Mystery Man by Colin Bateman

Mystery Man

Colin Bateman

This book is hilarious, I loved it. Take a hypochondriac book dealer with OCD and combine him with Miss Marple and what do you get? The manic owner of a mystery bookshop in Belfast, next door to a missing private detective, who finds that cases keep walking in on him. So does his new girlfriend, with adventures he is too timid to enjoy. And if you are a vintage film freak, watch out for the last line.


Just because I have not travelled, it does not mean that I am unworldly. My books have educated me about this planet of ours, and fine writing has shown me places richer in colour and sound than any complicated train journey or intrepid adventure on the back of a yak could. You do not have to listen to jazz to appreciate it. I could talk for months about the mercurial talents of Dizzy Gillespie, yet I wouldn’t recognise a note of his if it came at me unexpectedly in an elevator. Similarly, I have read enough about Chinese Culture – The Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer was the first of many novels featuring that master criminal that I devoured in my childhood – to understand that the elusive May had fled from the arms of her lover not to some mysterious retreat, but into the bosom of her people. And I don’t mean China itself. That vast overpopulated country would be as foreign to her, born and bred in Belfast, as the freezing South Atlantic would be to a trained circus seal. While they were catching fish and frolicking on ice floes, she would be clapping her flippers together and balancing a beach ball on her nose.

  • The Sign of the Book by John Dunning
  • Jumping to Conclusions by Christina Jones

Books with similar mood

Standing in the Rainbow

Fannie Flagg

I Don't Know How She Does It

Alison Pearson

A Boy Made of Blocks

Keith Stuart

Butterflies in November

Auour Ava Olafsdottir

When God was a Rabbit

Sarah Winman

The Swansong of Wilbur McCrum

Bronia Kita

Dancing With the Two-headed Tigress

Tina Biswas

The Zoya Factor

Anuja Chauhan

White Powder, Green Light

James Hawes

Who Will Love Polly Odlum?

Anne Marie Forrest

Ralph's Party

Lisa Jewell

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman

Eve Harris

The Rosie Project

Graeme Simsion

Happiness is Possible

Oleg Zaionchkovsky

The Light of Amsterdam

David Park

A Week In December

Sebastian Faulks

The Ivy Chronicles

Karen Quinn

Brick Lane

Monica Ali

This is Your Life

John O'Farrell

A Civil Campaign

Lois McMaster Bujold

Serious Men

Manu Joseph

Black Orchids

Gillian Slovo

Behaving like adults

Anna Maxted

Spencer's List

Lissa Evans

The Idea of Perfection

Kate Grenville

Baking Cakes in Kigali

Gaile Parkin

Unexpected Lessons in Love

Bernadine Bishop

The Universe Versus Alex Woods

Gavin Extence

His 'n' Hers

Mike Gayle

Ten Steps to Happiness

Daisy Waugh

Just Friends

Robyn Sisman


Katherine McMahon

Something for the Weekend

Pauline Mclynn

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo

Julia Stuart

The Elephant Keeper's Children

Peter Hoeg

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Maria Semple

Jammy Dodger

Kevin Smith

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Helen Simonson

Life According to Lubka

Laurie Graham

The Making of Henry

Howard Jacobson

The Mobile Library: the Case of the Missing Books

Ian Sansom

The Understudy

David Nicholls

The One to Watch

Shane Watson

Mr Golightly's Holiday

Salley Vickers

The Ambitious Stepmother

Fidelis Morgan

Playing James

Sarah Mason

The Wrong Boy

Willy Russell

What About Me?

Kate Figes