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EXCERPTS FROM NEWSPAPER REVIEWS: A weird group of characters is assembled on an island in the Florida Keys for a murder mystery weekend. They are office bearers of the Paradise Club. There's also an attorney, businessmen, representatives of the arts and a priest. The story is told by Merryll Manning, a police sergeant. He is a likeable, quirky character accompanied by his feisty girlfriend, Susan. All are competing for a $5,000 prize. Mystery reigns from the outset as several of the participants are actually paid actors. Who is who? Just as you are caught up in the characters' differing behaviors, the whole game turns sinister. A real murder is committed. The action moves on with surprising twists to the outcome. "Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island" is an enjoyable read and does keep you guessing till the end. The author's writing style is pacy and easy to read. His characters are intriguing, but the island setting could have been used more effectively… John Howard Reid has created excellence in "Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island". "Mystery Island" is the first in a very highly acclaimed series of mystery novels that came to fruition in 1985. Merryll Manning is the classic hero in this suspense series and John Howard Reid is dead-on with this perfect character. You have the police sergeant working in the perfect setting of Miami, Florida. A hub for shady characters, various criminal activities and bikini-clad hotties, Miami gives Merryll many headache-filled evenings. His petite super-cutie assistant, Susan Alexis Devoro Ford, is half his age and full of spunk. Wrapped around her pinkie-finger Merry really toes-the-line when it comes to his assistant. I always struggle when writing about fiction works. I really don't want to spoil anything for the future reader, as I have had books ruined with just one phrase from others who have read the book. Let me just say, you must read this book. I can't wait to get the next installment, namely "Merryll Manning: The Health Farm Murders." I love it when you close a good book and know there is more to follow. John Howard Reid is sure to have a great many followers eager to read each book in this wonderful series. From the eerie-cover to the final paragraph I was hooked on "Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island."… On vacation in the Florida Keys with his girlfriend, police sergeant Merryll Manning takes part in a Murder Mystery weekend, with the chance to win a cash prize of $5,000 on the line. When a real murder actually takes place, though, all fun and games come to an abrupt end as Merryll strives – almost in vain – to learn the identity of the true-life killer… "Merryll Manning: Trapped on Mystery Island" is the first in a series of highly acclaimed mystery suspense novels that began life overseas back in 1985. Manning is a police sergeant, which is certainly not an unusual occupation for the hero of a series of detective thrillers. Admittedly, he comes across as somewhat eccentric, but this again could be rated as a fairly conventional trait among the clue-hunting heroes of crime fiction. Furthermore, Manning works in Miami, Florida, a tried-and-true venue in numerous films and novels. What does set Manning slightly apart from the pack, however, is his young, super-attractive, pocket-sized girlfriend, Susan Alexis Devoro Ford. Despite her diminutive size, Miss Ford proves quite a handful for a hero who is, as he ruefully admits, more than twice her age. Again, this figures as standard Hollywood material, particularly for fans of aging heroes like John Wayne, Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. Unlike these macho super-stars, however, the far more cerebral Manning is really trapped by Miss Ford. She holds the whip hand. Miss Ford proves a most unusual assistant, although it's not until the sixth novel in the series, that she reveals her true character.

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