Aberystwyth S Celebrated Crimefighter Louie Knight Finds Himself At Sea Caught In A Web Of Intrigue Spanning The World From Patagonia Ato Aberystwyth He Sets Out On The Trail Of A Legendary Document Stolen Long Ago From Adolf Eichmann It Is Said To Contain A Revelation About The Ultimate Fate Of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid An entertaining and surreal romp through some local scenery. A lot of the same stuff that makes the first three so enjoyable subverting the conventions of the private eye novel while still taking advantage of them, the surreal alternative universe Aberystwyth setting, some lovely prose This one suffers a bit as did the last from a slightly misogynistic subtext and, overtly, a reliance on torture as a reasonable action for supposedly good people to take On top of that the story was blighted by a completely unbelievable romantic subplot and yet it still had a lot of the charm one expects from this series Not top form but not so much that I don t want to move on to the next one. The Aberystwyth books just get darker and darker, from laugh out loud comedy to the depths of tragedy in a few sentences.Malcolm Pryce is becoming a writer of depth and worth, and who d have thought that.The series is well worth reading. Edgar Allan Poe meets Phoenix Nightssays the cover blurb I say delightfully bonkers o This is the third book I ve read in this series its possibly my favourite The usual mix of the weird, wonderful rather wacky I particularly loved the home economics curriculum at the Sunday Schoolweaving fabrics from cobwebs, making soap from grit, anthracite perfume, penny hoarding, a hundred uses for stale bread, fifty simple one cauldron dishes making shoes out of slateGood fun but just don t ask me to explain what the hell went on. Well, You May Cry Tears of LaughterI enjoy noir tales, and every now and then it s fun to change things up with a humorous noir The problem is that a good, amusing noir is so hard to pull off It s an oil and water thing Good noir, to me, is dark and hopeless, and the endings are usually ironic, unjust, and crushingly grim That doesn t sound much like a recipe for an amusing romp Enter this book.Pryce pulls off the almost impossible task of producing a perfectly satisfying detective mystery noir, while also creating amusing characters, witty banter, a clever and ironic narrator, and memorable vivid set pieces It may be his judicious introduction of the absurd This isn t a straight detective novel with funny dialogue and it isn t a funny novel with a touch of mystery It is, rather, a restrained exploration of the absurd that comes with just enough deadpan delivery to sell the idea that it s a detective novel It also has a darker mood than Pryce s previous Aberystwyth books, and of the humor has an edge to it When one of the main characters is a taxidermied dog with a Mona Lisa smile, and at the end we learn the reason for that smile , you realize that we aren t really in Hammett Chandler territory But we also aren t in manic farce or comic country We are at some weird intersection of the two And I take special delight in this being set in Wales, which has made something of a specialty of hosting the weird intersections of things.So, alternately funny, touching, silly, deadpan, introspective, chilly, and warm, and loaded with great, short one off rants , this is a marvelously well written book that will satisfy even if you just breeze along appreciating some of Pryce s top drawer throwaway lines and observations Add appealing characters, and a silly but coherent plot, and you end up with a unique and quite satisfying treat. Unfortunately this doesn t come close to the glorious daftness of the first three Aberystwyth novels, and it feels as if the series has finally exhausted the number of new angles on the Welsh noir theme However, it s still laugh out loud funny, occasionally profound what would a Welsh Heaven look like Like Blaenau FFestiniog without the train and occasionally brilliant it s worth reading just for the two page rant on the impossibility of disposing of a dead body. I just love these books, they are well written, engaging and make life seem better who killed Santa 3.5 stars I liked this one and the lower rating for this one compared with the first books in the series is probably due to being a bit Aberystwythed out of it This is the 4th, i think in the series I have read without a real break from them However, i highly recommend this series to anyone who likes noir detective good books in general It is at once entertaining, well written and, best of all, funny The humor is rarely light hearted though, often bitingly sardonic actually But Pryce is so insightful that it doesn t get old.Great story, talented author, you can t go wrong It was good enough that I already obtained the next two in the series Hilarious fun Not read any noir before so as a Welsh woman this was a great intro Gripping stuff with as many twists as a bucket of lug worms.