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On the way home from the store, Mick comes across a murder scene which he reports to the police. When the police investigate, they find the scene as he described it, but with a different victim. So Mick is now the suspect!

This puts Mick into the position of having to investigate the crime himself - along with his gorgeous wife, Carol. Unlike Mick, Carol is very logical.

There are four primary suspects, all of who’s names start with the letter “D.” Two of them usually lie - but not always, and the other two usually tell the truth - but not always. Mick uses a type of logic known as “Boolean logic” (which is used in computers) to solve the case. Most of us first saw a much simpler form of this logic in Tweedledum and Tweedledee, characters in an English nursery rhyme by Lewis Carroll. We expand that logic here.

The case gets interesting when Mick and Carol find that the killers are a powerful Senator and the local Police Chief. Untenable? Yes - but Mick makes a brilliant move with the artifacts of the crime, and frames them in a way that’s indisputable.

Reviews

Book Review 1

            This book is going to take you on a movie-like adventure. For one, the plot of the story is surely a surprise. It’s totally a crime-detective scene of a lifetime with unexpected twists.

            Mick Maux finds himself in a tough spot between two murders. A crime has been committed at the place where he goes for haircuts. He’s the only witness to the first murder, but when Mick reports it to the police, and the police arrive, they find a different victim, murdered in exactly the same way. The fun part begins when Mick tries to put the clues together and realizes that the more clues, the more complex the case becomes. Spoiler alert: the killer’s name starts with the letter “D.” Apparently, there are people in the story who’s names start with the letter D: Danny, Dottie, Dorian, and Dagwood. One of them is the killer. Let’s say that the first two always tell lies and the other two always tell the truth. How would you find which persons tell lies, and which tell the truth? 

            I totally enjoyed the reading. Dr. Philip Emma writes with passion and humor. It was all fun finding the real culprit. This book is perfect for crime-thriller scenes delivered in a lighthearted way. Perfect for anyone.

 

Book Review 2

            I’ve so much to say about this book. If it’s not the best, surely it’s one of the better ones. Ignore any bad reviews; this book is a masterpiece. I’ve never laughed so hard, reading this book was a whole new experience. 

            The plot was unique and really makes you think deeply. I love how the author takes you and gets you involved in solving who the real killer is. It seems that two murders have been committed. The first murder was reported to the police by Mick Maux. But when the police arrive at the crime scene, a different case of murder is recorded—somehow murdered the same way—and the evidence of the first murder has disappeared without a trace. Would the police believe Mick Maux? 

            No words could express how great this book is. It’s filled with humor, puzzles, and intriguing conversations. From the characters alone, this book is a masterpiece. I would definitely recommend this one.

 

Book Review 3

            You wouldn’t believe that two identical murders have been solved by using a math equation. But in this book, they have. This book, for one, is full of surprises and “aha” moments.

The story focuses on our main character by the name of Mick Maux. He was the only witness to the first murder. He checked the crime scene and called the police about a yellow car and a muscular dead man shot dead on his right temple near the dumpster at the back exit of the mall where he goes for haircuts. After he called the police, he went on his way. But when Detective Dorian arrives, he finds a relatively short guy, lying flat dead in the front seat of the car. Apparently, he was also shot in the right temple and there was no trace of the first murder.

Mick Maux finds himself in a deep action-adventure journey as he tries to solve the puzzle as to the whereabouts of the first guy that was murdered, who murdered him, and why he was murdered. With the help of his clever wife Carol, and friend Detective Danny, they find intriguing evidence about the murders – but only in theory. They have to produce physical proof in order for the police to believe them. 

The ending is intense and a lot of fun. Overall, I was satisfied with the book and this is something that crime-thriller enthusiasts should try. I’m sure they’re going to love the police chase and problem-solving. 

 

Book Review 4

            In all honesty, this book is one of the best entries in the market today in terms of action, adventure, and romance genres. You would be surprised at how well the plot ebbs and flows all throughout the story. It’s got a lot of twists and turns and surprises.

            Mick Maux’s mission is to find the serial killer of his hairstylist named Mitch Goldberg, and to find the body of Jack Holdt. It seemed that Mitch and Jack were murdered the same way, at the same place with about 20 to 30 minutes of time difference. But Jack’s body couldn’t be found, and there was no trace of his murder. There were four suspects in the murder and their names started with the letter D. How did topology help to solve the case?

