The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom, a Mobile Library Mystery (book 1) (Harper, 2005), 352 pages
Israel Armstrong, of North London, has just arrived in the rural Northern Ireland community of Tumdrum to be the new librarian. Except the library has been closed, according to a notice on the door.
Mostly, I found this book to be a pretty OK comedy of errors. If you can think of a setback, a problem, a mishap, a roadblock, it quite possibly happens in this book. So very pathetic. And yet it’s funny. Sometimes when, at the beginning, everything that happens is bad, it makes a story irredeemable for me, but that wasn’t the case here.
As a mystery, it wasn’t all that great. Armstrong is bumbling. All the other characters basically don’t care about the outcome. And the ending felt anti-climactic to me, on several levels.
Still, it kept me laughing pretty much throughout, and it was a nice, light respite, which is why I picked it up. Plus: It’s about books, and several of the characters really care about books and reading. But somehow this wasn’t the draw for me it usually is.
I’ve read a couple places that the series improves as it goes along, so I might continue with this series.
About the author
Ian Sansom is from Essex; he’s written several books, including subsequent books in this Mobile Library Mysteries series.
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