The Case of the Missing Books by Iain Sansom
Book 1 in The Mobile Library ‘verse.
No. No, no, no, no, no. This was not what was supposed to happen
Israel Armstrong has left England, and a job in a discount bookshop, for a job as a librarian in Northern Ireland. Slightly overweight, Jewish and vegetarian, he really doesn’t seem to fit in. And lets not mention that the library job he was hired to fill doesn’t seem to exist any more as the library has been closed. Instead the council want him to run the mobile library. But there is problem there too; it seems that the stock of in and around fifteen thousand books has gone missing.
The plot of this book is that silly, but it is all good fun. And it is nice to read a book about Northern Ireland that doesn’t revolve around the Troubles.
The characters are all as strange as the plot. There is Ted, the Taxi-man who used to drive the mobile library before that service was suspended. Let us state now and for the record, that he didn’t steal that van, he simply hid it, before selling it back to the council when the decided to restart the mobile library. And then there is the fact that the barns seem to be decorated with religious slogans, and that Israel is living in a chicken coop.
A light, easy read, The Case of the Missing Books isn’t as funny as it wants to be, yet it is still very readable, and enjoyable.