#379 ~ The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris

The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris by Chris Ewan

Published by: Minotaur Books

Published on: September 2009

Page Count: 280

Genre: Mystery/Crime Fiction

My Reading Format: Audiobook provided to me by the publisher for consideration

Audiobook Published by: AudioGo

Narrator: Simon Vance

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 20 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook and audiobook

My Review

After publishing his memoir, we find Charlie Howard in Paris, teaching a Frenchman named Bruno how to break in to his own apartment. Charlie meets Bruno at an after-party following an impromptu book signing at a local Paris bookstore. Charlie would have rather been cozying up with Paige, a young American woman who set up the signing, but she is occupied with other males at the bar. Knowing it was a mistake to take 500 euros to teach this man the tricks of his trade, he accepts the job anyway. A mistake it was, and from there Charlie is soon on the run from the French police, the chief subject in a murder investigation. Charlie has more to worry about than just the police. Victoria, his long time agent and confidante, is determined to meet him in person. Charlie is going to have one come to Jesus moment after another if he doesn’t do some artfully dodging.

This second novel in the Good Thief’s Guide series gets off to a fun start with Charlie and Bruno breaking into the apartment, but overall, Charlie seems rather sad as Paris begins. He can’t seem to get any traction on his current novel and his arthritic fingers could very soon get in the way of his thieving livelihood. His humor has a morose edge and his relationship with Vic, a part of his life that keeps him centered, is strained. Simply because he doesn’t have the time to dwell on it, Charlie seems to perk up when his freedom is on the line. The adrenaline rush he gets from the chase and dangerous heists pushes him out of his fog. This gave a good deal of insight into his character.

While Charlie may have begun the novel more somber, The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris has many hilarious moments. The scene when Charlie and Vic come face to face was well worth the wait. The two clicked just as well in the same city as they did over the phone in The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam. There is also one scene in particular that brought tears to my eyes I was laughing so hard. When Charlie is in a real pickle, he describes it like no one else.

As befitting Charlie’s mood, Simon Vance’s narration is not as light-hearted as it was in the first book. You could hear the strain in Vic’s voice while she spoke on the phone with Charlie. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me any longer, but I was impressed with how well his narration picked up on and expressed the tone of the writing.

Listening to The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris made me glad that I started this series. Like the Maisie Dobbs and series, I find that I enjoy coming to a book already invested in the characters. This novel fleshed both Charlie and Vic out, giving them and their relationship more depth. While I love Charlie’s antics, I appreciate very much that he’s more than a good thief who makes some less than stellar decisions that lead him into peril. I look forward to further adventures in Las Vegas, Venice and beyond.

I’m posting this review today to participate in Jen at Devourer of Books‘ weekly Sound Bytes meme. If you have an audiobook review to post, why not participate with us?


  • At 2011.11.04 18:12, dogearedcopy said:

    I’ve really, really have GOT to get on board this Chris Ewan train!

    • At 2011.11.04 19:45, Jennifer said:

      I think you should! They are a lot of fun. It would be fun to have someone to talk about them with.

    • At 2011.11.04 19:31, Laurie C said:

      This series does sound good. I’ve only got one left in the Three Pines series by Louise Penny on audio, and a few left of Jack Reacher, and will need a new mystery series after that. I didn’t really like Maisie Dobbs all that much and didn’t go on to the second book, but I bet I would have liked it better as an audiobook.

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      • At 2011.11.04 19:47, Jennifer said:

        You didn’t care for Maisie Dobbs? What was it that you didn’t like? I’m very curious. As for The Good Thief series, I really hope you do pick it up when you’ve finished one of your other series. I highly recommend!

        • At 2011.11.06 08:26, Laurie C said:

          I wasn’t surprised by the ending of Maisie Dobbs, so that weakened the mystery aspect for me, but the characters and the time period just didn’t come to life for me, either. Maybe I should give the second book a try.
          I don’t mind guessing some of the plot of a mystery if it’s a good story. I’ve been thinking of going on with the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. The audio of the first book, Crocodile on the Sandbank (narrated by Barbara Rosenblat) was a lot of fun to listen to, even though I guessed some of the mystery before the end.

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          • At 2011.11.07 10:15, Literate Housewife said:

            I can see that. It wasn’t a surprise ending. I loved Maisie and her use of perception and intuition. Loved the time period as well.

      • At 2011.11.05 14:28, Aarti said:

        Like Laurie, I didn’t care for Maisie Dobbs, either. I only read the first book, but I just thought her manner of detection- by assuming the pose of someone else and then getting all sorts of insights into the person- was a little hard to believe. I love the period, though, and wish I enjoyed the books more.

        I do really enjoy mystery series in which the main characters evolve and grow and we get to know them better. I get very emotionally invested in those and feel so much more involved in the story.

        • At 2011.11.06 08:28, Laurie C said:

          Aarti, have you read Still Life, the first book in the Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series? The characters definitely evolve over the course of the books (seven, so far).

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          • At 2011.11.06 19:53, Aarti said:

            No, I haven’t- I’ll look into that, thanks Laurie!

          • At 2011.11.07 10:19, Literate Housewife said:

            What you didn’t like about Maisie Dobbs is one of the things I loved the most. Isn’t that funny? Although I don’t read a lot ir mysteries, Maisie’s means of intuiting circumstances makes her stand out. I hope you give The Good Thief’s Guide series a try. It’s so much fun.

          • At 2011.11.06 13:13, bookmagic said:

            I read the first in this series. I will definitely read this one also. I’m on a mystery kick!

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            • At 2011.11.07 10:24, Literate Housewife said:

              Wasn’t the first book fun? Did you read it in audio or print?

            • At 2011.11.08 16:44, Kailana said:

              Oh, sounds good!

              (Required, will not be published)

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