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The Bad Book Affair: A Mobile Library Mysteryby Ian Sansom
Synopses & Reviews
Author Ian Sansom “clearly loves a good laugh” (Washington Post), as his delightful mystery series featuring rumpled, fish-out-of-water, Jewish vegetarian librarian Israel Armstrong indisputably proves. The Bad Book Affair is
"In Sansom's satiric fourth mobile library mystery (after 2008's The Book Stops Here), Israel Armstrong, an English Jewish vegetarian mobile librarian and amateur sleuth, embarks on yet another bumblingly endearing case in Tumdrum, 'on the northernmost coast of the north of the north of Northern Ireland.' The day after Israel allows 14-year-old Lyndsay Morris to borrow a 'bad book' (i.e., Philip Roth's American Pastoral), Lyndsay, daughter of prominent Unionist candidate Maurice Morris, disappears. The coincidence is enough to make Israel suspect in the eyes of his boss, Linda Wei, a lesbian Chinese single mother, as well as the police and a nosy newspaper reporter. Never mind the thin plot and minimal detection. Sansom uses the nave Israel to poke fun at politics, religion, prejudice, and pretensions of all sorts. Readers will particularly enjoy the passages devoted to the efforts to keep books like American Pastoral out of the hands of the young and impressionable." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Israel Armstrong—the hapless duffle coat wearing, navel-gazing librarian who solves crimes and domestic problems whilst driving a mobile library around the north coast of Ireland—finds himself on the brink of thirty. But any celebration, planned or otherwise, must be put on hold when a troubled teenager—the daughter of a local politician—mysteriously vanishes. Israel suspects the girl's disappearance has something to do with his lending her American Pastoral from the library's special "Unshelved" category. Now he has to find the lost teen before he's run out of town—while he attempts to recover from his recent breakup with his girlfriend, Gloria, and tries to figure out where in Tumdrum a Jewish vegetarian might celebrate his thirtieth birthday.
About the Author
Ian Sansom is a regular contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books. He lives in Northern Ireland.
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