While they may seem like literary mysteries, Ian Sansom’s Mobile Library series of novels are actually satirical comedies of manners disguised as detective books.
With the first episode, The Case of the Missing Books, Sansom’s main character Israel Armstrong arrives in Northern Ireland and discovers that the library where he was supposed to work has closed its doors, and his job as a librarian now requires him to ride around in a “Bibliobus” chauffered by a hot-tempered driver.
The series then continues with Mr. Dixon Disappears, in which a shop owner disappears and Israel, considered to be a “foreigner” and therefore “strange”, is the number one suspect. The third book, The Delegates’ Choice recounts the mysterious disappearance of Armstrong’s own van.
In the fourth and most recent book in the series, The Bad Book Affair, a young “goth” girl disappears and the story delves into deeper themes like religion, politics, censorship and the meaning of life. Because while Sansom will make you laugh, he’s an author to take seriously.
To purchase the book in English click here.
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