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Past Imperfect (Thorndike British Favorites) [Large Print] [Paperback]

Hilary Grenville , William Harrington

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Book Description

Mar 2001 Thorndike British Favorites
For over 25 years, Columbo has been the most popular, and persistent, detective on TV. To solve this cri me, he must dig deep to crack the mystifying disappearance o f Jimmy Hoffa. '
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783893256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783893259
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 1.8 cm

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This here book; Columbo three; it badly disappointed me. 17 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What happened? Columbo would be deeply saddened to read how his character has been so trivialized and packaged for sensational appeal. So much of this story is padded with solicitous sex and violence. What dose oral sex have to do with case? Do we need to read how some second-level victims are "blown apart" by a large caliber weapon? Who can't tell what the Hoffa connection is going to be from the very start? I was very disappointed in the handling of this. There is a very minimal story line to begin with and the superfluous verbiage just makes it more tedious. Mr. Harrington can do better than this. You don't have to print ANYTHING; wait until you have the kind of story line that was so evident in the original TV series. That's what brings in the interest. What we've been given is an overdose of rumpled fluff and all the references to semen, gore and peek-a-boo sex don't make this a hotter, more palatable bowl of chili.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars VERY disappointing... 11 Aug 2002
By Paul Muscat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Compared to his other 'Columbo' works, this is by far Harrington's worst. I never thought I'd see the day when I couldn't wait to finish a Columbo mystery just to finish it and get it over with, rather than for the finale where our hero normally breaks down the case and explains all. As it is in this one he explains bugger all and the 'Hoffa connection' is both ludicrous AND unnecessary. Top that with the fact that the Columbo we see in this book is so far removed from our beloved Columbo on TV that it looks like an entirely different detective PLUS the fact that one of the main characters, Mickey, switches from a last name of Newcastle to Newhouse with irritating regularity and you've got yourself a pretty lame effort... sorry!
5.0 out of 5 stars True Columbo 3 Mar 2014
By Carole Griffith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Columbo is at his best in this book. The book is a interesting and a fast read. I recommend it to all mystery fans.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Columbo! 15 Mar 2013
By Denise A. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved the TV show Columbo and was always looking for books on the character. When I found this author had written a series, I knew I had to get them and add them to the two I already had.
2.0 out of 5 stars Exposing Show Business 18 Aug 2012
By Acute Observer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Columbo: The Hoffa Connection, W. Harrington

"Columbo" was one of the most popular detective shows on TV. William Harrington was a former criminal lawyer who wrote these novels using this TV character. The best fiction is based true crime.

The story starts with a `Regina' concert at the Hollywood Bowl. [Recognize this act?] Afterwards she returns home. Regina has sold millions of records and is a power in show business. But things suddenly go very wrong and Regina drowns in her pool. Was there a witness? When her body is found the police arrive to investigate. Lt. Columbo questions the people who were in the house. A neighbor heard screams at 1:23 AM (not unusual). Later the old man living there suddenly leaves. Columbo is told about this. He talks to Joe Fletcher, Regina's agent. He visits Joshua and Barbara Gwynne to hear what they know. One witness is shot but survived.

Columbo flies to Italy for Regina's funeral and asks questions. Capelli came to America with Regina. We hear about what others are doing. Columbo gets his departmental Beretta. Does being `connected' result in success in show business? Regina's maid Rita talks to Columbo about what she saw. Elsewhere three men are shot dead. A stalker confessed to Regina's murder (his story came from the newspaper reports). Micky's "stuff" had poison in it (but he was saved)! Then he talks to Columbo. Later Johnny is arrested too. The serial number on a watch can be traced. Ballistics can identify a gun from its fired bullets. [But not when they were fired.] Johnny tells the name of that old man! [Unbelievable.] Johnny explains what happened. [Still unbelievable.]

This is a pretty good story until the last chapter. Was "Regina" inspired by Madonna? Can a performer with little talent become a big star with the right "connections"? [No, it depends on the buying public.] There have been many singers and bands known as "one hit wonders" in the past. "Johnny" seems inspired by an event from 1963 (Joe Valachi?).
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