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.
Recommended. prisrob 11-08-12
Morgue Drawer Next Door
Morgue Drawer for Rent
This is the third book in the series featuring Pasha, the spirit who hangs out at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Cologne. He can only communicate with one living being, the coroner Martin Gänsewein. Poor Martin isn't very happy about the voice he hears inside his head, Martin being a principled, clean-living, nerdy vegetarian and Pasha being an unprincipled, foul-mouthed ex-car thief. But despite their total incompatibility, they make a great investigative team.
There's a new director at the institute who's obsessed with increasing efficiency and cutting costs. This is a timely theme nowadays when number crunchers are taking over the management of all sorts of businesses and services they know nothing about. The new director's income-generating policies are pretty funny, like deciding to rent out morgue drawers to funeral homes.
Under new management, alarming things start happening at the Institute. Bodies are kidnapped. Corpses are mutilated. A coroner is attacked. It falls to Pasha to figure out what's going on, since he can whoosh around wherever he pleases and spy on people unseen.
Meanwhile Pasha has fallen in love with the granddaughter of the new night watchman. To see the normally lecherous Pasha revel in "pure, radiant, incandescent love" is endlessly amusing. After all, it's not easy for an electromagnetic wave to court a flesh-and-blood woman in another dimension.
Pasha is full of surprises in this book. He's become very knowledgeable about autopsy procedures. And he's growing less selfish. He's beginning to see Martin as a friend, not just a useful connection to the realm of the living. Pasha might even be willing to put Martin's happiness before his own.
Pasha is the most original amateur detective I've encountered in recent memory. I just hope he won't mature too much. I'd hate to lose him to the White Light. I want more books.
This third book in the series takes up right where Morgue Drawer Next Door left off. Cologne is in the midst of a horrible heat wave, asbestos is being removed from the Institute building, and the icing on this cake of complete havoc is the new head of the department, a bean counter referred to as "Piggy Bank" by all those under his lunatic thumb of iron. I am amazed at how the author has kept me intrigued with the idea of teaming an intellectual man of science with the deceased spirit of a hormone-fueled young car thief. This is a very odd couple indeed, and it works because these two do not remain static.
Martin is the only human Pascha can talk to, but Martin has a girlfriend he'd like to move in with-- and not share her with "the voice in his head." As Martin frantically tries to come up with a solution to his problem, he's putting his relationship with his girlfriend in jeopardy. Pascha never sleeps, and there's only so many movies he can watch in Cologne's theaters. He's taken to writing his memoirs and trying to get them published-- with extremely interesting results. Although Pascha's grammar has improved gradually in the series, his descriptions are often crudely hilarious, and I've come to look froward to them.
This series is succeeding with me because Profijt has her characters grow and change as various relationships develop-- and because it's obvious that she's having fun writing these books. However, I did have one area of concern in Morgue Drawer for Rent. Profijt does admit in a section at the back of the book that she takes some artistic license with a couple of subjects, but she took a bit too much for me. Her bending of the facts of asbestos removal and one other subject kept throwing me out of the story, and I'm no expert on either subject. Be that as it may, I'm enjoying this series too much to stop just yet!
on August 4, 2013
This three part mystery series has a comic dynamic between Dr. Martin Gansewein, "Martin", a Cologne (GER) forensic pathologist and the ghost of a "gifted" 24 year old car thief Pascha Lerchenberg ("Pascha"), who by some "electromagnetic anomaly" (or plan for redemption), is only audible to Martin. If Martin is orderly, meticulous, and proper (he loves herbal tea, collecting old city maps, and enjoying gelato with his girlfriend Birgit), Pascha is none of this - after all, he knows he's "in the prime of his afterlife" - impulsive, raucously profane, and hilariously sexist.
In the introductory MORGUE DRAWER 4 Pascha establishes his uneasy relationship with Martin, solves his own murder, the mystery of a dead woman in the trunk of his stolen ride, and rescues Martin's reputation. [3 stars]
In MORGUE DRAWER NEXT DOOR, Pascha learns how to infiltrate wireless networks to help Martin solve deaths at a convent (a "prayer pit") while confronting a ruthless real estate developer. Pascha also realizes his experiences are the stuff of best-sellers and so decides to become star mystery author. Pascha's ingenuity and love of euphemisms (e.g. forensic techs are "cadaver divers") advance the series over the introductory first novel. [4 stars]
MORGUE DRAWER FOR RENT finds Cologne in a suffocating heat wave. The tone darkens a bit. When an ill-suited and arrogant Institute director becomes Martin's new boss, bodies start piling-up and disappearing, and only Pascha will save Martin's career. Pascha falls in love with a mysterious Russian medical student...his manuscripts are accepted for publication and the three part series comes to a neatly packaged end (?) with the selection of an author for the series (I'll let you guess who they choose). The action level picks-up in the final chapters of this - hopefully not last in-the-series - novel after limping mid-way. This is the equal of MORGUE DRAWER NEXT DOOR and deserves 4 stars.
on May 7, 2015
This series is wonderful!!! If you possess a sense of humor, and can deal with a corpse talking from the grave, this series is a hoot! Without giving too much away, a car thief is killed, and finds he can communicate with only one living person - the medical examiner/forensic pathologist. And ig takes off from there. Between the two of them, they solve mysteries and murders as they try not to drive each other crazy. If you like murder mysteries, and have a sense of humor, I think you'll like this series of books. Highly recommended!
