Nearly Departed

Rated 4.57/5 based on 14 reviews
Con artists are a notoriously skeptical bunch, and Dennis Gufehautt is no exception. His scheme of masquerading as a paranormal investigator seems foolproof, until he encounters an actual ghost.

Now, having unwittingly become a witness to a decades-old murder, Dennis finds himself stumbling headfirst into bizarre and often hilarious situations as he tries to solve a legitimate paranormal mystery. More
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About Max Patrick Schlienger

Since he first learned to speak, Max Patrick Schlienger has been telling stories. Unfortunately, despite having been given ample opportunity and encouragement, he has yet to master the art of shutting the hell up. In an effort to avoid being completely shunned by his friends and family, Max finally took to writing his stories down. He intends to continue in the glamorous profession of making stuff up until such time as the position of Superman becomes available.

When he's not wasting time on the Internet or pretending to understand elements of theoretical physics, Max can often be found making short films, singing acappella music, and participating in ill-conceived culinary experimentation. He lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he attempts to maintain a facade of being a functioning adult.

There is no currently existing evidence to refute Max's claims of his own immortality, insofar as he is not yet dead.

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Review by: Chris Johnson on July 22, 2018 :
Fantastic read. It kept me guessing; it even led me down the garden path. This is worth the time to read. Drastically underpriced though.

The author took plenty of time in developing the characters and made each uniquely distinct from the rest of the cast. And the story kept popping along to the end.
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Review by: J. L. Thurston on Jan. 16, 2017 :
This story was just what I was looking for. A supernatural comedic thriller! I loved how real the characters were for me and how I felt like I was watching a spooky film with all the cast bloopers unedited. I only gave it four of five stars because there were some parts in the story that did not grip me; places where the story didn't quite flow. Otherwise I couldn't help but love the characters, the plot, and the fun!
Can't wait to read more from Max Patrick Schlienger.
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Review by: Bharathi on Dec. 20, 2015 :
Till the time Dennis visits Elspeth the story was not that griping, I was in two minds to continue. But then on it was an amusing ride, with the comical banter between Dennis & bobo, wit of Elspeth, and Evelyn too. The short fall was that Dennis at many a times seemed to be too think to see the obvious and too slow to do his research on the Internet to have a better understanding of the people & places.
(review of free book)
Review by: Brienne Dubh on Oct. 30, 2015 :
I'm not sure I've ever mentioned it, but I love a slacker. Just saying. Okay, so Dennis is technically a writer who's researching his next book, but he fits the type in just the right way.
The dry humorous prose in Nearly Departed had me hooked from around the second paragraph. There came a point when I wondered when the real plot was going to start, but I was never bored. The writing was so cinematic that each scene and character appeared so strongly in my mind it was very much like watching a film.

“Your sister has been seeing this spirit, then?” Dennis asked.
There was another pause, and the sound of the woman both inhaling and exhaling. “No, Doctor, my sister is the spirit.” She did not elaborate, and Dennis sensed that he would have to tread lightly if he was to appear at all credible.
“I see. My apologies for your loss,” he said. “You say she has been haunting you for ten years now. Is there a reason for your interest in dealing with her now?”
“It's been eight years, to be precise. As I said, I am selling the house.”
“Of course,” replied Dennis. “I was merely curious as to why you have tolerated her presence for as long as you have.” He grimaced at his choice of words, wondering if he had just inadvertently insulted the woman's deceased sister. If she was at all offended, though, her voice gave no sign of it.
… “May I be so bold as to ask the reason for your selling it, ma'am?”
“I'm dying.”

When the ghostly element of the story began I was genuinely scared at first too! As it developed I was more than intrigued to see how it would all turn out. I made several attempts at guessing the ending, and when it came I enjoyed the bejayus out of it!

Rating: 9 out of 10 – the plot, the abundance of great characters, the whole thing had me sitting up and reading oblivious to the water going cold around me.

Halloween Scare Rating:

One Spider: Made me feel edgy, had to get the hubby to sit with me as I read. The first scene with the chair got me. I stayed up til 2am just to check it would all be okay!

Review By Vikki Heaven @ Escapology Reviews . com
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Review by: Ricardo Jasso Moedano on Feb. 26, 2015 :
Absolutely fabulous!! Funny and emotional, plus quite intriguing. This fellow has the gift!!
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Review by: Irum Zahra on Jan. 15, 2015 :
Very well written!
Check out my book "Psychaotic" As well!
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Review by: FrankH99 on Jan. 1, 2015 :
I enjoyed this book. The characters are believable, the humour is subtle and the dialogue sounds real.
Having said that, I've given it 4 stars because the action doesn't flow very well and the ending is a bit weak. I sometimes found myself thinking "Why would he/she do that?" But all in all, an enjoyable read.
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Review by: Turtle2000uk on April 8, 2014 :
Warning !
Be prepared to make time for this.
You'll find yourself reading it in one sitting as I did.
Well written and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Review by: Burns Well on March 12, 2014 :
If you like mystery or enjoy detective novels, you will probably like this book.
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Review by: S. London on Dec. 11, 2012 :
I loved this book! It is very well written; the characters are memorable and likable; the ending was not what I expected. Lol, there is more I want to say but I don't want to ruin it for whomever else reads this book. I will say, however, that I want a sequel. :) Or another adventure with Doctor September!
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Review by: Dodie Rumbolt-Nicholls on Oct. 17, 2012 :
Enjoyed this book very much. Bit of humour and a bit of mystery. All in all quite well written. Look forward to reading others from this author.
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Review by: J M on June 28, 2012 :
I absolutely LOVE this book. The relationships between the characters make me smile, some others don't show it enough. I honestly didn't want to put this book down , It was as if I was in the story with them , and I was able to imagine how each character looks , as well as the house and hotel room! The story itself had me intrigued , I love the style of it. I didn't expect the near/ending and It made me gasp! I can't wait to read any other books this author puts out. What a great read!
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Review by: Literatrix on April 19, 2012 :
Combining suspense and humor is often a difficult task, and Max Patrick Schlienger pulls it off with a practiced hand... though he leaves some stray marks, ostensibly for the reader. Schlienger's writing style is similar to that of Douglas Adams or Neil Gaiman in that Nearly Departed is a blend of supernatural thriller and snarky comedy. Some emotion-driven scenes felt a bit forced - perhaps unsurprising given a character like Dennis - but the mystery and witty dialogue kept me turning the pages.

With equal parts intrigue and hilarity, Nearly Departed is a slice of entertainment that kept my face aglow with backlight long past my bedtime.
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Review by: Sue Erickson on April 19, 2012 :
What a great story, liked the characters, mystery, humor, very well written. Looking forward to reading more of your work!!!!
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