            This book is well-crafted and the characters are all well-developed. Each scene is filled with surprises and humor. You could really tell that this is not fast work. I totally enjoyed the reading, and I’m glad to recommend this book. It’s hard to put down.

 

Book Review 5

            If you are looking for a book that would definitely have you on the edge of your seat and at the same time give you the fun and the action that you were looking for, then I urge you to give A Pair of Identical Murders a try. This book is packed with adventure, romance, thriller, and fun. It’s also worth mentioning that this book is written in a wholesome way which makes it perfect for young people and adults. 

            How would you resolve the case if the first murder case has no evidence, and the second murder case was totally out of the box? Was it coincidence or logically connected? And how do binary, topology, and metaphysics solve the murder case? I’m not going to spoil anything to the reader. I’ll let them discover it and appreciate the author’s wild imagination in using math, science, and politics into action. Great read and definitely one that’s hard to put down. 

 

Book Review 6

            Nothing that I have for the author other than high admiration and praise for writing such a fun and interesting book to read. The amazing plot is surely going to have you on the edge of your seat.

            What if you are in a situation where you have to choose between four people—Dee Tweedle, Dumb Tweedle, Duh Tweedle, and Doo-doo Tweedle. Usually, the first two always tell the truth and the other two always tell lies. Which of them tell the truth and which of them tell the lies if you were to ask which road goes to the city and which road goes to the sea? Or perhaps, how would you formulate the question in order to find out who tells the truth and who tells the lies? This book is going to make you think deeply. Kudos Dr. Philip Emma for engaging the reader in finding out who the real culprit is. It was a fun and intense read. The characters are so lively and distinct. They’re easy to follow, especially for a fast-paced book. 

 

Book Review 7

            No other book could compare to the fun and the thrill that this book has. Firstly, the author writes with humor and perfect adventure. His wild imagination about action and adventure is surely going to take you to a next-level reading experience.

            Right from the beginning, the opening scene has a lot of intriguing moments. The author brings you to an introduction that seemed to be the climax. And you would be surprised in the end. There were a lot of revelations as the story progresses, especially the part where Mick found out the whereabouts of Jack Holdt, the first person that was murdered in the opening scene. With everybody telling truth and lies, even the reader would be intrigued to find out who is telling the truth and who is telling lies. Written in the first-person point of view, this makes the story very intriguing to follow because you only get to see the main character’s thoughts, which hold mostly the surprise and the thrill of the story. With a novel as good as this, I’m glad to rate this with five out of five stars. Disregard any negative comments; believe me, this one is the real deal.

 

Book Review 8

            This book is on fire! Believe me when I say on fire because it’s loaded with action, thrilling adventure, and romance from Mick’s mission in solving the case and finding out who the serial killer is. With the help of his clever wife Carol, the two made the story more interesting and intriguing to follow.

            Find out on how they solve the extremely difficult and unique murders of two people named Jack Holdt and Mitch Goldberg who got murdered in the same way. After Mick saw Jack dead in his car, shot in his right temple, Mick immediately called the police and left. But when the police came, Jack’s body wasn’t found in the murder scene, and his car was gone too. There was no trace of evidence that he was murdered. However, the police found Mitch’s body instead who was murdered the same way as Jack. Now, the police don’t believe Mick about Jack Holdt.

But when Senator Adler calls Mick to solve the case, Detective Danny is there to help him to prove that Mick was telling the truth. The fun part begins when the more evidence they find, the more complex the case turns out to be. The only way to find out is to ask the right questions.

            There are a lot of “what ifs” in the story which makes the book more interesting. This gives a wide variety of options of probable solutions to the case. But finding the real culprit was the highlight of the story. Definitely a book worth reading. 

 

Book Review 9

            Quick thought: best book ever! The amazing character-building was surely one of the highlights of the book. Plus the unique plot with a lot of twists and turns surely made it a wonderful book to read. It’s going to fill you with intense, heart-stopping moments and dramatic scenes. 

            How would you use binary science, topology, and metaphysics in solving the most difficult and sophisticated crime that’s ever been committed in Connecticut? It seemed that there were four suspects in the story that all started with the letter D: Dottie, Danny, Dagwood, and Dorian. The most obvious one usually is the right answer.

