Mystery Man

Narrated by: Stephen Armstrong
Series: Mystery Man, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
4 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Mystery Man

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline
  • 04-28-13

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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Donohue
  • 09-26-13

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

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TheZee
  • 04-13-13

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 07-08-13

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Valerie Anne Casson
  • 04-13-13

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pamela
  • 04-13-13

Dead on

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-28-20

Lots of surprises

That just in the Northern Irish humour. The big reveal is not a surprise but then that’s not really the point. Smart and cleaver it is.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bootneck
  • 08-16-20

Disappointed

Not sure if it was just my copy of this book but the audio track chapters do not correspond to the listed chapters in the audible app. Maybe a trivial point but I found it annoying after a while. It has not happened with any other books I've purchased. The story itself was mediocre. I was expecting more from Colin Bateman as I've read a number of his other titles.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • judi-2
  • 07-11-20

Ridiculous

Thought it would be amusing at first but it quickly became ridiculous. Unfunny, pointing terrible remarks & innuendos about the everyone, even the elderly. I couldn't even get half way through. Don't waste a credit, I had to return it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mowgli
  • 06-09-20

no mystery - simply funny

very entertaining with numerous laugh out loud moments, I read the book so i knew it was funny but Stephen Armstrong's audio performance is outstanding