Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared. Back in London, his literary agent, Victoria (who is naive enough to believe he actually looks like his jacket photo), tries to talk him through the plot problems in both his latest manuscript and in his real life - but Charlie soon finds himself caught up in a caper reminiscent of a Cary Grant movie, involving safe-deposit boxes, menacing characters, and a beautiful damsel in distress.
©2007 Chris Ewan (P)2011 AudioGo
I would listen again, and will someday. It is a fun novel, full of great characters, plot, atmosphere, and bad decisions by the main character-Charlie.
No need to think about this one-the fantastic "Burglar" books by Lawrence Block. Both books are about a gentleman burglar, both books have a faithful sidekick who knows their secret, both books have nasty cops, and finally and importantly-both books have the "I bet you all wonder why I summoned you all here moment"!
Simon Vance's narration is first rate. He brought a depth to this novel that reading alone could not have obtained.
I loved the moment when Charlie is hiding in the attic crawl space while a second burglar is trashing the apartment he has just finished lifting a valuable object from. Too funny!
If you enjoy a classic and lighthearted "who done it" you will like this book. I also recommend the novel to Block's "Burglar" fans who are suffering from withdrawals.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
A bit too easy to guess before the end. But solid enough writing and good story telling. Got me through a day of gardening.
in the middle to the top. 7 out of 10
not on the edge of my seat, but intrigued to a point that I was looking forward to the next time I could listen to it.
the voices and characters are great - wonderful preformance
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
Just okay, I don't see myself following this series. Very little to hold my attention it was a little too predictable. I enjoy cozies and this is a cozy type, not my cup of tea.
Simon Vance is great as usual and may be the only thing that kept it interesting.
No. It seemed rather trite to me.
Not! We need interesting TV
I could see how some may think this book is interesting, but I found I couldn't wait for it to be over. I didn't ask for my credit back though, so it did have some merit.
Would listen again just to catch the clues along the way
interplay with characters made for great read
The main character is a clever idea, a mystery writer who actually is himself a thief. I liked his personality and his attempts to work out his novel's plot. But in some ways he was awfully dense in solving the mystery of this story. And the plot became pretty unlikely. At one point the hero just happens to be at a particular spot to recognize a clue. It was also a bit more violent than I like, I think more than was necessary. The narrator was very good and kept me interested, but overall this was nothing special and I probably won't continue with the series
First, as always, is the story. In this case, the author wrote one of the most creative mysteries I've ever read, with an engaging "detective" character unlike no other. In addition to the very creative premise are great characters and a wonderful sense of humor. And then, there is the narrator. Simon Vance was amazing: funny, erudite, and utterly charming. Every character was unique and believable, almost as if the book were voiced by a complete cast. Vance has won many awards for his voice work, and if this is any indication, they were very well deserved.
Completely unique and completely charming. Plus, the international setting gave it great interest.
I'm now planning to read everything by this author and well as look into other recordings by exceptional Simon Vance.
Retired tech writer/editor. Mensa. Pgh Steelers/ Penguins fan. Lib Dem/feminist. Grew up reading lit--M.A. English--now read mys/thrillers.
No, not another book in this series by this author.
This thief was ridiculously cool under pressure. Totally unruffled when arrested by police for murder & grilled. Totally unruffled when hit w/baseball bat & kidnapped & wakes up tied to chair. Not only not afraid but emotional vacuum. The denouement was unbelievable to me because POLICE allowed themselves to be summoned by a (former) murder suspect and KIDNAPPERS came to such a meeting with police present (and their illicit deeds were discussed). I also doubt some others there would attend. And everybody sits around in a circle while the Thief of Amsterdam holds forth on his theory of the murder?! I don't think even the prestigious Sherlock Holmes could have managed to round up this diverse crew for such a denouement.
Smooth. Polished. Calm.
Can't say I think it was.
The story was humdrum from start to finish. Simon Vance is almost a delight, but although he is rumored to be able to make a phone book engaging, he couldn't save this book.
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