5 stars Really liked the cover art. Good start, story lost its way, picked up in the second half but the climax was spoilt by (view spoiler)[ the villains wasting time explaining things rather than killing Reed & Amanda. That's the worst mystery cliche there is! (hide spoiler)] Reasonable ending. 2.5 stars Really liked the cover art. Good start, story lost its way, picked up in the second half but the climax was spoilt by (view spoiler)[ the villains wasting time explaining things rather than killing Reed & Amanda. That's the worst mystery cliche there is! (hide spoiler)] Reasonable ending.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Martha Weintraub

    Just dumb.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Love the "decades past" references in this cozy mystery. (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elvis, others). Pleasant with humor and some twists in the mystery. Recommended. Love the "decades past" references in this cozy mystery. (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Elvis, others). Pleasant with humor and some twists in the mystery. Recommended.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    This was a fun mystery with a Dick Tracy feel to it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Montgomery

    This Doesn't Happen in the Movies Amazon is a delightful parody of the hard-boiled detective personified on screen by Humphrey Bogart. Pawlish's detective, Reed Ferguson, is a big fan of Bogie's, and even has a large poster of The Big Sleep on his office wall for inspiration. This is the first in the Reed Ferguson Mystery series. Reed's first client is Amanda Ghering and she wants him to find her husband, Peter, who she claims is both missing and dead. The police, she feels, aren't giving This Doesn't Happen in the Movies Amazon is a delightful parody of the hard-boiled detective personified on screen by Humphrey Bogart. Pawlish's detective, Reed Ferguson, is a big fan of Bogie's, and even has a large poster of The Big Sleep on his office wall for inspiration. This is the first in the Reed Ferguson Mystery series. Reed's first client is Amanda Ghering and she wants him to find her husband, Peter, who she claims is both missing and dead. The police, she feels, aren't giving the case the attention it deserves and so she wants Reed to look into it. Peter was on a business trip and hasn't been in touch for more than a week in the east and didn't use his return airline ticket. Both Reed and the police feel Amanda knows more than she's saying and may even be responsible for Peter's death although without a corpse it will be difficult proving anything. While Reed wants to be a cool Bogie character, telling the story in a stream of consciousness, he unfortunately seems to be in over his head. Mrs. Ghering alternates between a seductive vamp and a 'walking hangover', Peter was an unfaithful spouse, and someone seems to be stalking Reed, trying to warn him off the case. Before he knows it, Reed is the target of a vengence-seeking women's group which carries out vigilante justice. His pal, computer hacker Cal Whitmore, helps him track down information, his goofy neighbours are rather reminiscent of the three stooges except there are only two of them (the third brother lives elsewhere and seems to have some smarts), and there are enough cloak and dagger scenes to satisfy any film noir fans. The conclusion of the case was fairly surprising and quite satisfying. This was a very quick read — a page-turner — and lots of fun. There was one rather glaring error in the book when Reed gets "dropped off at the side of the road near Interstate 70 and Quebec [?] on the eastern side of metro Denver." I don't think that's supposed to be Quebec! Despite that, this was a fun romp and I'll be looking forward to reading more in this series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura Thomas

    This book starts off with a bang. "I want you to find my dead husband." "Excuse me?" That was my first reaction. "I want you to find my husband. He's dead, and I need to know where he is." She spoke in a voice one sexy note below middle C. "Uh-huh." That was my second reaction. Really slick. When Amanda walked into his office the first thing he thought was "Trouble". She was a flirt and everyone knows it is bad news to mix business with pleasure. Renee's writing style reads like a noir film. Like a Bo This book starts off with a bang. "I want you to find my dead husband." "Excuse me?" That was my first reaction. "I want you to find my husband. He's dead, and I need to know where he is." She spoke in a voice one sexy note below middle C. "Uh-huh." That was my second reaction. Really slick. When Amanda walked into his office the first thing he thought was "Trouble". She was a flirt and everyone knows it is bad news to mix business with pleasure. Renee's writing style reads like a noir film. Like a Bogie film. It is no surprise that Reed Ferguson, main character and P.I. in this story, is a fan of Bogie. He prefers old movies, especially detective film noir, and dark women. Honorable mention to brothers Ace and Deuce. They lightened the atmosphere and made me laugh. Then there is Cal. He's is Reed's friend and helps to dig up the dirty little secrets in his investigations. I find him quirky and endearing. Of course, Reed takes the case and he does not escape the investigation without being battered and bloodied.Despite all of the warnings to drop the case, Reed persists and ends up in a world of hurt. My body was screaming at me, sore in too many places to count. "I feel light-headed." I blinked hard at Forbes. "Hey, buddy, you're bleeding." I began examining myself, but didn't see anything. "No, back there." I craned my neck around, exploring my backside with my hands. "Oh, man! She shot me in the ass?" I couldn't believe it, but it was true. My rear end suddenly hurt like nobody's business. Agent Forbes tried to hide a smile. And then I fainted. Witty sarcasm and innuendo oozes from the pages.. This book looks and tastes like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I ate this up and immediately moved on to the second Reed Ferguson Mystery, Real Estate Rip-Off.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Fundin