            Reading this book was a whole new experience. You could really tell that this book is well-researched. A must-read for action, adventure buffs.

 

Book Review 10

            One of the most intense and entertaining books I’ve read so far. How could you keep your cool when you’re on an all-out support to Mick’s mission in finding out the real culprit of the two murders?

            This book has a place for everyone. If you love romance, this book has one of the most romantic scenes of Mick and Carol as they venture into the detective world; of course, you wouldn’t miss their lovable match-up. Aside from that, the one that shone the brightest was the detective-crime thriller theme that this book has. Who among these four people committed the crime? Was it Dottie, their single, sexy neighbor? Was it his best friend, Detective Danny, who works in the police department? Was it Dagwood, the millionaire cousin of Dottie, who had gone on vacation at their place? Or perhaps Detective Dorian, the weird detective who lost his style in pink socks?

            This book is a lot of fun, and I didn’t regret finishing the whole story. This one has my recommendation. 

 

Book Review 11

            A Pair of Identical Murders is a page-turner. More than ever, I have never flipped pages and devoured words as I did on this one. That’s how great this book is.

            Mick Maux is a private detective who was caught in the middle between the police and the drug cartel when he found a dead guy in a yellow car shot in his right temple. John Roger, the spy that was sent by Senator Adler to keep an eye on Jack Holdt, witnessed the whole scenario where Mick checked the dead Jack Holdt. However, just about when Mick went away and the police came to the crime scene, there was no Jack Holdt. Instead, there was the dead Mitch Goldberg. The questions were: Where is Jack’s body? Who killed Jack and who killed Mitch? How are these two cases related?

            The author surely knows how to be a detective. He writes with in-depth knowledge, combining science, math, and politics into the solution. Well worth the time.

 

Book Review 12

            An absolute page-turner that demonstrates quick-thinking, problem-solving, love, and cleverness. A Pair of Identical Murders is a wholesome book to spend time reading about romance, detective, and crime-thriller.

            I love the part where Carol always gets ahead of Mick in problem solving, yet the two make a perfect and lovable partnership. Moreover, the math problem was one of the highlights of the two. It engages the reader into being part of solving the mystery of the crime. If there were quadruplets, the two always tell the truth and the other always tells lies, how would you know which one tells which? Moreover, what’s the connection of a math problem to the murders?

            This book is, without a doubt, an easy pick for action-adventure and crime-thriller lovers. I am happy to recommend this book.


 

Book Review 13

            A wonderful book charged with wholesomeness, action, and adventure.

            A murder had been committed following another murder. Without the evidence of the first murder, it’s hard to believe that it happened. And the only witness was Mick Maux, which puts him in a tough spot. Detective Danny and Detective Dorian are on it. Two names appeared on the watch; Mitch Goldberg and Jack Holdt. Apparently, there were four suspects, namely Dottie, Detective Danny, Dagwood, and Detective Dorian. All names start with the letter D. Two of them tell the truth while the other two tell lies. How will Mick find out which is which?

            This is a fast-paced novel mixed with a little romance and humor. The math equations were a lot of fun to solve. They could really make you think hard and be part of the case. The characters were very intriguing and well-developed. This book has become one of my favorites, and I think I’m going to read it again.

 

Book Review 14

            A Pair of Identical Murders by Dr. Philip Emma has become one of the best books that I’ve ever read. It perfectly catches your attention and brings you into solving the case of the two identical murders. But here’s the catch: there’s no trace and evidence of the first murder. How would Mick now convince the police about what he saw at the shopping plaza behind the garbage dumpster?

            Of all the characters, Carol wins the best supporting actress/actor. She always has Mick’s back in every way. Personally, bringing a leading lady into the action makes the story more interesting to read. They make a perfect match with the main character and thus engage the reader in romance and action at the same time. And this book just pulled it off smoothly. It easily deserves a five out of five-star rating. I love it!

 

Book Review 15

            A page-turning action-adventure thriller with a few spices of romance. If you are looking for a fast-paced action book that is filled with surprises and heart-pounding scenes, there will be no need for you to look further. A Pair of Identical Murders by Dr. Philip Emma is a book that would have you flipping over the pages, wanting to learn what happens next. It’s surely a book that’s hard to put down.

