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Now in paperback, Fred Van Lente’s brilliant debut is both a savagely funny homage to the Golden Age of Mystery and a thoroughly contemporary show-business satire.
As the story opens, nine comedians of various acclaim are summoned to the island retreat of legendary Hollywood funnyman Dustin Walker. The group includes a former late-night TV host, a washed-up improv instructor, a ridiculously wealthy “blue collar” comic, and a past-her-prime Vegas icon. All nine arrive via boat to find that every building on the island is completely deserted. Marooned without cell phone service or wifi signals, they soon find themselves being murdered one by one. But who is doing the killing, and why?
A darkly clever take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and other classics of the genre, Ten Dead Comedians is a marvel of literary ventriloquism, with hilarious comic monologues in the voice of every suspect. It’s also an ingeniously plotted puzzler with a twist you’ll never see coming!
About the Author
Fred Van Lente is the #1 New York Times best-selling writer of the comics Odd Is on Our Side, Archer & Armstrong, and Action Philosophers! He also cowrote the graphic novel Cowboys and Aliens, which was made into a film starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig.
“Original, funny, and - like all great comedians - Van Lente slays the audience”—David Quantick, Emmy award-winning writer of Veep, The Thick of It, Brass Eye, and Harry Hill's TV Burp
“Van Lente’s strength is in his narrative ability [...] and his sharp, acerbic humor. The mystery is pretty fun too!”—BookRiot
“Van Lente’s look at the selfishness and misery of show business is sure to be a hit with mystery lovers who savor unusual setups; the side of snark provided by the bitter islanders adds to the atmosphere.”—Booklist
“This book is like if Agatha Christie was funny, which is to say that it is infinitely better than Agatha Christie. If you're in the comedy world you'll feel that you know some of the characters firsthand. Hell, if you're a 21st century human you'll feel you know some of the characters firsthand.”—Jennifer Wright, author of It Ended Badly and Get Well Soon
“Ten Dead Comedians is a funny and nail-biting front row seat to the bloodthirsty world of professional comedy ... and that's BEFORE the murders start.”—Daniel Kibblesmith, writer for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
“An homage not only to stand-up comedians everywhere but to Agatha Christie’s original mystery, Van Lente’s novel is hilarious and suspenseful—all at once.”—BookTrib
“Fred Van Lente takes an old idea and drags it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. So assured, so fresh and so inventive, it's hard to believe this is his first novel.”—Kevin Wignall, best-selling author of A Death in Sweden and The Hunter’s Prayer
“Spinal Tap meets Agatha Christie. I loved it.”—Martyn Waites, best-selling author of Born Under Punches and the Tania Carver series
“Fred Van Lente delivers an Agatha Christie twisty mystery filled with all the cruel, horrible, and violent deaths that only stand-up comedians truly deserve.”—Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell
“[This] debut fiction could possibly become, in its own way, as much of a classic as the novel it honors.”—New York Journal of Books
“Ten Dead Comedians is an ingeniously plotted puzzler with classically unanticipated twist ending.”—Midwest Book Review
“I flew through this book, anxious to uncover the identity of the killer, and that is perhaps the highest recommendation I can give. I couldn't put it down.”—Geeks of Doom
“It’s a bit guiltily we admit that watching a handful or two of hack comedians be slowly picked off is a delight.”—Cool Material
“Tense, startling and relentlessly hilarious.”—HiLowBrow
“A fantastic debut and a fun ode to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None that provides plenty of comedy to go along with the rampant murder.”—Four Letter Nerd
“This book [is] oddly mesmerizing.”—Mystery Playground
“Written with savage wit and skewed humor, Ten Dead Comedians is an uproarious treat.”—Midwest Book Review