    My name is Reed Ferguson and I own the Reed Ferguson Detective Agency. My grandparents died and left me wealthy, so I never really had to take life seriously. I wanted to do well, so I could prove to my dad that I was good at something. Trouble, with a capital T, came walking into my office and stated that she knew her husband was dead and wanted me to find him. Her name was Amanda Ghering and she was a great looking dame that made it hard for me to concentrate. She said her husband went on a bus My name is Reed Ferguson and I own the Reed Ferguson Detective Agency. My grandparents died and left me wealthy, so I never really had to take life seriously. I wanted to do well, so I could prove to my dad that I was good at something. Trouble, with a capital T, came walking into my office and stated that she knew her husband was dead and wanted me to find him. Her name was Amanda Ghering and she was a great looking dame that made it hard for me to concentrate. She said her husband went on a business trip and was supposed to be back Monday, but here it was Thursday and he still wasn't back. I asked her why the police weren't involved and she said they knew, they just weren't doing anything about it. I asked her if she knew of any reason he would leave and she said yes, she was going to kill him. She proceeded to tell me of all the ways she thought of doing it and why she didn't. Great fun. Made me think of the Bogie films. Read like a movie to me. I could see it all happening as I read along. Kept me on the verge of laughing through the whole book. Flowed well and easy to read. This Doesn't Happen In The MoviesRenee Pawlish

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    The story starts off with a classic meeting – a beautiful woman enters Reed’s brand new detective agency, wanting him to find her missing husband. Reed’s instincts go on alert. Something is not quite right, but he succumbs to her feminine wiles and takes the case anyway. The deeper he digs the more complicated the case becomes. What follows is a fast paced plot with many twists and turns before reaching the surprising climax. Reed, the main character is a fan of classic old detective films and wa The story starts off with a classic meeting – a beautiful woman enters Reed’s brand new detective agency, wanting him to find her missing husband. Reed’s instincts go on alert. Something is not quite right, but he succumbs to her feminine wiles and takes the case anyway. The deeper he digs the more complicated the case becomes. What follows is a fast paced plot with many twists and turns before reaching the surprising climax. Reed, the main character is a fan of classic old detective films and wants to emulate his detective heroes. He’s likeable, if a little naive at times, and intuitive when it comes to his case. Despite suspecting/guessing who the culprit was, the twists in this story and the “why” kept me reading right to the end. The writing-style is smooth and readable, hooking me from the first page. My only quibble was that although the reader is thrust into the “noir” setting straightaway, I was a little confused about the era. It took me a while to realize the story is a contemporary set one. This is the first in the series, and I’ll be checking out the followup stories. Highly recommended, especially if you’re a fan of the noir movies of the past.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    I was very disappointed. The book summary promised "a rollicking ride and a dark daring ending". So it sounded like a fun read and a decent mystery, but it was neither. The humor was weak and there were enough inconsistencies or mistakes that I found myself distracted from the plot by looking for more. Chain link fences in an exclusive, gated community of luxury homes? A parking valet in a family run restaurant in a strip mall? And character referring to something another thought to himself (whi I was very disappointed. The book summary promised "a rollicking ride and a dark daring ending". So it sounded like a fun read and a decent mystery, but it was neither. The humor was weak and there were enough inconsistencies or mistakes that I found myself distracted from the plot by looking for more. Chain link fences in an exclusive, gated community of luxury homes? A parking valet in a family run restaurant in a strip mall? And character referring to something another thought to himself (which in fairness could have been an editing issue of not including quotation marks). I did finish it in the hope that the ending would redeem the book, but I'm sorry to say it didn't.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendee

    So many inconsistencies. Dialogue that is so painful to read. I only finished because it was short and I was marginally interested in what happened. Actually, the more I think about it, the more angry I am that I wasted my precious reading time on this. Ugh. Probably should stick to library books on my Nook. They are just as free as these terribly written self-published things....

