Donald-trump A Shot in the Dark A Constable Twitten Mystery 1:Donald-trump
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A Shot in the Dark A Constable Twitten Mystery 1:Donald-trump

Lynne Truss
Lynne Truss Published in October 20, 2018, 5:23 am
 A Shot in the Dark A Constable Twitten Mystery 1:Donald-trump

A Shot in the Dark A Constable Twitten Mystery 1:Donald-trump

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T. Deary
T. Deary Reply to on 7 July 2018
Writing a thriller that is both an enjoyable mystery and a black comedy is a skill few have mastered. The Ealing Comedy "The Ladykillers" managed it but there have been a lot of failures since then. Ms. Truss has achieved it wonderfully with a cast of eccentric characters, a satisfying plot and a lot of fun along the way. A triumph and I can't wait for the next Twitten mystery.
M. Sumner
M. Sumner Reply to on 19 July 2018
"Lumme!" A word right out of the 50s. I can hear my mum saying it, when she was rather surprised. Constable Twitten uses it too, in this romp through Brighton in the 50s. Remember Bob-a-Job week? Ha! My memories of being a cub and boy scout! Knickerbocker Glories? Vim (the cleaning variety)? cockles and mussels in vinegar, saucy postcards, reprehensible Max Miller jokes, Stick-ups (not hold-ups)? It's all here in this comical, witty crime fiction by Lynne Truss.

Brighton in 1957. Inspector Steine is senior bobby by the sea. No more crime here since the Middle Street massacre. A quiet life - no criminals, no crime, no stress. And then the ambitious new constable shows up to work and starts investigating a series of burglaries. How annoying then, when Constable Twitten is despatched to the Theatre Royal for the night and has to sit next to a nasty theatre critic who is promptly shot dead part way through the opening night of a new play.

A Shot in the Dark is great fun, it's lighthearted despite the fact that some crime investigation is recorded! If you remember the 50s you will love this. If you don't you will still enjoy this witty delight.
Amazon Customer
Amazon Customer Reply to on 13 August 2018
Does a good job of bringing 1950's Brighton to life. Characters and story very amusing. Can't wait for next book.
Micky J
Micky J Reply to on 19 August 2018
It was a real pleasure to read this book, dark humour and good story line. I wish I'd known about the radio series from which it originated and hope there are more to come in the series.
mr j w orrey
mr j w orrey Reply to on 11 August 2018
A terrific book, well plotted well paced and a comic gem. A delight to read and i look forward to more
flo Reply to on 31 August 2018
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, great fun.
Louise Catpaws
Louise Catpaws Reply to on 21 August 2018
I had not realised this was spin off from a radio 4 series. It was not the mystery I expected and it was not funny.
Pydar Reply to on 27 July 2018
I have always been a huge Lynne Truss fan, especially her brilliant Radio 4 series about Meridian Cliffs, so I jumped at the chance of getting this book. It reprises a previous Radio 4 serial about Inspector Steine and his colleagues in a lovely gently amusing story set in Brighton in the fifties. It makes you smile, while at the same time marvelling at the writing. It will leave you feeling amused and happy.
Julia Reply to on 5 July 2018
Now, I will preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Lynne Truss – both of her non-fiction works and of her Radio 4 series Inspector Steine. When I saw that the same characters were now available in book form, I was really keen to read.

There are many positives in this but, unfortunately (for me, and anyone else who has heard the series), there is a problem: A Shot in the Dark is largely a re-hash of some of the key points in the first series of the radio show. Even more unfortunately, it seems to suffer in the translation to the page. Its pace to start with is pretty slow and Inspector Steine has mutated from the starring charming imbecile brought to life by the marvellous Michael Fenton Stevens on the radio to a less appealing and relatively minor character.

Ok, moan over – onto the positives! The pace picks up fairly quickly and there is a lot of fun to be had: there are some funny moments, Twitten is adorably irritating, Brunswick actually seems a more substantial character in the book and Mrs Groynes is always good value. The book itself is good and I do think that if I had never heard the radio version I would have enjoyed the reading of it more.

