How many detective novels can you write based around the same morgue without getting boring? Well at least three if this latest outing from Coroner Martin and his ghostly sidekick Pascha are anything to go by. This time bodies are being mutilated during the night or disappearing all together and the forensic medicine department has a new bureaucratic idiot of a boss. Pascha falls in love with a beautiful Russian who unfortunately for him is still alive and Martin's relationship with Birgit stumbles along heading for disaster.
This series always reminds me of 'Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)' but Pascha is much more fun than the sanctimonious Hopkirk in his white suit and you can feel his frustration at being alone in the world except for his contact with Martin.
A clever little twist in the tale is the way that Pascha has become the author of his own novels and there's a clever little twist in the epilogue on this one.
Overall this is a very entertaining series and yes you can easily figure out the plot as it goes along but that in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the story.
on 15 October 2012
I have read and loved both the previous books in this series, and this one has been another delight.
Pathologist Martin and ghost Pascha, thrown together by circumstance on Pascha's death in the first story, are still pursuing their unlikely and, on Martin's side, unwanted partnership, as nobody but Martin can hear Pascha. Pascha is still the bumptious arrogant brat he was in life, but maybe he is learning a little humility, and Martin - is Martin, still totally uncool.
In this case they must deal with a useless, and possibly worse, new boss; the theft of corpses from the morgue; overwork and overcrowding due to the renting out of morgue drawers; Martin's often faltering romance with Birgit (usually due to Pascha's machinations); Pascha's own hopeless love for a live Russian girl and a mystery involving a cosmetic clinic.
I do not find Pascha lovable, but I do find him irresistable. He has managed, via Martin's computer, to get a publisher interested in his stories and I loved the twist at the end.
I don't know how many more books the duo may have in them, but this one keeps up the standard very well indeed. I like the Cologne setting, the dialogue, and Pascha's overview of life and the living. May the series continue.
This is the 3rd novel I have read about Pasha the Ghost who helps Martin Gansewein, a coroner, in Cologne, Germany.
I enjoyed reading this - though I think the first 2 were better - but it is good to carry on reading a series and I would recommend the reading of these 2 first novels in order before this one.
In this story the coroner's office has a new director who is very penny pinching and has many money saving ideas as well as some bizarre money making schemes.
Corpses begin disappearing and organs begin to disappear from corpses in the local cemetery...
As in my previous reviews I think these books would have been better if translated more into English than American slang used by Pasha - as I think that would have given the books a more European feel.
Pasha's comments about his book editor I found a bit annoying but it did not detract too much from the interesting & amusing story.
It was not until this book arrived, that I discovered that this was not the run of the mill mystery. I was a little apprehensive that this kind of novel would be too cute and fussy. However, by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. This is the third in a series of morgue mystery/thrillers, but it is a stand alone book.
The author, Jutta Profijt, went to visit a morgue and the unusual surroundings gave birth to a series of books taking place in a morgue in Cologne, Germany. The spirit of a man, Pasha, an ex-car thief and ladies man, hangs out at the Institute for Forensic Medicine. For some reason this morgue feels home to him, and he wasn't forced to leave. He can see the other spirits arrive and leave for destinations unknown. Besides, he has a friend, Martin, the coroner. Poor Martin is the only human who can hear Pasha, and though he has grown fond of Pasha, he is not the type who wants a spirit living near him. Pasha, however, turns out to be a terrific partner in investigation. He is able to lead Martin to places no one else can see. The downside is that Pasha wants to inhabit Martin's life, and that is not OK. Martin tries every devious trick to get Pasha to leave, to no avail. Martin and his girlfriend, Birgit, who has no idea that Pasha exists, are stuck with this spirit.
We get to know Martin's colleagues at the morgue. All of them have characteristics we find fun and irritating. Katrin, is the closest to Martin. Smart and beautiful, she has no love for their new boss, 'Piggy Bank'. His only mission is to save money and in the meantime makes life a little miserable. It is his idea to rent out the morgue drawers to pull in some money. There are many adventures in this novel, some are amusing and others a little less so. We learn about life in the morgue and the bodies that inhabit this place, and how they come to be.
