June 25, 2007
"The Case of the Missing Books" by Ian Sansom
Israel Armstrong is a young librarian from North London. He has landed his first permanent position as a librarian and moved to a small town in Northern Ireland to take up his post -- but things are not quite as he expected. The library has been closed and he is told he will provide service from an old, run down, rusty mobile library (i.e. bookmobile) and even worse than that, all of the library’s books (15,000 volumes) are missing – likely stolen. Trapped in a job he no longer wants (but is contractually required to keep), in a town where he doesn’t fit in (he can’t even find a decent cup of coffee, let alone an espresso), Israel must locate the missing books to be released from his contract. Israel is out of his element, doesn’t understand much of what the villagers say, and stumbles from clue to clue as he rather ineptly, but comically, searches for the missing books. As the weeks progress he repeatedly gets hurt (black eye, broken nose, etc.), his clothes catch on fire (so he is reduced to wearing a teenager’s t-shirts) and he lives on little more than potatoes (not a lot of culinary options for a Jewish vegetarian staying at a pig farmer’s house – living in the chicken coop). “The Case of the Missing Books” is the first in a new mystery series (A Mobile Library Mystery) by Ian Sansom. This gentle mystery full of interesting small town characters and culture clashes is likely the start to a charming new series.
Posted by jnardine at June 25, 2007 09:41 AM