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This book started out very well and was intriguing and interesting but it ended up getting monotonous. I didn't end up finishing it because at about 70% done, I just didn't care anymore. This book started out very well and was intriguing and interesting but it ended up getting monotonous. I didn't end up finishing it because at about 70% done, I just didn't care anymore.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lynelle Clark

    I received the book when I subscribed to the author's newsletter. I quick and very good read I did in one sitting. From the first page, you are hooked to the book. I think Humphry Bogart would have been proud to be the inspiration of the main character dream to be an investigator. The adventurous investigating that had me guessing right to the end. The writing was flawless and easy to follow as I manage through the streets of Denver. Thanks for the wonderful gift, I am looking forward to another I received the book when I subscribed to the author's newsletter. I quick and very good read I did in one sitting. From the first page, you are hooked to the book. I think Humphry Bogart would have been proud to be the inspiration of the main character dream to be an investigator. The adventurous investigating that had me guessing right to the end. The writing was flawless and easy to follow as I manage through the streets of Denver. Thanks for the wonderful gift, I am looking forward to another case conducted by Ferguson.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    This Doesn't Happen in the Movies, was my first Renee Pawlish novel and I know it won't be my last. Reed Ferguson is funny, light-hearted and still finding his way around detective work but I love his style. The story grabbed me from the first page to the last, there was great build-up around the mystery, I loved the laughs I had while reading this was a really enjoyable novel with wonderful characters and a great storyline. This Doesn't Happen in the Movies, was my first Renee Pawlish novel and I know it won't be my last. Reed Ferguson is funny, light-hearted and still finding his way around detective work but I love his style. The story grabbed me from the first page to the last, there was great build-up around the mystery, I loved the laughs I had while reading this was a really enjoyable novel with wonderful characters and a great storyline.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tex

    I’m rounding this up to 4 stars as it was plenty of fun, although a bit trite. Modern day private detective who emulates film noir PIs gets his first case from a woman who wants him to find her husband who she almost tried to have killed. Evidently in Colorado you don’t need a license to be a PI. And, this detective has plenty of family money that he doesn’t need to work—just wants to. He’s got a bunch of goofy, but helpful friends to help him.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    the bought 2016 shelf dished up another surprise. the author of this knows what makes film noir and noir books and uses it to their advantage. i might pick up the rest of this series eventually, who knows 🤷‍♀️

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    I love this noir book! It's light, funny and quite entertaining! I love this noir book! It's light, funny and quite entertaining!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rene Crowder

    Great book. This was an easy read. Look forward to reading more of this series

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shelly

    This could have been really good but there's just that "something" missing to make it better than okay. Part of the problem for me is that the male protagonist reads a little feminine. Example, "I bit off half the candy bar and almost moaned, it tasted so good right then." (ch 22 pg 165) Maybe I just know too many "He-Men" but no man in my sphere would "moan" over a Snickers candy bar. Just sayin'. And when the femme fatale comes to his office he wants to comb his hair, splash cologne and "chang This could have been really good but there's just that "something" missing to make it better than okay. Part of the problem for me is that the male protagonist reads a little feminine. Example, "I bit off half the candy bar and almost moaned, it tasted so good right then." (ch 22 pg 165) Maybe I just know too many "He-Men" but no man in my sphere would "moan" over a Snickers candy bar. Just sayin'. And when the femme fatale comes to his office he wants to comb his hair, splash cologne and "change my eye color - hazel - boring." Okay, whaaat? Sounds like a girl to me! Maybe I'm just not that in tune with how men think and this is really what they're saying on the inside. Um-hmm, riiigght. The writing is okay and the story was interesting, just the tone that didn't ring for me! (see what I did there? Fav quote "we were friends in an intellectually unchallengeable kind of way." (ch 8 pg 58) HILARIOUS!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda Rose

