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The Bad Book Affair (Mobile Library Book 4) [Paperback]

Ian Sansom
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 Jan 2010 Mobile Library Book 4

The Bad Book Affair features the magnificently hapless Israel Armstrong – the duffle-coat wearing, navel-gazing Jewish librarian who solves crimes, mysteries, and domestic problems whilst driving a mobile library around the north coast of Ireland.

In The Bad Book Affair Israel finds himself on the verge of his thirtieth birthday and on the trail of a troubled missing teenager, the daughter of a local politician.

Why has the young woman disappeared? Does it have something to do with Israel’s lending her A Clockwork Orange and Lady Chatterly’s Lover from the library’s special ‘Unshelved’ category? Will the young woman’s father run Israel out of town? How will Israel recover from his own break-up with his girlfriend, Gloria? And how exactly does a Jewish vegetarian celebrate his thirtieth birthday in Tumdrum? With a bacon scone?

And will Israel and his irascible companion Ted ever agree about anything?

Frequently Bought Together

The Bad Book Affair (Mobile Library Book 4) + The Delegates' Choice (The Mobile Library) + The Case of the Missing Books (The Mobile Library)
Price For All Three: 20.63

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (21 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007255934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007255931
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Essex, England, Ian Sansom is the author of the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is also a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Currently, he teaches at Warwick University.

Product Description


Praise for ‘The Delegate’s Choice’:

'This is Israel’s third outing and it is a pleasure to welcome him back – these are blissful British comedies for the thinking escapist.’ Kate Saunders, The Times

Praise for the ‘Case of the Missing Books’:

‘A mystery, a sustained piece of slapstick, a meditation and a yarn. And it is cripplingly funny.’ Independent

‘Sansom has struck a rich comic seam … it promises to be a very enjoyable series.’ Observer

‘A perfect antidote for melancholy.’ Guardian

Praise for ‘Mr Dixon Disappears’:

'Israel is one of the most original and amusing amateur sleuths around…’ The Times

'Bibliophiles will instinctively warm to Israel Armstrong, Jewish librarian, duffel-coat wearer and part-time detective. The fact that he drives his mobile library around the coast of Northern Ireland, moaning non-stop about people who do not return books on time, only makes the character more deliciously esoteric. This yarn about an ageing magician who has gone missing with £100,000 is the second in what promises to be a must-read series.' Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Ian Sansom writes for the ‘Guardian’ and the ‘London Review of Books’. His he is the author of six books including,‘The Case of the Missing Books’, ‘Mr Dixon Disappears’ and ‘The Delegates Choice’, the first three instalments of The Mobile Library series. He lives in Northern Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Bad Book' is a very good book 22 Aug 2013
By Noel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very entertaining, surprise read. I don't usually buy books which have good reviews for comedy, they can be disappointing. This was no disappointment. Israel Armstrong is the depressed, London-born Jewish, 29yrs and 11mnths + old, librarian in the Tumdrum mobile library. Not just any mobile library though but one based in the North Antrim coastal town of Tumdrum, so far off the beaten track it's not on the map. He takes on the task of searching for a Goth, a teenage girl who has gone missing from the town during the election campaign.

The comedy in this book is in the characters who people it, how they talk to each other and to Israel, It is not slapstick funny but more gently amusing and full of County Antrim/Northern Irish vernacular with which I am very familiar. The action was happening in places with which I am familiar and many of the characters ring very true, endearingly and embarrassingly true. I have met a lot just like them and smiled inwardly to myself and this book kept me smiling. It is not without sadness though, there are many individual sorrows and problems in Tumdrum. Israel has his own share of personal regrets but the vitality of the conversational writing lightens the dark moments.

There were a few bits of story and the dialogue which jarred with me a bit, didn't quite hit the right note. But that might be because I think I know the lingo better than I actually do. It did not spoil my enjoyment at all and congratulations to the author for carrying it off so well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD book 10 April 2013
By Suzy Q
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read other books in this series and this didn't disappoint. It is very funny and paints a very amusing picture of the north of the north of Ireland (or any small village anywhere). I particularly liked the hilarious description of people coming to the Library and asking for certain books. The plot is plausible and entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in a very nice series 13 Jan 2011
By IkeE
I've read two others in the series, which I've enjoyed a lot. I found this one to be the best of the bunch so far. Yes, the plot is 'mild' for a mystery (no murders, not much mayhem), and some of the situations or characters may initially seem a little far-fetched (the protagonist is a somewhat depressed, Jewish, vegetarian mobile-librarian who lives in a farm outbuilding, in the fictional town of Tumdrum, somewhere in the north of Northern Ireland). But the writing is very humane, and I found it to be genuinely, wryly funny (and at turns quite sad). It's a more earthy read than an Alexander McCall Smith, but it has a similar gentleness to it, and should appeal to fans of the latter. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining ... 27 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
... but rather slight. A girl goes missing, hopeless librarian solves the problem. Short and funny, good local Irish atmosphere, but not much tension, you could hardly call it a thriller.
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