cover image The Manual of Detection

The Manual of Detection

Jedediah Berry, , read by Pete Larkin. . HighBridge, $34.95 (555pp) ISBN 978-1-59887-870-7

Berry's debut novel stars Charles Unwin, a clerk for the famous detective Travis Sivart, whose own promotion to detective is followed by a series of bewildering events. Sivart goes missing, the supervisor of the detectives turns up dead and Unwin is left to solve the many mysteries. Pete Larkin is perfectly suited for this whimsical, Kafkaesque noir; his smooth and sympathetic narration makes the bizarre twists perfectly logical and sensible. He also provides homage to the hard-boiled staples: the seasoned detective, the naïve but clever clerk, the eager assistant, the brutish thugs, the sinister mastermind and the femme fatale. The strength of the story and the talent of the reader mesh beautifully. A Penguin Press hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 8). (Feb.)