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A Not So Perfect Crime (The Borja and Eduard Barcelona Series)
 
 

A Not So Perfect Crime (The Borja and Eduard Barcelona Series) [Kindle Edition]

Teresa Solana , Peter Bush
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Review

'Scathing satire of Spanish society, hilarious dialogue, all beautifully dressed up as a crime novel"'--Krimi-Couch"'A first novel that's spread like wildfire by word of mouth.'--El Avui 'Teresa Solana is great proof of the vitality of the roman noir in Catalan... A wonderfully ironic hymn to the city of Barcelona.'--Diari de Balears

Product Description

A prominent politician's wife is suspected of infidelity. The case for our twin private investigators becomes nasty when she is found poisoned. A satire of Catalan politics and life and habits of Barcelona's inhabitants, diurnal and nocturnal.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 399 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press; Tra edition (1 Mar 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QO9GB0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #268,157 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Winning Barcelona Caper 11 Dec 2008
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Any crime writer seeking to use Barcelona as a setting must contend with the extremely long shadow cast by the godfather of Spanish crime, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, whose 16-book "Pepe Carvalho" series, which is also set there. Fortunately, Solana manages to make the city sing in the service of her odd couple detecting duo. Eduard and Borja are the middle-aged co-directors of a slightly shady firm of "fixers" consisting of themselves, a fictional secretary represented by an artfully draped shawl and timely spritzes of perfume, and a small entry room with a fancy faux door to their perpetually "under construction" main office.

Their off-the-books quasi detective agency runs on an artfully cultivated reputation for total discretion, which allows them to float into the upper reaches of society while not having to do anything actually illegal. In this debut, the two are asked by a prominent politician to investigate how his wife came to pose for a painting he knew nothing about (the subtext being a question about her marital fidelity). For a while, this allows Eduard and Borja to drive around Barcelona in a borrowed Smart car, trailing her to a succession of upscale shops, fancy cafes, and hairdressers. However, when she turns up poisoned, they suddenly realize that they've landed themselves in something rather more serious than they expected (or are really prepared to deal with).

Meanwhile, there's a nice domestic backdrop to all this, as we meet Eduard's wife and children, and Borja attempts to escape the romantic attentions of Eduard's sister-in-law. Eduard is the prototypical Watson, narrating the story in the wake of his more flamboyant and risk-taking partner, living a stable family life while Eduard lives in an apartment provided by his married girlfriend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging satire of Barcelona high society 27 Jan 2011
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I highly recommend this engaging, readable book. The story concerns a couple of brothers (twins), Eduard and Pep. Eduard lives a "normal" life in Barcelona with his wife and three children; Pep, who previously disappeared for a long period, has reinvented himself as "Borja", an impoverished aristocrat, and does not let Eduard tell anyone, even his wife, that the two are brothers. Borja's name is not his only invention; he also owns a business that does nothing but has an opulent front. Eduard used to work in a bank but now "works" with his brother as his partner - they do small tasks for the rich of Barcelona, such as quietly selling assets on behalf of their owners. There's a lot of back story in the first half of the book about the two brothers and their rather tragic boyhood, and about the social scene among the upper echelons of Catalan society. I loved reading all this, but if you like books that jump right into a fast-moving plot, be warned that the jewels in this novel (and there are many) are not of that variety.

The plot-proper concerns a request to the brothers by a leading politician, Lluis Font. Font has discovered a portrait of his wife in an art catalogue. He has purchased the picture concerned, but wants the brothers to find out if there are any more of them, and if so to discreetly stop them becoming public knowledge, as this would cause a scandal and upset Font's chances at party leadership. Always a month away from financial disaster and with Christmas coming up, the brothers take the commission and the associated ready cash, and begin to follow the wife.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars light and fluffy 8 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
There are two elements to this book: the gentle satire and observation of the wealthier classes in Barcelona, their activities, politics and lives; and the crime thread, when a politician's wife is found poisoned, and two unconventional twin investigators are charged with solving the crime.
I found the crime story unconvincing. There was no real detecting involved. The two amiable investigators wandered about following and talking to and, luckily bumping into significant characters. And the final denouement of the murderer was weak and improbable, as was his careless method.
The description of the atmosphere and characters surrounding the narrator's family is warm and funny, as are other elements - such as the survey that finds that out of 500 Spaniards polled, 482 have never read Don Quixote, and the same number would never admit to that in public.
The part of Barcelona society dealt with is that part living mostly "North of the Diagonal," the Catalan, more well-heeled sectors of the city. There is nothing wrong with this choice of course, but as a portrait of Barcelona - which it doesn't set out to be, I acknowledge - the book leaves undescribed much of that vibrant city and its layers and atmosphere.
In spite of the modern setting, the murder-story seemed old fashioned to me in its lack of character depth and motivation, and it relied too much, as too many crime novels do, on lucky coincidences.
The translation is a curious mix of the up-to-date and out-of date idioms. There is the odd grammatical mistake too: "had broke" instead of "had broken", for example.
"A Not So Perfect Crime" is a light read, and entertaining, but more for learning a little about the social habits of the characters than for understanding about crime and punishment in that complex city.
If you like some darkness with your crime, this book is not really for you.
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