            A private detective that goes by the funny name Mick Maux was caught in between the drug cartel Senator Adler and the police. With the help of Carol, Detective Danny, and Professor Pete Fletcher, they all work together to solve the mystery. Apparently, the suspect’s name starts with the letter D, which makes detective Danny a part of the list of suspects. 

            Don’t sleep on this one! And ignore any bad comments. I guarantee that this book is going to give you the intensity and the excitement that you were looking for. After all, it was Adler’s problem! (A joke you’ll get when you read the book.)

CHAPTER 1: The Murder Scene

 

It was a beautiful day, and I wondered who the dead guy was.

I had gone to the main shopping mall to get a haircut. The shopping mall is a large two-story structure with lots of shops and several department stores. When I was done getting my haircut, I left the shopping mall and crossed the main traffic intersection to get to a smaller strip mall across the street so that I could pick up some items at my favorite supermarket before leaving in my usual way. I was making dinner that evening, and I needed a couple of things.

At the barber shop in the main shopping mall, Mitch is the guy that I always get to cut my hair. He’s usually there, and I always ask for him.

Mitch is a short guy who probably can’t see the top of my head when I’m sitting in the barber chair, and he probably doesn’t give me the best haircut that I could get. But outside of “Hi, good to see you,” he doesn’t talk my ear off. That’s why I like Mitch. Mitch was there that afternoon, and he cut my hair.

“Hi, good to see you,” Mitch said.

“Good to see you too,” I replied. He gave me the usual haircut, and I gave him the usual tip. “Thanks, Mitch,” I said, and I left the barbershop. He and I liked to keep things to the point.

It was sometime after one o’clock, probably a quarter after one – not that I knew it at the time, but when I added up the parts retrospectively, it must have been about a quarter after one. So I knew that Mitch was at the barbershop as late as a quarter after one on the day of the murder, because that’s about when Mitch and I had said our goodbyes and I had left. So Mitch couldn’t have done it.

To get out of the main shopping center, I waited at the light to cross over to the strip mall.  This traffic light is always a problem. When the light’s red, no one moves. And when the light turns green, no one moves at all quickly, and the crossing is always very slow. While I try to avoid this intersection, there’s no other (sensible) way to get from the main shopping center to the strip mall. It always seems like I need to use my foghorn a lot just to get through this light.

In part, this light is what motivated me to make the Mini-Ninny cars.

I sat in my car patiently and introspected, reflecting on life. The third time it turned green, I made it through the traffic light, and I parked in front of the grocery store. I went in and got what I had come to get, and then started to leave by my usual route.

My usual way of leaving avoids the traffic light entirely, since I don’t need to go that way to get home. Instead, I take a rear exit out of the strip mall. The rear exit isn’t really an exit unless you know about it. Technically, it’s not an exit at all, but I always use it. To get to the rear exit which really isn’t an exit, I drive around the strip mall to the back of the supermarket, and then around the garbage Dumpsters that are there. Sometimes the Dumpsters stink, but it’s much shorter way out of the strip mall, and I always keep my windows rolled up so that I don’t smell the Dumpsters.

I had gone to the supermarket to buy a few cans of imported San Gennaro plum tomatoes, and some fennel. I was making dinner tonight because my wife Carol was able to get some fresh seafood from the tip of Long Island, and I have my own autumn specialty that I make when we get fresh seafood – but only when it includes shellfish – once the fall kicks in. And the fall was in the process of kicking in.

There’s a small alley behind the strip mall that you can see after you pass the garbage Dumpsters. While I do have to drive over a small curb to get out into this alleyway, which leads to a cul-de-sac, which leads to a side-street, I always leave this way because I have no patience with traffic lights.

And of course, when I say that the trail behind the store and past the Dumpster eventually leads to a side street, I’m talking about side streets in Connecticut, which are narrow and rocky and hilly. Side streets never form a grid here, but seem to randomly feed into each other. If you know the neighborhood, which I did, it’s fine. But if you’re from out of town, you’d have a hard time getting out of the labyrinth comprising any neighborhood. You’d likely go in circles.

You should never rob a house here unless you’re sure how to get out of the neighborhood.

