Today’s book review of a comic crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan
Synopsis: During a brief trip to Vegas, Charlie Howard – mystery writer and professional thief – is nonplussed to find his agent, Victoria, being charmed by a stage illusionist at a high stakes roulette table. It doesn’t help that the illusionist, Josh Masters, has invited Victoria to his sell-out show, nor that he seems to be doing very well at roulette. Still, Charlie’s not one to hold a grudge, least of all when he could be holding Masters’ wallet. Breaking into the conjurer’s hotel room and making off with a pile of casino chips would seem to be adequate compensation. Matters are complicated however when Charlie discovers the trussed-up corpse of Masters’ beautiful assistant lying in the bath. When Masters disappears and Charlie is caught with his stolen haul of high denomination chips, his problems have only just begun. Ordered to reimburse the casino for every dollar Masters made off with, it seems to Charlie there’s only one way out: break into as many hotel rooms as he can, steal as much as he is able to, and just hope that Victoria can summon lady luck to the gaming table of her choice.
Review (of the audiobook)
I listened to the first half of this novel to / from last month’s Theakston’s Crime Festival at Harrogate, Yorkshire*, and the second half while walking my dog. *Chris was there – we’ve met a few times – and it was handy telling him I was reading his novel. He said how much he had enjoyed writing them… understandably – it was great fun to listen to). Hopefully he’ll do more but if not, I still have a few others to work through.
So, as you can gather this will largely be a positive review (and shorter than normal because of being unable to make notes in the car but the summary is here).
There are many brilliant phrases including a character ‘losing to a cliché’, another who ‘spoke in italics’ and ‘Oceans Two on a really tight budget’ and ‘I sighed again as if to bookend my reading experience’. I loved the contrast between the diminutive and mountainous criminals and enjoyed reacquainting myself with them later in the story.