REVIEW: Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente


Eight comedians are invited to a private island to work with comedic great, Dustin Walker. Mr. Walker’s assistant, Meredith (a comedian in training) is coordinating all the details including gathering the guests at the airport and getting them to the island.

But the island caretaker is no where to be found when they arrive. The elevator at the dock is broken, so they can’t even get their belongings up to the house. There’s no cell service or internet access. The island seems to be deserted. This is not a terrific start to their weekend.

Once they all gather in the house, Mr. Walker welcomes everyone via video. He says they are all there to address “crimes against comedy.” And then the guests watch him wrap a noose around his neck and throw himself off a cliff ledge.

Mr. Walker’s death is only the first as the island’s inhabitants are slowly being killed off one at a time. Who is behind the murders? Will anyone be left standing in the end?


This is a good execution of the kind of mystery seen most famously in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None or the movie Clue. The mystery had a couple nice twists in it before it was all said and done.

There are a lot of characters in a story like this. I needed a list at first to keep track of who was who. And since someone wanted to kill all of them off, it was hard to find characters to like or cheer for. Some were less obnoxious or odious than others but there weren’t any I truly liked.

While I tend to be motivated by characters in books, it had to be the plot to move me along in this story. And the clever murder methods and the question of who would be next and who might survive were what kept me going to the satisfying conclusion. This contained more language and crass conversations than in my usual cozy mysteries. Cozy readers should keep that in mind if they decide to give this one a try. But it is a solid mystery for fans who enjoy a wide range of mystery styles.

Rating: ♥♥♥½

I received an electronic copy of this book for review purposes. Thanks to Netgalley and Quirk Books for the opportunity to read an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *