The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan

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The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan

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Buy The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley
Reviewed by Madeline Wheatley
Summary: The fourth humorous crime caper featuring talented thief (by night) and writer (by day) Charlie Howard which finds him going straight in Venice. Needless to say that doesn't last long when Charlie himself becomes the victim of a robbery.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: April 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847399595

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I'd never met a female burglar before, let alone one with the credentials to model lingerie, and I confess that I was more than a little intrigued. So says Charlie Howard before he realises that the lady in question has stolen his most prized possession. A talisman that he thinks is essential to his writing is the framed first edition of The Maltese Falcon that hangs above his desk. All his mysterious visitor leaves in this spot is empty space. The explosive and chaotic events that follow are fuelled by Charlie's determination to get his book back.

Charlie is drawn back into the criminal underworld, and finds that more than his book is at stake. His life and that of his literary agent and friend Victoria are endangered. Victoria remains surprisingly cheerful as the two lurch from one catastrophe to another. Why? Because she thinks that going straight has affected Charlie's writing for the worse, so from her point of view a return to criminal form can only improve matters. She pitches in to help, supplementing Charlie's burglary kit with an arsenal of devious devices that would be the envy of James Bond's supplier Q.

The relationship between Charlie and Victoria has always been platonic, but events in this story begin to nudge them in another direction. This rather horrifies Charlie and sadly he really is hopeless at reading the feminine mind. Still, it's all good fun for the reader, and you are left wanting to know what will happen to these two next.

The humour in the book is more wry smile than belly laugh, but The Good Thief's Guide to Venice is a good light holiday read, funny and exciting in equal measure. Charlie considers himself to be a gentleman thief but he is no Raffles. He has no friends in high places, regularly gets things wrong, favours seat of the pants planning and has a touch of the innocent abroad about him for all his skills at burglary. You don't need to read the four books Ewan has written about him in sequence, but if you enjoy this one you may well want to backtrack to the others.

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion:

For a different take on Italian crime try an Aurelio Zen mystery also set in Venice: Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin.

Buy The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Good Thief's Guide to Venice by Chris Ewan at Amazon.com.

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