Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Published on: August 17, 2010
Page Count: 304
My Reading Format: Audiobook sent to me for consideration by the publisher
Audiobook Published by: AudioGo
Narrator: Simon Vance
Audiobook Length: 8 hours 9 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook
Audiobook Notes: The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas has been nominated for a 2013 Audie Award in the Mystery category. Good luck!
Charlie Howard is at it again and this time he is taking Victoria along with him. Both are in the United States and Vic is planning on returning home to England when Charlie takes matters into his own hands and schedules them on a flight to Las Vegas. In the heat of Vic’s anger at this deception Charlie bills the trip as an opportunity to relax and recuperate. It didn’t take long for Vic to discover that this really had more to do with Charlie hating to miss an opportunity to play poker with the big boys in Vegas while he’s in the US. It seems he’s recently started dabbling in online poker. This is but only the first on the many “Oh, Charlie…” moments in The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas. It doesn’t take Charlie and Vic long to get caught up in a deadly game not of their own making. You don’t really pick up a Charlie Howard novel and expect things to go smoothly, do you?
Vegas is the third installment in The Good Thief’s Guide series. What made reading this book even more fun this time around was the fact that I’ve been to Las Vegas several times. While I’ve never been involved in any high stakes gambling, pick pocketing, or breaking into hotel rooms, I know what the people who visit Vegas look like and basically how they act. I could smell the casinos when Charlie and Vic walked in. Rather to my regret I’ve had no stories that happened in Vegas and needed to stay in Vegas, so I was prepared to live vicariously through Charlie’s adventures in Sin City. While some of the familiar sites of the Strip were included, I enjoyed the casinos author Chris Ewan created for Charlie and Vic’s involvement with magician Josh Masters and their brush up against the Vegas elite. Although the Fifty-Fifty hotel and casino where Masters was a headliner was very nice, I thought the science fiction themed casino was fantastic.
Once again Simon Vance provides the narration for Charlie’s adventures. This book required him to stretch his use of American accents more than in any other previous audiobook I’ve listened to up until this point and he did so well. One of the things I love the most about Chris Ewan is the characters he creates. Not only is this book no exception, it contains my favorite examples. There are the twins with a fierce security guard who own and operate the Fifty-Fifty, two circus performers, and the producer who wants to create something more in Las Vegas. Each of these eccentric characters provided wonderful material for Vance to work with. Of all the voices he created for this book, the circus performers, a little person and a giant Croatian, and the producer were my favorites.
While Charlie Howard frequently underestimates a situation and overestimates the power of his own charm, to know him is to love him. I wouldn’t change him for the world. As Victoria has found, he makes life so much more interesting. This time she threw in a few surprises of her own. As I look forward to The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice and then to the soon to be published The Good Thief’s Guide to Berlin, I am so very glad that my “if Simon Vance narrates it, I’ll listen” philosophy has led me to Chris Ewan’s literary door. Audiobooks just keep on giving.
Not long after I posted this review, I heard from Matthew Burns from Audiobook Nerds about a video he posted the same day. The “preposticast” is about judging a book by its cover and it happens to feature The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas.” Matthew’s fiance picked the covers that were judged, so they took the panel by surprise. I really enjoyed the video, so if you’d like to hear more discussion about this audiobook’s cover, check it out.