    True to its description, this book delivers a wannabe detective, a femme fatale and an non-stop adventure. Guy Noir, my favorite detective, would be proud to work a case with the fledgling Reed Ferguson. Both of them are in love with all things film noir and model their style after that genre. At first, I didn't really like the character of Reed Ferguson. A rich boy trying to be a detective and then I thought about it, if I won the lottery tomorrow, what would I be doing? Traveling and writing ev True to its description, this book delivers a wannabe detective, a femme fatale and an non-stop adventure. Guy Noir, my favorite detective, would be proud to work a case with the fledgling Reed Ferguson. Both of them are in love with all things film noir and model their style after that genre. At first, I didn't really like the character of Reed Ferguson. A rich boy trying to be a detective and then I thought about it, if I won the lottery tomorrow, what would I be doing? Traveling and writing every summer; plus I would have the coolest classroom ever . (Yes, I am a masochist and would continue teaching.) He is doing what many of us would be doing if the lack of money wasn't standing in the way. Reed is also smart enough to know when he is being played and doesn't fall for the book's femme fatale, no matter how hard or drunkenly the women tries. Despite, my initial reaction to Reed, the book sucked me into its world and didn't let go until the case was resolved. The last couple of pages were nice, but tied up loose ends that weren't really loose to begin with. Reed's world is tidy, but not without problems. That is to be expected in a shiny new world. Reed's neighbors, Ace and Deuce, are good guys, but how they pay their rent being idiots and working at a video store is beyond me.Yes, it is a small thing, but small things can throw a reader off. Maybe there is some secret the brothers have that Pawlish is saving for the future. There are intricate twists and turns, but in the end both Ferguson and the bad guys get it. Ferguson receives his dose of reality and all is set right in the universe until of course his next case. And I do hope there will be a next one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karyn

    What a great story! Renee captures the feeling of the old film noire detective films and brings it in to the modern world. Reed is charming and witty and has a sense of decency, just like Bogie in The Big Sleep, Reed's favorite movie. The book is filled with all the right characters: Reed, the gumshoe detective; Amanda, the rich femme fatale; Cal, Reed's go to right hand man; the Goofball Brothers, just a couple of guys without a clue but willing to do anything; and then the villains - the X Wome What a great story! Renee captures the feeling of the old film noire detective films and brings it in to the modern world. Reed is charming and witty and has a sense of decency, just like Bogie in The Big Sleep, Reed's favorite movie. The book is filled with all the right characters: Reed, the gumshoe detective; Amanda, the rich femme fatale; Cal, Reed's go to right hand man; the Goofball Brothers, just a couple of guys without a clue but willing to do anything; and then the villains - the X Women. I love how Reed starts out excited he has a real case only to quickly realize it might be something just out of his expertise. He is determined to se it through to the end. The plot takes several twists and quickly escalates to a great conclusion. The characters are well developed and fully believable. Amanda first appears as the weak rich wife looking for her missing husband. We soon see her as a bored, rich housewife who was tired of her husband cheating on her - and now he's missing. Cal is a great right hand man. He has all the techno gadgets to hack in to any system. He is a recluse who borders on agoraphobic. And then there are the Goofball Brothers, three brothers who live downstairs - two of which aren't quite the brightest bulbs in the bunch. You have drama, suspense and comedy mixed in to one great story. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Dejordy

    I took a break from finishing my own book to read this one. So, I started with my editor hat on and dove into the book. First, let me state that this genre is usually so far from the field that I normally read, that I was cynical about if I was going to finish. I was half-way through the first chapter, when I did something that I rarely do - even when I am reading science fiction or fantasy. I laughed out loud. From that point on, I was hooked. The characters are fun and believable. The story flows n I took a break from finishing my own book to read this one. So, I started with my editor hat on and dove into the book. First, let me state that this genre is usually so far from the field that I normally read, that I was cynical about if I was going to finish. I was half-way through the first chapter, when I did something that I rarely do - even when I am reading science fiction or fantasy. I laughed out loud. From that point on, I was hooked. The characters are fun and believable. The story flows nicely, not getting bogged down with too much information, but just enough descriptions that you can see, with vivid details, the places the author take your through. There is plenty of action and suspense, and is light enough to be enjoyed. I personally love the bits and pieces of comments from the movies - it helps you to relate to the main character Reed and a believable person. I especially liked his parents, because - oh boy - are they like mine. Overall, I'd recommend this to people that like mysteries. I'd recommend this to person that likes a good book. I'd recommend this to anyone who just wants to enjoy some quality time with quality material. But if you have a pressing engagement (like finishing writing your own book) - stay away until AFTER you finish, because once you start, you won't be able to put this down.

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