In summary, the storyline and revelations are great, it is amusing and well-written and, providing you don’t know what’s coming, cleverly plotted. Therefore, if the blurb appeals to you, give the book a go and I really hope you enjoy it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the ARC of A Shot in the Dark.
MRS V L HALL Reply to on 4 August 2018
Although I read the odd cosy crime novel and enjoy the comical capers of Charles Paris on BBC Radio 4, I had never heard of Lynne Truss’s Inspector Steine and Constable Twitten series set in 1950’s Brighton. This book came recommended to me by a fond listener and was described as “witty” and “storytelling genius” and whilst A Shot In The Dark had its moments, hitting the spot with its sharp observation on occasions, a painfully slow pace and jaunty narrative proved a little too gentle for my taste. Laden with memorable turns of phrase and a vividly drawn cast, albeit of stereotypes, I was expecting a less farcical tale with a more substantial plot content. Whilst I quite enjoyed the first-half and the humorous course to uncovering one of the two mysteries involved, my appetite was for a more succinct novel and sadly A Shot in the Dark outstayed its welcome by well over one hundred pages!

The novel opens with recounting the events of the legendary Middle Street Massacre that took place in the seaside town of Brighton in June 1951 and established the impressive reputation of the newly posted Inspector Geoffrey Steine (pronounced Steen). Under the misnomer that this unprecedented gang warfare that left forty-five dead and no witnesses eradicated crime in the town, Steine has rested on his laurels doing precious little detective work, dining out on his status and simply presuming that the town is a crime free zone. In fact his well-timed arrival at the Middle Street Massacre owed more to a fortuitous trip to an ice cream parlour and is just one example of his lack of policing acumen and foresight. Now 1957, Steine already has enough on his plate what with dulling the enthusiasm of Sergeant Brunswick who longs to go undercover before the arrival of the far too eager twenty-two-year-old Constable Peregrine Twitten. Managing to rub all of his superiors up the wrong way with his rather irritating smart aleck persona, Twittern has been moved from station to station and so jumps at the chance to work for the esteemed Inspector Steine. Content with his weekly radio broadcasts and a decidedly hands-off approach to policing, Steine however is more at home with the cakes, biscuits and wittering charlady, Mrs Groynes, than front-line policing!

With Constable Twitten’s arrival coinciding with a spate of domestic burglaries in the town all with marked similarities the new recruit is quick to cease the initiative and reinvigorate Brunswick. The simultaneous descent of a vicious newspaper theatre critic, A.S. Crystal, for the opening night of a new play at the Theatre Royal famously unsatisfied with Steine’s lack of investigation into the Aldersgate Stick-up robbery that led to his nervous breakdown nearly a decade earlier threatens to spoil Steine’s easy life in Brighton. Keen to revisit the events and offer his insights, a complimentary ticket to accompany the odious and malodorous Crystal to the main event seems the ideal way to offload a pestering nuisance (Crystal) and occupy a pesky Twitten. With Crystal forthright on his opinions of enfant terrible and decidedly angry Northern playwright, Jack Braithwaite, his panning of ‘A Shilling in the Meter’ is a foregone conclusion. When Crystal is shot midway through the play prior to the publication of his theatre review with Constable Twittern a witness there appears no shortage of suspects from the current playwright to those whose stage careers he has ended with his savaging. But when an interrupted break-in leaves the prime suspect dead the deductive powers and tenacity of young Twittern spring into action and are given a run for their money..

The first half focuses on the identity of the burglar and their modus operandi and a well-conceived plot is presented as a entertaining series of consecutive bungling discoveries. Although the culprit and circumstances are apparent from the off, I was pleasantly entertained by this early part, but sadly I did find the humour wearing thin. As the second half gives way to the more elaborate origins of Crystal’s murder, the disappointingly pedestrian pace and further poking fun at the overdone led to my interest waning. The always witty narrative emphasises the comedy caper element but the longer it went on I quickly realised that it was all too absurd for my palate.

Future readers would be well-advised to have some idea of the pre-existing radio drama series and larger than life characters before reading because as much as I admired some particularly witty writing and Truss’s joke that ‘Brighton Rock’ by Graham Greene has a lot to answer for, I would have appreciated a little more mental stimulation.
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