Synopses & Reviews
“[Israels] fish-out-of-water dilemmas and encounters with kooky locals will resonate with Alexander McCall Smith fans.” —Publishers Weekly
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 Israels fourth hilarious adventure as he tools around Ireland in a rattletrap bookmobile trying to solve the mystery of a missing teenage girl while trying to keep his mess of a personal life in order. Sansoms Mobile Library Mystery series has made a big splash with critics on both sides of “the Pond.” The New York Times Book Review loves their “formidable reserves of insight and humor,” while the London Times calls Israel “one of the most original and exciting amateur sleuths around.”
"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.)
“An endearing first novel...People cross paths, hook up, split up, say good-bye. Narrative unity derives less from the story than from the amiable persona of the narrator himself, in all his rambling, digressive warmth, and his mild insistence throughout Daily Telegraph (London)
“A humane, big-hearted and sometimes devastatingly funny book.” LA Weekly
“A clever, affectionate poke in the ribs…. Sansom...discovers an exceptionally lively world.” Kirkus Reviews
“A work of tender and bonhomous refraction. ...Sansom is emphatically unpretentious in his portrayal of the ordinary lives of ordinary folk, and his gentle humor buoys their humdrum lives…pleasing, amusing and honest.” New York Newsday
“[a] comic masterpiece” The Belfast Telegraph
“A wonderfully comic novel...Ian Sansom has an acute sense of the absurd, and does not allow sympathetic intimacy to stand in the way of some wicked barbs.” Daily Mail (London)
“…the dialogue is certainly amusing. Readers who enjoy send-ups of crime novels, talk-radio hosts, city pomposities and rural eccentricities will queue up for the series…” Kirkus Reviews
“[THE BOOK STOPS HERE] succeeds as a light farce . . . The books high point is the acerbic portrayal of the personalities making up the Mobile Library Steering Committee, but most every page will elicit a grin, if not a chuckle.” Publishers Weekly
“[Sansoms] fish-out-of-water dilemmas and encounters with kooky locals will resonate with Alexander McCall Smith fans” Publishers Weekly
" Israel's] fish-out-of-water dilemmas and encounters with kooky locals will resonate with Alexander McCall Smith fans." --Publishers Weekly
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 Israel's fourth hilarious adventure as he tools around Ireland in a rattletrap bookmobile trying to solve the mystery of a missing teenage girl while trying to keep his mess of a personal life in order. Sansom's Mobile Library Mystery series has made a big splash with critics on both sides of "the Pond." The New York Times Book Review
loves their "formidable reserves of insight and humor,"
while the London Times
calls Israel "one of the most original and exciting amateur sleuths around."
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 frequent contributor and critic for the UK publications The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, London Review of Books, and The Spectator, and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. He is the author of nine books, including Paper: An Elegy and the Mobile Library series.