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Mystery Man | [Colin Bateman]

Mystery Man

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (44 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (29 )
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 (12)
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 (6)
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4.6 (29 )
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 (20)
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 09-06-13
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 09-06-13 Member Since 2010

    Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    76
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mystery, humor & literary nuances - GREAT"
    What did you love best about Mystery Man?

    The wry, black humor was enticing as well as the author's knowledge of mysteries in general. I love how unique it was and the witty prose.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That I was never bored and continually entertained.


    What about Stephen Armstrong’s performance did you like?

    He was a most engaging reader and I loved the Irish lilt. Very easy to listen to and the articulation great. He didn't "overdo" it as some readers do. I could listen to him for hours on end.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Murder is the business of this mystery bookshop.


    Any additional comments?

    It is not often one encounters a truly amusing mystery that is contemporary and draws on history. This novel did both. I have bought one of his books before and now shall buy more. The author reminds me a bit of David Lodge and Tom Sharpe. I really applaud this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Grand Isle, VT, United States 12-26-11
    Karen Grand Isle, VT, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great beginning to a wonderful series..."
    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed this series - humorous and dark at the same time. Quirky characters that you can't help but become friends with.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Armstrong – was your favorite?

    Mystery Man himself was a delight - I wish that there were more than just the three books in the series.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me laugh out loud at times... which could be a bit akward as I walked to and from work. I must have made many passersby wonder just what I was up to!


    Any additional comments?

    If you haven't tried this series - do so! You won't be disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlie la canada, CA, United States 03-06-11
    charlie la canada, CA, United States 03-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    61
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "At least one grunt or groan per page"

    There is at least one grunt or groan per page as the Mystery bookstore owner turned PI in this clever novel jabs you with tight-lipped one liners, followed by roundhouse silly/fun shaggy dogs. This book is loads of fun and the narrator is perfect for it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 03-01-11
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 03-01-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    479
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    166
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    101
    2
    Overall
    "quirky, in a very good way"

    This was a great book, quirky in every pleasant respect. Great writing and a great story with a wonderful, eccentric cast. Very highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sunil Kondapur, Hyderabad, India 08-18-12
    Sunil Kondapur, Hyderabad, India 08-18-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mediocre murder mystery"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Everyone would probably find large parts of it boring.


    What could Colin Bateman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Made the central character more appealing for one.


    Which character – as performed by Stephen Armstrong – was your favorite?

    None of them.


    What character would you cut from Mystery Man?

    The protagonist.


    Any additional comments?

    Basically rubbish. It is one of worst mystery books I have read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
Sort by:
  • Caroline
    ambleside, United Kingdom
    4/28/13
    Overall
    "Just get it"

    Don't bother reading anything else. Just listen to this book. It is the best credit you will spend.
    I said don't read anymore...why waste your time scrolling down when there is an " add to basket" button up there.
    Buy this book and you will already have your next 3 reads lined up. As soon as you finish you will want to read the other 3 mystery man books. Story, characters, narration are top rate. The laughs, sarcasm and general humour in this book are proper, laugh out loud. Buy and enjoy.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • S. Donohue
    Manchester, UK
    9/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dont know if I love him or hate him?"

    NEVER has a book confused me so much - I am not sure if I LOVE or HATE the main man! sometimes I am listening and laughing my head off others I am thinking what a *********
    i have told so many people about this book yet still find it hard to describe to anyone, its is both funny, sad, insightful, thrilling, twisting and clever - in short brilliant really. The main mystery man is both genius and idiot but it is one of the best things i have ever listened to, went straight on audible and got the next one! I am a really picky listener often only getting books that are either Dr Who, Terry Pratchett or something I have already read and want to listen to, this grabbed me in a sale and I am so glad I took a chance well worth a listen

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Oldham, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A thoroughly enjoyable romp!"
    What made the experience of listening to Mystery Man the most enjoyable?

    The narrator completely embodied the central character, which is vital for a first person narrative


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was well paced, started out with some anecdote style episodes before getting stuck into the more meaty central case. The foibles of the central character are released to the reader (listener) slowly enough for them to be revelatory.


    What does Stephen Armstrong bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Stephen Armstrong's accent is, of course, perfect. He expresses the required sarcasm and knowing asides wonderfully.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found myself laughing aloud on occasion and certainly smiling to myself on many occasions.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • c
    Houghton-Le-Spring, United Kingdom
    7/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amateur"
    What disappointed you about Mystery Man?

    The words used came from a 1930's novel. Which sergeant nowadays says to an inspector "time is of the essence" Read like a school essay which is a shame because the plot is good.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Good


    Would you be willing to try another one of Stephen Armstrong’s performances?

    No


    What character would you cut from Mystery Man?

    None, just get somebody else to write it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie Anne Casson
    Carces, France
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Light Hearted?"

    What a find this author is. This book was laugh out load funny in places. The story is very plausible and the reading was just right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • zari
    ilford, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "RIVETING"

    This book is a tome of intrigue, espionage, courage, incontestable and allergy ridden bravado. The laughter escaped from my lips before I was aware of it. The plot was emotionally charged that I found myself constantly listening. The writing was prolific with a twist of comedic elements that surprise the reader. I was enthralled by the story because it was told with a depth and a simplicity. I loved the reader's irish brogue. The conclusion is a twist worth waiting for. Magnificent indeed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Val
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Fresh, funny and fascinating"

    I loved the droll humour of this yarn with its mini-plots and twists and turns. The self-deprecating neurotic hero is one I hope we'll hear more of, and the reading was so good I kept forgetting that it wasn't a real person. If it has a fault, I think I'd have to say the denouement was a tad predictable, but all that led up to it was sheer enjoyment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sahm_ennis
    Ireland
    4/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "grew on me"
    Any additional comments?

    It took me a while to enjoy this book the humor in the first few chapters was a bit obvious (a man walked into a bar....) but as it progressed i found myself laughing out loud at the 'hero' in the story who is not in the least bit likable and never fails to reach new lows.
    well worth a read, it will cheer you up, not least because you will (hopefully) realise you don't know anyone quite so selfish and rude!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Valdas
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sooo slow paced..."
    Would you try another book written by Colin Bateman or narrated by Stephen Armstrong?

    Stephen Armstrong was super with his narration, however the story it self was so slow paced that I would think twice or five times before choosing another book by Colin Bateman.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot was so unexpected, that all the time you think that everything that goes around is just a peace of imagination.


    What three words best describe Stephen Armstrong’s performance?

    Full into dedication


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. P. S. Gale
    UK
    6/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    I gave up in the end as I found it too slow and boring. not recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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