MORGUE DRAWER FOR RENT by Jutta Profijt gets off to a slow start with pages of backstory. Near page 150 the story picks up with some interesting twists. What seems obvious from the beginning isn't what you assumed in the first place.
Pasha is a fun protagonist who as a ghost can only communicate earthwise with Martin Gansewein. Martin is not mentally equipped to handle the advent of a ghost in his life, but relies on Pasha unique abilities to find out what is happening.
Good read, but remember it takes a while.
Nash Black, author of SANDPRINTS OF DEATH.
on April 21, 2013
I have now read all three of the "Morgue Drawer" books, and after reading the second I was hesitant to start this one. There was something about the second book that really dragged for me, and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I am so glad that I did! In this novel, Martin is having to drive between two places to work - one place holds the morgue, and the other place holds the offices. During this time of a crazy move, the security at the morgue is not quite what it should be, and some bodies get mutilated or stolen. Meanwhile, the new boss is renting out the morgue drawers to funeral homes and trying to earn money and keep things efficient, without really having any idea what he is doing. The gang gets back together to solve the mystery and take back control of the morgue.
I love Pascha and Martin's relationship with one another. They both get so agitated with one another, but it is obvious that they also care for each other. The banter between them is hysterical, and the author has created a wonderful antagonist in Martin's life by creating Pascha. He does not do it intentionally, but he is really good at ruining everything for Martin. I also love the supporting characters, and I think the author has created a really excellent team of people with these characters.
I am really glad that I continued this series because this novel was wonderful! I definitely recommend to those that are already Pascha fans, and I recommend this series to any mystery lovers.
on August 22, 2013
The "Morgue Drawer" series is very entertaining, with "Morgue Drawer for Rent" very funny in both concept and execution. The voice of the narrator, ghost protagonist Pascha, a car thief in life, is very well done. His cluelessness about social situations and so much else contrasts with his enthusiasm and detailed knowledge about cars. Pascha's relationship with the coroner Dr. Martin Gansewein, who performed his autopsy in the first book, "Morgue Drawer Four", progresses in a sometimes amusingly antagonistic fashion, but I found that I was involved with the characters, and hoped very much that they would solve their current difficulties and all would be well in the end as they struggle with a department head who wants to maximize profit by renting out morgue drawers to local funeral homes - and does he have a hidden agenda?. I recommend starting with the first book in the series, "Morgue Drawer Four" which establishes the situation and the characters. The second book, "Morgue Drawer Next Door" could be read before or after Morgue Drawer Four", though it's always best to read them in order for character development. I do recommend all these books as a very entertaining read and will purchase any further books in the series as they appear.
ARC/Mystery: This book is a German to English translation and book three of the morgue drawer series. After reading Dragon Tattoo, I've been interested in authors from other countries simply because I'm tired of the same ole plots. This is a ghost story, but it is different.
First, I had to look up the name Pascha because it sounds feminine, and in most cases it is. However this Pascha is a male ghost. The only person this ex-car thief can communicate with is the nerdish coroner, Martin. Unlike most talking ghost stories, Martin and Pascha can talk through thoughts. I liked that aspect because there was none of the supposed comedic "communication" that has been done so many times. The author does a good job of balancing what is said, and how, with who "knows" about Martin's spiritual friend.
In the middle of an asbestos move, Martin's boss is replaced by the bean counter that is nicknamed "Piggy Bank". The book is done in the first person of the snappy and rude Pascha. After body parts, and bodies, start to disappear, Martin starts to implode over the investigation.
The first half of the book is slowish at points. Over time, you understand what happened in the first two books. The second half is a lot better. It's a faster pace in which Pascha tries to solve the case.
One good point of reading book three without the other two books: I have a feeling Pascha was even more egotistical and obnoxious in before this book. Yes, his character grows in this one too. However, I can't imagine how Martin was before. He seems a little to static.
The translator did a good job and the writing is done well. I do think that Pascha's gender needed to be explained earlier.
on June 2, 2013
Martin, the forensic pathologist, has lost his old boss who has had a heart attack. The new boss is not at all the same as the old boss. He is not a medical expert but a penny pinching, time clock watching bean counter, who in an effort to maximize the profitability of the Institute has started renting morgue drawers to funeral homes stretched beyond their resources by a heat wave in Cologne. Then a body is stolen and things start to go seriously, weirdly wrong.
Meanwhile Martin is apartment shopping and trying to find some way to cope with the chatty ghost of young ghost of a car thief who has been his (nearly) constant companion for the past six months.
The story is told from the ghost's point of view in first person. The narrator is excellent. While some plot points are a bit obvious, I still enjoyed the ride.
Preceded by 1) Morgue Drawer Four and 2) Morgue Drawer Next Door and I don't think you should read this one without having read the first two in order.
And while I respect the creative control of the author, I really hope this isn't the last of Pascha's adventures.