Pasha can be wearing, but entertaining, and he does grow on you. The writing and characters are so well done, that they draw you in, and you are attached.
I am enjoying this series, this is book 3 and although not the best book in the series I still think it is well worth a read. Poor old Martin continues to struggle with being the only person Pascha can communicate with. While Martin is wishing he could get rid of Pascha his life is complicated by disappearing corpses and a new boss with radical money saving ideas. He is looking for a quiet life with his girlfriend Birgit but instead finds himself having to solve crime and deal with a lovesick ghost! This is a good read but I recommend reading the first two books in the series first to fully appreciate it.
I had already enjoyed Morgue Drawer Four and Morgue Drawer Next Door and was eagerly anticipating the third installment. I have not been disappointed. I suspect you would not enjoy this as much without having previously read the other two, but that is my opinion. The stories concern the detecting skills of a former late and unlamented car thief and his partnership with the local coroner. I could say that Pasha, the ghost, is much improved by his relationship with Martin (the coroner) and that Martin also becomes more 'human' as a result of the relationship, but that would also be a matter of opinion. I have enjoyed the unusual and well written (and translated) stories and this one did not disappoint. I'm not sure how much further this line of fiction can go, but I shall be interested to see. I found this story to be very entertaining although I doubt I would ever call Pasha lovable. The abrasive nature of their relationship gives rise to additional conflict which adds to the complexity of solving the crime, perhaps more in this book than in the previous ones, but the final twist in the epilogue is excellent. Well done Jutta Profijt. Another unusual tale.
Macho man Pascha, former car thief and current crime solving ghost residing in a morgue, falls in love while solving the mystery of disappearing bodies from the morgue in his 3rd outing after "Morgue Drawer Next Door" and "Morgue Drawer Next Door"
I have not read the first two books but there are enough recaps in this instalment to understand the relationship between the main characters and to still make it an enjoyable read.
It's well written with humour and a good crime story even if I got a bit bored with his whizzing to and from to see women showering, annoy the only person who can "hear" him, and see the latest blockbusters in the cinema. Furthermore there are some fun meta-writing sections. I also have to praise the translator who has managed to maintain the German setting at the same time as he writes in a language that flows and doesn't have any of the all too common hick-ups found in translated literature.
Don't be put off by the subject of a "mostly dead guy interested in solving crimes". I might not pick up the two first instalments, but I really enjoyed this one.
on 18 May 2014
I've read all three of the Morgue Drawer books. I quite enjoyed the first one even though it was a bit stilted and of course totally impossible, but I thought the idea might be developed into quite a good series. The second book wasn't as good as the first, and this one is realy quite awful. It drags for the fist 70% or so until it comes together a bit and it is more obvious what is actually going on. The villain is also obvious almost from the first appearance and Pascha's reaction to them.
Then there is the problem of Pascha's books being published. How he gets away with writing them on Martin's computer and no-one knows about it (including Martin it seems) is just another unexplained mystery. The only tiny part that made me smile was the twist in the final sentence of the epilogue!
I won't be reading any more of these books. They are quite well written and translated from a purely grammatical and spelling point of view, but the stories, and this one in particular, are turning into complete rubbish and I think the idea has run its course. Another ghost (as in book 2) would have helped a little bit too.
There is a lot to enjoy about this series: the concept is original, the plots are well paced, and the writing witty. Unlike some other reviewers, I was not annoyed by the device of introducing the author as a character, nor Pasha's direct asides to the reader.
One thing I would like is more sense of place: Cologne is one of my favourite cities, and is worthy of becoming a character in its own right; here, however, the action could be happening in any large European town or city.
I think too there is a bit of a problem with character development: Pasha is actually coming on apace, and has ironically developed far more as a person in death than in life. Martin however is stagnating somewhat. The main impression one is left with is still his resentment of his ghostly sidekick: this makes for an unequal partnership.
Having said all of that, these book do remain a series I look out for avidly, and I hope there will be many more of them!
on 20 December 2012
If you have read the other two in the series you will enjoy this one. The relationship between Pasha and Martin is evolving and changing and introduces the author herself. I look forward to the next book.