Official Review: Louie's Last Story by Glenn Ickler

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cristinaro
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Official Review: Louie's Last Story by Glenn Ickler

Post by cristinaro »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Louie's Last Story" by Glenn Ickler.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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At the invitation of a master storyteller named Louie Stein, two couples attend the annual three-day storytelling festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Martha Todd, a lawyer for Triple-L Associates, accompanies her husband, Warren “Mitch” Mitchell. The latter works for the St. Paul Daily Dispatch newspaper and usually gets assignments by the side of a news photographer, Alan “Al” Jeffrey. Al and Carol, his wife, join Mitch and Martha on their well-deserved vacation. The entire festival is a delightful experience, so they anxiously wait for Louie’s final performance. During the after-party hosted by Louie in his motorhome the previous night, he had promised them a story they would never forget. Mitch thinks this is his chance of writing a catchy article about Louie and the festival.

Unfortunately, something unexpected happens: Louie does not show up for his scheduled performance. The vacationing quartet soon discovers that yellow plastic police tape surrounds the storyteller’s motorhome. Influenced by Al, who keeps quoting from Shakespeare because of a class he is auditing at the university, Mitch concludes: “Something was rotten in the state of Tennessee, and apparently it did involve murder most foul.” (p.22) Who could have savagely killed an 82-year-old master storyteller? Does the killer hold a grudge against storytellers? Is this a personal vendetta, or are more victims likely to follow Louie? Mitch and Al work together to solve the puzzle and find the truth about the storyteller’s tragic death.

Fans of murder thrillers will certainly enjoy Louie’s Last Story by Glenn Ickler. In addition to being fast-paced and suspenseful, it has all the distinctive features of a classic whodunit. I loved guessing the murderer’s identity, adding up clues, making assumptions, and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together again. Along these lines, Glenn Ickler’s novel was a treat. Although Mitch and Al are not detectives or police officers, they make a great investigative team. Due to the first-person perspective, the book makes us secret witnesses to their ingenious deductive game. Seconded by Al, Mitch proves that anything gets solved with lots of hard work and tenacity.

What I like most about this novel is the fact that it revolves around the art of storytelling. The featured storytellers are all picturesque characters described in vivid colors and reminiscent of medieval bards. Louie Stein is the most talented in this vibrant community. His collection of stories displays a wide variety, ranging from boyhood pranks to historical moments. His passion for storytelling goes to such extremes that he accepts getting a divorce rather than giving up the festival circuit. In the name of his art, he does not hesitate to tell stories that might offend or embarrass his fellow storytellers. Like any great artist, Louie is equally adulated and envied. In the end, I could not help but admire his incredible versatility and complex personality.

The author’s dry sense of humor is another delightful aspect of the book. The witty verbal exchanges between Mitch and Al add extra flavor to many scenes. Moreover, some of the characters have humorous nicknames that perfectly reflect their attitude and behavior. For example, Theresa Mudd, alias Thumbelina, tells stories in rhymes and has a penchant for poetic ghost tales. If Fiona/Tumbleweed gets her nickname from her wild hair, Henry James Taylor/Hank the Tank has a booming voice with an intimidating effect on other people. Last but not least, Mitch’s constant self-irony put a smile on my face even when he was facing some life-threatening situations.

Considering that there were fewer than ten errors, I could fully engage in reading the book. With only words of praise and nothing to complain about, I wholeheartedly give Louie’s Last Story 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers of murder mysteries who are also fond of storytelling and history. Despite its topic, the novel does not include graphic descriptions of violence. There are no sex scenes, but some of the characters make sexist remarks and use profane words. However, the author immediately sanctions them and downplays any side effects through irony and self-irony. Louie’s Last Story belongs to the Mitch and Al mystery series, so I can hardly wait to get my hands on the other books featuring the two friends.

******
Louie's Last Story
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Post by NetMassimo »

This seems an intriguing mystery with the whole setting being well developed, so readers can appreciate all the elements of this novel. I'll look into this series. Thank you for your great review!
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Massimo
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Post by derialist »

I love how you described the characters. They must have been quite memorable and well developed. It must be a great book to read with many interesting elements.
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Post by An_Jennifer »

[*]I loved guessing the murderer’s identity, adding up clues, making assumptions, and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together again.

It's my favorite too, dear reviewer. Thanks for such crazy review. Can't wait to read the story.
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Post by Eddy E »

I must definitely a fan of murder thriller, I can't wait to get reading. I love the storyline and how it leaves suspense to the readers as to what may have happened to the storyteller.
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Post by cristinaro »

NetMassimo wrote: ↑28 Dec 2020, 11:45 This seems an intriguing mystery with the whole setting being well developed, so readers can appreciate all the elements of this novel. I'll look into this series. Thank you for your great review!
Thank you. I hope you'll enjoy it too.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
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cristinaro
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Post by cristinaro »

derialist wrote: ↑28 Dec 2020, 14:13 I love how you described the characters. They must have been quite memorable and well developed. It must be a great book to read with many interesting elements.
This is because the author did a great job of describing both the investigators and the storytellers in the book. Thank you for your comments.
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Post by cristinaro »

An_Jennifer wrote: ↑28 Dec 2020, 23:09 [*]I loved guessing the murderer’s identity, adding up clues, making assumptions, and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together again.

It's my favorite too, dear reviewer. Thanks for such crazy review. Can't wait to read the story.
The murder mystery genre has always been my guilty pleasure. Thank you. I hope you'll like it.
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Post by AtienoMagero »

Wonderful review! Your review has been helpful and provided me great insight about this book. I like the fact that this is a murder mystery with history elements.
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Post by Ayora »

Humorous books can brighten the day! Thanks for a detailed review.
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Post by cristinaro »

AtienoMagero wrote: ↑30 Dec 2020, 02:52 Wonderful review! Your review has been helpful and provided me great insight about this book. I like the fact that this is a murder mystery with history elements.
Thank you. It feels great to be able to share my ideas with other fans of the genre.
"The madness of writing is the antidote to true madness." (Hanif Kureishi)
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Post by cristinaro »

Ayora wrote: ↑30 Dec 2020, 11:11 Humorous books can brighten the day! Thanks for a detailed review.
Thank you. A touch of humor is always a pleasant extra element to any genre.
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Post by raluca_mihaila »

Congratulations for your intriguing review! Now I really have to know what happened to Louie!
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