“THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VENICE,” by Chris Ewan, Minotaur Books, $24.99, 385 pages (f)
“The Good Thief’s Guide To Venice” is a sparkling, engaging, and mysterious piece of fiction. The books descriptions, witty humor, and likable characters will entrance any reader.
The fourth in the “Good Thief” series, this book follows Charlie Howard and his adventures in the irresistible city of Venice. Charlie, who is a part-time mystery writer and part-time thief, moved to Venice vowing to give up his life of crime.
Soon enough, a female burglar steals Charlie’s rare edition of the book "The Maltese Falcon." This is problematic for Charlie because the book was his good-luck charm for writing successful novels.
To make matters worse, Charlie’s literary agent shows up on his doorstep and expresses dislike over Charlie’s new manuscript. The absence of his beloved book and his agent’s criticism causes Charlie to feel like his writing career is doomed.
Shortly thereafter, the burglar makes contact with Charlie and gives him the opportunity to get his book back. There is a catch: Charlie must return to his life of crime. Thus the plot thickens and the stakes are raised as Charlie is hurled back into his former life of non-stop action and breathtaking risks.
Author Chris Ewan is a mystery writer who gives Agatha Christy a run for her money. Writing in the modern day gives the reader to relate to the scenes and moments in the book.
The laugh-out-loud moments are the most striking parts of the book. The playful banter between the characters is amusing and refreshing. The reader has the opportunity to get inside Charlie’s head while he is in the middle of a dangerous situation. As a result, the reader will develop a fondness for Charlie that will continue throughout the book.
Overall, the book is part of a popular new series. It certainly deserves a spot on the bookshelf — right next to Sherlock Holmes.
IF YOU GO ...
What: Chris Ewan book signing
When: Saturday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Shelby Scoffield is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a master's degree student at Stanislaus State University.