"Murder by Manuscript" by Steve J. Spears. [review]
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"Murder by Manuscript" is the second in Steve J. Spears’ "Pentangeli Papers" series and is a delicious spoof on the detective genre. It is set in an Australian version of Gotham City, with its own redolently-named districts. Along with the extravagant parody, there is a fair dose of clever satire. Quite coincidentally, the plot of "Murder by Manuscript" bears a resemblance to Matthew Pearl’s "The Dante Club". Each features a detective from an ethnic minority, and a serial killer using a formula based on coded instructions in a literary work – in this case a bloodthirsty and inelegant manuscript of Shakespeare which, without giving too much away, I can assure anxious readers is soon exposed as a forgery. The crimes in both cases are lurid and sadistic.