THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS by Ian Sansom

PUBLISHED: 17:25 11 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 May 2010

THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS by Ian Sansom

THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS by Ian Sansom

I got this book out on the recommendation of a daily newspaper and opened it with excitement. There is nothing better for a whodunnit fan than finding a rich new seam to mine. Israel Armstrong, an unlikely Jewish librarian in Northern Ireland, sounded ju

I got this book out on the recommendation of a daily newspaper and opened it with excitement.

There is nothing better for a whodunnit fan than finding a rich new seam to mine. Israel Armstrong, an unlikely Jewish librarian in Northern Ireland, sounded just right.

What I hadn't catered for, and should have done thanks to that brief description, is that Sansom is aiming more at humour than characterisation. That would be fine but it didn't hit my funny bone.

If you like the Malcolm Pryce Aberystwyth detective books, I think you'll rate Israel. He's endearingly inept, and the premise of the book is charmingly surreal - villagers have hidden their mobile library to stop the council axing it and then they end up selling it back to them. Israel is appointed as the new mobile librarian only to discover that the books have vanished. Just think comedy not conundrum.

Thanks to Waterstones of Hitchin

2/5


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