Cover image for Breaking up is hard to do
Breaking up is hard to do
Gorman, Edward.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
301 pages ; 23 cm
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LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

On Order



Marital infidelity, murder, and the threat of nuclear holocaust hangs over the heartland in the sixth installment of the popular Sam McCain mystery series.

Author Notes

Edward Joseph Gorman was born on November 2, 1941 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended Coe College, but didn't graduate. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked for 23 years in advertising, public relations, and politics. His first novel, Rough Cut, was published in 1984. In 1985, he founded Mystery Scene Magazine and was the executive editor until 2002.

He wrote crime fiction, horror fiction, and western fiction under his own name and several pseudonyms. Using the pseudonym Daniel Ransom, he wrote horror and science fiction books including Daddy's Little Girl, The Babysitter, Nightmare Child, The Fugitive Stars, and Zone Soldiers. Using the pseudonym Richard Driscoll, he and Kevin D. Randle co-wrote the Star Precinct trilogy. Under his own name, he wrote crime and mystery books including Wolf Moon, The First Lady, the Sam McCain Mystery series, the Robert Payne Mystery series, the Jack Dwyer Mystery series, and the Dev Conrad Mystery series. His novel The Poker Club was adapted into a movie in 2008. He also wrote The First Lady and Senatorial Privilege under the pseudonym E. J. Gorman. He edited many volumes of science fiction, horror, and crime.

He received numerous awards including a Spur Award for Best Short Fiction for The Face in 1992, the Anthony Award for Best Critical Work for The Fine Art of Murder in 1994, and an International Horror Guild Award for Cages in 1995. He also received the Shamus Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the International Fiction Writers Award, and The Eye, the lifetime achievement award given out by the Private Eye Writers of America. He died after a long battle with cancer on October 14, 2016 at the age of 74.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In late October 1962, with Armageddon looming in the form of the Cuban missile crisis, life went on in Black River Falls, Iowa--except in the case of a young woman found murdered in gubernatorial candidate Ross Murdoch's under-construction bomb shelter. His political dreams dashed, Murdoch hopes to avoid the electric chair and hires young investigator-attorney Sam McCain to represent him. McCain is dismayed to learn that his client was one of four prominent citizens who shared the victim's services as mistress. Can the unflappable McCain solve the murder and prevent the town's corrupt police chief from ramrodding the case as payback for Murdoch's longtime political opposition? The sixth Sam McCain case continues to build on the series' foundation of realism tinged with nostalgia. It may seem as though Beaver Cleaver could have grown up in Black River Falls, but if he had, Ward would have a drinking problem,une might be looking a little strange, and Wally might come home from 'Nam with a bad habit or two. Intelligent writing and great reading. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The sixth Sam McCain novel from Shamus-winner Gorman (Save the Last Dance for Me, etc.) trades on Cold War fears and the repercussions from the political and social issues of a bygone era. It's late October 1962, the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the townsfolk of Black River Falls, Iowa, are huddled in churches waiting for nuclear annihilation. When gubernatorial candidate Ross Murdoch pays McCain to look over his bomb shelter, McCain discovers the body of a recently murdered young woman, Karen Hastings. The four suspects in the killing are all prosperous, well-respected locals who had been sexually involved with the dead woman. As if this weren't enough, two of McCain's past loves are undergoing simultaneous divorces. The mystery plot is less engrossing, however, than the period Gorman evokes in such Proustian detail: a soda fountain with "the old ice cream chairs and the crooked paperback rack that squeaked when you turned it around"; the exact look, feel and circumference of a bomb shelter; and, best of all, "the ancient Rialto theater" regularly showing the works of the "holy trinity" of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy. It's a fast, entertaining read, but when it's over, all that's left is a reservoir of good feelings and pervasive nostalgia for a time that may strike many readers as positively idyllic from today's perspective. (Mar. 2) FYI: Gorman cofounded Mystery Scene magazine with Robert J. Randisi (see review below). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved