Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mystery Man

Author: Bateman... Colin Bateman Publication Date: 2009 Category: Mystery, humour etc etc etc Who'll want to read it? People who need a good laugh Point of no return: Having read the follow-up (The Day of the Jack Russell) a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't wait to go back and read this. I tried to wait a couple of months to have some distance, but reading Colin Bateman is like eating chocolate - if there is one around, you can't resist it. Which is how I ended up reading the follow-up first. Classic line: "It was serial killer week in No Alibis, and thus far the Chianti was proving way more popular than the fava beans." pg 23 "I have made a lifelong study of crime fiction. I have read all of the great works, and most of the middling ones, and many of the minor ones, and a lot of trash besides. There is virtually nothing about the solving of fictional crimes that I do not know, and what are fictional crimes but factual crimes with hats on?" pg 376 What's it all about? "Mystery Man" runs a crime fiction bookshop in Belfast called No Alibis. He is a massive hypochondriac with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or possibly, an obsessive-compulsive with massive hypochondria. Yet he somehow manages to attract the attentions of the very pretty young lady working in the jewellery shop across the road. He inadvertently becomes a Private Eye which leads on to all sorts of dangerous, yet frequently hilarious consequences for himself and his new side-kick Alison. I really loved this book and would have to say it is my new favourite Bateman book. It seems to be part tribute to crime fiction and part spoof. Everyone should enjoy the Agatha Christie style denouement towards the end. All in all it was a fabulous read and one I really couldn't put down no matter how tired I was - it landed on my face as I fell asleep many times. Publisher: Headline Publishing Group

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