It was early autumn, and the leaves were a week or two away from their prime colors. While there were still lots of green leaves blowing in the trees, there was also an entire panoply of reds, yellows, tans, and browns. The hillside about a half a mile away made a beautiful panorama if you didn’t try too hard to focus – not that you could, anyway – on things as tiny as leaves. And that panorama would take your breath away if you didn’t allow yourself to be distracted by all of the machinations within the main shopping center and the strip mall.

In addition to the beautiful colors, the week had brought with it an autumnal smell as the summer heat faded and the temperature became milder. While not tangibly identifiable, the beginnings of the cooling weather – a welcome relief after a hot summer – gives a palpable substance to the smell that goes with the changing colors of the leaves. They faintly scent the air. Indeed, it was fall.

I could smell a wood fire coming from the chimney of a house in the adjoining neighborhood. While that's a stronger smell than leaves, it’s also an evanescent one, as it comes and goes with shifts in the autumn breeze. It was seasoned oak that I smelled burning. Oak has a distinctive aroma that awakens my sense of the fall after any long hot summer.

The four seasons parody the life-death cycles of our abundance on earth, and I always felt that those who live where it’s perpetually hot and sunny are deprived of the personal introspections brought about by the changes in the seasons. Perhaps that’s why people from areas like that always struck me as too laid back.

But the two most beautiful changes in this cycle are the raw innocence of spring blooms which have the clean and nascent scent of a newborn infant, and the waxing scent of the beauty that accompanies the fall colors as the leaves turn, like that of a lovely woman who’s no longer a shapely teen, but who instead hits an elegant maturity with a certain beauty that’s inimitable by youth before the earth goes back to sleep.

Summer and Winter are the life and the death of this cycle. The former can be tough and make you sweat, and the latter, quite frigid indeed.

I had gone to the supermarket to get a few items for a cioppino, arguably a Californian dish, which I’d be reluctant point out to my Connecticut neighbors, not that neighbors in Connecticut talk to each other much. While cioppino is certainly a San Francisco specialty, it’s not much different than many of the Italian zuppa that are improvised around the world. While Californians might think that fennel gives it a distinctively Californian touch, I would argue that it’s only distinctive in the sense that California fennel is mild relative to its Italian cousin, finnochio, although coupling it with fish is more of a Sicilian custom than a mainland practice. But what California does have over Italy is the shellfish. The shellfish in California are much more impressive. While seafood in general is a summer thing, the shellfish hit their largest sizes in the fall, the clams have dropped their sand, and fresh fennel lends an autumnal taste to it all.

Carol, my wife, has a close friend that just drove back from Amagansett yesterday (a short drive for Californians, but not necessarily for Easterners, especially the way that Route 27 can crawl until you clear the Hamptons) with some lobsters and shellfish and cod, so Carol had sent me out to get the basics for one of our autumn standards. While I feel that shellfish are best raw, and wouldn’t debate California versus Long Island in a cooked dish, I think that the Northeastern lobsters are special, and much better than the Dungeness crabs of the West. And lobsters need the cold water to develop their real flavor.

That’s why I’d come to the store to get some fennel and plum tomatoes. And as is my custom, I did not leave by the main entrance. Instead, I drove around to the back of the store past the garbage Dumpsters. That’s where I saw the car parked at a strange angle with the engine still running and the driver’s door wide open. The left turn signal was flashing, as if it was signaling a turn into the Dumpsters. And there he was, sitting in the driver’s seat with his mouth wide open. There was the dead guy.

His car had been hit by a paintball, no doubt fired by one of the Mini-Ninnies that patrols the roads. But it looked like it was just a random hit over the trunk. It’s hard to say that the Mini-Ninny had actually targeted him, since the paint spot wouldn’t obscure his vision much. The Mini-Ninnies usually don’t target you unless you’re a careless driver. And they do try to obscure your view, but they aren’t great shots. They might have been shooting at someone else for all I knew.

I parked my car next to his, and got out to have a look.

The dead man was a big man, and he looked like he hit the gym regularly. His head was nearly touching the roof of his car as he sat there quietly, looking surprisingly peaceful.

He had a bullet hole in his right temple, and the blood had almost dried, which was curious, as he couldn’t have been there long without having been noticed, although admittedly, I didn’t climb into the car to examine his wound. There wasn’t a lot of blood, but enough to make it clear that he’d been shot cleanly with a small caliber round that killed him instantly. It was a good shot, and it was obviously done by a pro.

