A superbly gripping and blackly funny mystery by the king of the comic crime caper.
He’s the Man With No Name and the owner of No Alibis, a mystery bookshop in Belfast. But when a detective agency next door goes bust, the agency’s clients start calling into his shop asking him to solve their cases. It’s not as if there’s any danger involved. It’s an easy way to sell books to his gullible customers and Alison, the beautiful girl in the jewellery shop across the road, will surely be impressed. Except she’s not – because she can see the bigger picture.
And when they break into the shuttered shop next door on a dare, they have their answer. Suddenly they’re catapulted along a murder trail which leads them from small-time publishing to Nazi concentration camps and serial killers.
©2009 Colin Bateman (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
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"Good Story idea but Oh! So Slow"
This story had a good idea; guy owning book shop starts to get inquiries about cases from the strangely quiet and empty PI office next door. He starts to take an interest and looks at easily resolved local cases. Girl from shop across the road wants to help. Good idea Yes! The guy who reads this takes so long in getting full sentences out, you want to ring the iPod out trying to get more speed.
The story starts to meander after only what seems to be a while with angst and fear from the seemingly hypochondriac hero, and you want to shout encouragement to the shop girl to ditch the bloke and take over. No such luck – I stuck it to the end but wish I hadn’t.
Being from the authors native country it was great to have a book where I recognised all the places mentioned, that aside, the book is great. Full of nice dry humour and bizzare yet strangely believable mysterys. I have laughed aloud several times. The lead character is odd yet likeable, is he representative of anyone, perhaps , Colin? Buy this book , you will laugh.
I was a bit disappointed with this. Some of the humour was a bit obvious.
"Overall not too bad"
I will admit there were several times when listening to this book I did laugh out loud but there were also a number of times when I struggled to get through parts. The narrators voice suits it well and was one of the main reasons to carry on as his accent was dreamy and read it well. The main character of the book, seemed ok at the beginning but by about half way through he was really starting to annoy me as he was 'too quirky'. Supporting characters are well written and fleshed out so you don't feel as if they are just there for padding. I might look into getting other books by the author but they won't be making my wish list as a 'must read'.
"Quirky and delightful"
After the first 10 minutes I found myself wondering if I'd be able to stay the course but soon found myself captivated by the unusual writing style. The were lots of 'laugh-out-loud' moments and wonderful plot twists. A thoroughly enjoyable listen!
"The Irish Brookmyre"
A hypochondriac runs a mystery book shop, but the private eye next door has disappeared and all his clients keep asking the book shop owner to take over their jobs. Despite all his supposed illnesses, he manages to solve the vast majority of his cases, until he gets in over his neck with some killers.
"Just my kind of thing..."
At times the humour is subtle and raises a smirk and at others, it makes me laugh out loud. Great plot, which is nicely twisty. The story handles serious issues reverently enough, but it remains a funny detective tale - everything is in good measure, well balanced. Narration is spot on too.
I don't often laugh aloud when reading books , but I did with this one. It took me a while to get into but once I did I really enjoyed it.
This book started off quite humorous. But, half way through, the author introduces a 'mystery case' whose main purpose appears to be to remind the reader once more of the plight of the Jews in the second world war. It goes on and on and, while the author is in this frame. the book isn't funny at all.
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