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Exit Stage Left (Kempston Hardwick Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Adam Croft
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.95
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Book Description

Charlie Sparks brought a whole new meaning to dying on stage...

Charlie Sparks had it all. A former primetime television personality, his outdated style has seen him relegated to the scrapheap.

When he collapses and dies during a stand-up routine at a local pub, mysterious bystander Kempston Hardwick is compelled to investigate his suspicious death.

As Hardwick begins to unravel the mystery, he quickly comes to realise that Charlie Sparks's death throws up more peculiar questions than answers.

The first Kempston Hardwick mystery

Exit Stage Left has been adapted as a radio play, starring Robert Daws (The Royal, Jeeves & Wooster, Outside Edge), Emily Atack (The Inbetweeners) and Ted Robbins (Phoenix Nights, Little Britain).

"Adam Croft is one of the best new writers in Britain." - Stephen Leather

Product Description

About the Author

Adam Croft is the three-times best-selling author of the Knight & Culverhouse crime thrillers and the Kempston Hardwick mysteries.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 167 KB
  • Print Length: 126 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Circlehouse; 1 edition (12 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006LN8FYS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,978 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Adam Croft is a British author, principally of crime fiction, best known for the Kempston Hardwick mysteries and Knight & Culverhouse thrillers.

His work has won him critical acclaim as well as three Amazon bestsellers, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

His books have been bought and enjoyed all over the world, and have topped a number of booksellers' sales charts. Adam is also a regular contributor to BBC radio discussions on broadcasting and mental health issues and has been a columnist for the Huffington Post.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ok 1 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought it for free and it is kind of sherlock holmes in modern time but low cost one.
I can't say i've enjoyed the reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic mystery! 17 Feb. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A story that will keep you guessing. An easily accessible read that makes for an involving story as you watch the mystery unfold. The two main characters are very likeable and will quickly feel like friends that you have known for years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea for a story 29 Sept. 2013
By Chester
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Quite a good idea for a story, and the concept of the detective duo is interesting. However, the author seems to be trying too hard to find alternative words at times, and this gets in the way of the reader's involvement.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Review 13 Feb. 2015
By Scot
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My advice is never read comments made by other people before judging something for yourself. I started reading this book and then for some reason I read some of the comments which were a little off putting. Some comments compare the main characters to "Holmes and Watson" which I believe the author did not intentionally set out to replicate. All in all a good story which was easily read in just a day. Also should not have any complaints when you are getting something for nothing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good short read 10 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good short read - easily read in a night or two.
Seems rather predictable but has a very clever twist.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very poor parody 18 Sept. 2013
By Perkins
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a relief to find that other reviewers shared my opinion that this book was a very poor parody of the Holmes & Watson style detective stories because seeing all the 4 and 5 star comments made me think I'd missed something. I now know I hadn't and as others have already picked up on the worst examples of the poor grammar, bad analogies and weird vocabulary, there's little more for me to add on that score. In fact, alongside all of that, the main problem I had with this book was that I struggled to understand the period in which it was supposed to be set. Having stated that it was written in 2011, some of the references just didn't make sense. For example, early on in the story, the characters use both the Internet and a mobile phone whilst at the same time, we have two references to Bakelite phones. The murder victim is a washed up comedian who, we are led to believe, was a huge TV star in his day. Bearing in mind the superstar status of today's stand-up comedians, our victim is much more likely to have been on TV in the 1970/80s at the latest and as one of the "Bakelite" phones is in a public call box taking 20 pence coins, the timeframe seems to be set in this period. The "celebrity" references reinforce this with mention of the Benny Hill Show on TV and the late Diana Dors as a pin up. As both of these stars died in the 1980s and the Internet did not come into public use until the 1990s, it's no wonder I began to get confused. Nor could I see someone born in the 1980s having a "pin-up" photo of Diana Dors on his desk. Marilyn Munro with all those iconic images currently in style, yes, Diana Dors, no! Just as puzzling for me was the reference to Hansel & Gretel houses in order to portray the English village setting. Read more ›
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleverly done 17 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read and enjoyed Adam Croft's Knight & Culverhouse books - Too Close For Comfort (Knight & Culverhouse) and Guilty as Sin so was intrigued when I noticed Exit Stage Left with a different protagonist in the form of Kempston Hardwick.

We are initially introduced to Kempston in a pub, the Freemason's Arms, where he strikes up a conversation with Ellis Flint. Charlie Sparks, a has been celebrity who at the height of his fame performed at Royal Variety performances, is scheduled to do a live show at the pub that evening.

Kempston is an amateur detective and an alliance is quickly formed with Flint as a sidekick as they become involved in investigating the sudden death of Sparks at the start of his performance.

This novella can comfortably be read in a couple of hours and I read it in an afternoon.

Adam Croft has an excellent writing style, which is becoming more and more refined with each publication - not that it was deficient, it's more his skills are being enhanced with every story!

It is certainly an easy read and it wasn't until I'd almost reached the end - 93 per cent through the story to be exact! - that I had a light bulb moment and worked out exactly how the murder had been committed.

A very clever piece of writing!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Could imagine this as a comedy murder for TV.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable
Not a page turner...not a lot of depth to it.
Published 3 months ago by Leeds Loiners
1.0 out of 5 stars not what other reviews implied
Rather than give a poor review I usually give no review but as I had downloaded this because of the positive reviews I need to redress the balance. Read more
Published 5 months ago by s
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 7 months ago by Clive Westfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I don't read many books, I don't get much time to read and it takes me forever to read them when I do! This was the first of Adam's that I downloaded, I loved it! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Lisa Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Private Detective Hardwick is one step in front of the Law!
A new crime series for Adam Croft as his detective Kempston Hardwick unravels the mysterious murder. It is a darn good yarn written like an 'up to date' version of Agatha Christie. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Diana Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
Good short read. Read it in about 90 mins, will read more . Hope the next will be longer.enjoy all
Published 11 months ago by sue
5.0 out of 5 stars really enjoyable
2 hour read maximum
Good story
Likeable characters
Would be a good tv show
Recommend to anyone
Will read more
Published 15 months ago by MrsForbes
1.0 out of 5 stars Think I've reads something like this before......
The plot, although gripping (ish) flows well and for a short book paces itself fairly well. Where the book falls short for me is the feeling from start to finish that I'm reading a... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Steve Bourne
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really a pantomime!
From a doubtful start the story develops well but concludes too quickly and, in my opinion, coul dhave been expanded and drawn out through even more twist and turns than it already... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Keith Dibden
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