The gunshot was not the work of the Mini-Ninny that had hit his car with a paintball, but the work of someone that knew him. And that someone must have been in the passenger’s seat. After all, the bullet hole was in his right temple, and he was in the driver’s seat with all of the windows closed. I left them that way. I wondered why he and his shooter had met back here.

The dead man was wearing black pleated slacks and a grey tattersall tweed jacket. He was well dressed and had a very strong build, which explained the pleated slacks. While these may not look good on tall men in general, if a man has muscular legs, the pleated lines will make the cut of the slacks flow better, even for a tall man, who generally doesn’t need pleats. And this guy looked like he hit the iron regularly.

Except for the dead man and his gym bag, the car was empty. While the dead man was dressed nicely in his tattersall tweed jacket, and while his clothes looked relatively new (which was not surprising given the change in the season), his gym bag was well-worn.

And his car was missing its license plates.

Normally, I’d assume that no one without license plates would pull over behind a Dumpster to talk to a stranger behind a supermarket. And I’d also think it unlikely that he just so happened to have had a chance encounter behind the Dumpster with an old friend that shot him. Besides, no one leaves the parking lot this way except for me. Others have more patience than I do, and don’t want to drive over curbs to get alleyways to get to cul-de-sacs. They don’t know what they’re missing. I do. They’re missing that traffic light.

I knew better than to touch anything. The last thing I needed was to leave my fingerprints at the crime scene. While I sometimes do detective work for the right client and the right stakes, I don’t talk to the cops, and I don’t appreciate them hauling me in. I’ve been there and done that, and we share a mutual distrust. While I distrust nearly everyone, that goes double for the cops. The only exception was my old friend, Detective Danny.

Danny and I had been good friends when we were kids growing up. I’m not sure why. We didn’t have much in common except for having deep streaks of honesty missing in many, and we seemed to get along. He and I spoke the same language at a basic level, and I trusted him. We both did juvenile pranks and got into minor trouble a few times. That was lots of fun when we were kids, but we’ve almost both grown up. Sort of.

In High School, Danny wasn’t one for the books. He graduated, and became a cop. I guess he’s never moved beyond juvenile delinquency, which is why I figured that I still liked him after not seeing him for many years.

But unlike Danny, I was always drawn to reading books and solving equations, and did very well in school. I went away for a long time and spent years in the Midwest, in California, and in Boston, studying very hard, and enjoying it. I was a Professor for a while back in California, and then down in Austin, where I came into some money and retired relatively young. Why I moved back here I’m not sure. Maybe it was the rocks and the seasons. The Midwest doesn’t have rocks, and California doesn’t have seasons. And neither has real barbecue. For that, you need to go to Texas.

And like Danny, deep down at basic level I’m still a juvenile too; I never outgrew it. I tinker a lot, and I invent things. Most of those things are great. But like all things, even the great things are double-edged swords. A prime example is the Mini-Ninnies, who hit me every so often despite the fact that I drive pretty carefully. And because I take my driving seriously, I put a foghorn on my car so that I can use it when I have to, despite the fact that I don’t like noise.

Because this was obviously a murder, and because it didn’t involve me, I called Detective Danny on his cellphone, and I told him that there was a dead guy in a car by the Dumpsters behind the supermarket. And I told him that I didn’t do it.

You could tell that I didn’t do it because there was nothing funny about this hit. The guy was just sitting in his car dead. If I had done it, it would have been a little more distinctive depending on who the guy was. But this guy was just dead. At least he sure looked it.

I will hit people if the price is right and the person has it coming. But I don’t hit strangers, and not like this. Behind a Dumpster behind a supermarket? What would be the point? And why would I tell Detective Danny about it if I had?

Leaving the car with the Mini-Ninny’s paintball on it, and with the dead guy with his gym bag in it, I drove over the curb and up the alley into the cul-de-sac, and then into the little neighborhood of side streets, avoiding the traffic light at the main intersection that crosses over to the shopping mall.

Whenever have to go through that light, I have to use my foghorn. So, I never go that way if I can avoid it. As I’ve said, the noise from the foghorn is deafening, and it can bother me. Today I drove home entirely on back streets, and I didn’t need to use my foghorn at all.

It was a beautiful day, and I wondered who the dead guy was.

Chapter 1 A Pair of Identical Murders
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