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Tattoo (Pepe Carvalho Mysteries) Paperback – 21 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (21 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846686679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686672
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Pepe Carvalho is a phlegmatic investigator. His greatest concern is with his stomach, but when not pursuing delicacies, he can unravel the most tangled of mysteries. (Sunday Times)

Montalbán is a writer who is caustic about the powerful and tender towards the oppressed. (TLS)

Montalbán does for Barcelona what Chandler did for Los Angeles - he exposes the criminal power relationships beneath the facade of democracy. (Guardian)

Montalban writes with authority and compassion - a Le Carré-like sorrow. (Publishers Weekly)

Tattoo is a breathlessly complusive page-turner. (Alex Donohue The Big Issue Wales 2008-08-26)

Sex, death and food in Barcelona? It has to be a winner. (N/A Spain magazine 2008-09-01)

[W]ell worth reading. (Susanna Yager Sunday Telegraph 2008-08-31)

[A] welcome first appearence in Englsih... Distinctive and abrasive, Tattoo is a good introduction to Montalbán if you haven't tried him before. (Andrew Taylor Spectator 2008-10-11)

[B]etter than most crime writers' best. (Marcel Berlins The Times 2008-10-18)

This is a well-trailed, nicely plotted murder mystery - with plenty of misdirected leads. (Gerald Kaufman The Scotsman 2009-01-17)

Those who prefer getting inside characters' heads to figuring out whodunit will enjoy this mystery in Montalbán's series featuring food-loving PI Pepe Carvalho (PW 2009-12-01)

About the Author

Manuel Vázquez Montalbán was born in Barcelona in 1939. He was a journalist, novelist and creator of Pepe Carvalho, a fast-living, gourmet private detective. Montalbán won both the Raymond Chandler Prize and the French Grand Prix of Detective Fiction for his thrillers, which are translated into all major languages. He died in October 2003.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm79 on 30 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
This seems to be the first Pepe Carvalho book but, as another reviewer has already said, it's not Montalban's best. The case is perhaps overly simplistic but it's a good introduction to the character and some of his foibles (gourmet cooking and using the contents of his bookshelves as fire starters), and Barcelona is evocatively captured. Overall, I'd recommend 'The Buenos Aires Quintet' (one book divided into five parts) as a better example of Pepe's adventures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit on 12 April 2010
Format: Paperback
An entry in a popular series about Pepe Carvalho, an unusual character who is a private investigator and a gourmet based in Barcelona, this novel was published many years ago in Europe and more recently translated with grace a couple of years ago. The publisher is to be congratulated in reprinting and releasing "Tattoo" and another, "The Man of My Life" (review to follow shortly), in February, among others in this series. Pepe is a charming rascal, with an intriguing background, having had an apparently successful career before he walked away from the CIA to undertake his more or less relaxed profession in his native Spain.

Pepe is retained for a hefty sum by the husband of a local hairdresser to identify a body pulled out of the sea with a face so badly destroyed that the only identification is a tattoo on the back reading "Born to Raise Hell in Hell." Barcelona police attribute the death to local prostitutes and drug dealers and sweep up these elements off the street. Pepe's investigation leads him to Amsterdam, where the victim worked briefly and apparently was involved with a drug gang. But the mystery is not so simple.

The descriptions of Amsterdam, Pepe's appetite for good food, and observations about Barcelona are all interesting, as is Pepe's sex life and relations with Charo, his long-time love [who happens to be a full-time prostitute with a high-class clientele], among others.

Sadly, Montalban died in October of 2003, but we are fortunate that he left such worthy works behind.

Recommended
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Nutt on 4 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
By no means his best novel but nevertheless a thrilling travelogue from Barcelona to Amsterdam.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Pepe Carvalho so for me it is another of Montalban's great novels. I very much like how Spanish detectives or secret spies are anti heroes rather than heroes (unlike in other countries). Pepe Carvalho is human, he makes mistakes and his girlfriend is a prostitute. This kind of books destroy the usual stereotype of the common detective made in Hollywood or completely exaggerated. I recommend it to anybody who wants to have fun.
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By rosslyn glassman on 25 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fascinating Spanish Noir mystery
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