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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime is no laughing matter
It looks like there is still plenty of life left in Bateman's Mystery Man series, so clearly the court injunction filed by the owner of the real No Alibis crime bookstore in Belfast must have failed - either that or he's got a good sense of humour. Which is good news for those who like dumb, stupid comedy writing that plays knowledgeably with the conventions of crime...
Published on 24 Sept. 2010 by Keris Nine

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3.0 out of 5 stars Average
Not what I was expecting. It had been highly recommended to me by an intellectual guy. I found it a little childish, but it was quote amusing.
Published 7 months ago by Richard Maule-ffinch


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime is no laughing matter, 24 Sept. 2010
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dr. Yes (Hardcover)
It looks like there is still plenty of life left in Bateman's Mystery Man series, so clearly the court injunction filed by the owner of the real No Alibis crime bookstore in Belfast must have failed - either that or he's got a good sense of humour. Which is good news for those who like dumb, stupid comedy writing that plays knowledgeably with the conventions of crime writing, while making fun of them at the same time. Respectfully of course, after all, crime is no laughing matter.

Here in Dr. Yes, our pathetic, snivelling, neurotic bookseller shows some signs of kindness and decency and even seems to develop a spine when he helps out an obscure but brilliant failed local crime author Augustine Wogan, and it's got nothing to do with the chance of getting signatures on those first editions of his out-of-print Barbed-Wire Love trilogy of books gathering dust in a cardboard box in the shop, nor the promise of being given the opportunity to print the unpublished sequels to his underrated masterwork.

With Augustine's wife missing after going under the knife of mysterious plastic surgeon Dr. Yeschenkov, The Case of the Pearl Necklace (don't ask) proves however to be a particularly dangerous one. Our bookseller isn't going to let a busty, beautiful femme fatale distract him from his duty, or let the fact that his temperamental girlfriend Alison is pregnant prevent him from confronting a dangerous hitman and serial killer who keeps his victims heads in a hatbox - or to be more precise, it's not going to prevent him from putting Alison forward to confront those dangerous situations.

Dr. Yes and the continuation of the Mystery Man series is living proof, or at least literary proof (if literary is not too strong a term for this kind of crime fiction), that you can never get too much sarcasm, bad taste humour and stale old jokes in that grand old Northern Ireland tradition of having a laugh at things when the going gets tough. (And you have to laugh really when you see what they have for politicians in Northern Ireland). Bateman is thoroughly steeped in that tradition and the humour here is brilliant and unforced, arising out of those familiar local character types. There's still more laughs to the page than the recommended EU limit, so make sure you read this before the politically correct mob ban it or No Alibis succeed in their court injunction.

Until then, Dr. Yes is available in all good crime book stores on Botanic Avenue in Belfast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes - Dr Yes, 21 July 2011
By 
M. Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
You don't need to have read Mystery Man and The Return of The Jack Russell, but it helps to know the complex character that is the owner of No Alibis book shop. Our intrepid hero sets off on another detective job with his assistant & Amnesty International member Jeff and his pregnant "not my" girlfriend Alison. It is a laugh a minute, some will have you laughing out loud. The case involves cosmetic surgeon Dr Yeschenkov,his receptionist Pearl Kneckless, Buddy Wailer who "thwacks" people, a dead failed crime writer and his missing presumed dead wife after her admittance to the Yeschenkov Clinic for cosmetic surgery. I cannot recommend this high enough if you are a Colin Bateman fan, however, if you are not and you buy this you soon will be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Yes, 15 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
The Bookseller With No Name (and still No Customers) has fuelled up the Mystery Machine and is once again ready to ride forth into the dark underbelly of Belfast and lay waste to any dangerous criminals who might be unfortunate enough to cross his path. As long as they're not too dangerous, of course. Or too fast; he does have a collapsed lung after all. And on that subject, it would be helpful if they were clean and well-groomed villains with a good sense of social decorum.

For those new to the series, Bateman's neurotic crime-fighting bookseller runs No Alibis bookshop on Belfast's Botanic Avenue (lawsuit from the real shop of that name [still] pending?). He loves the books but is rather less keen on the selling aspect and so channels his [extremely limited] energies into solving mysteries and remedying misadventures. There have been two novels in the series so far, Mystery Man and The Day of the Jack Russell, with another one apparently due out next year.

In Dr. Yes Belfast's favourite Consulting Bookseller is pitted against charismatic plastic surgeon Doctor Yeschenkov in `The Case of the Pearl Necklace' (and, before you ask, No Alibis does not keep a copy of the urban dictionary in stock). Of course our Man Behind the Counter doesn't bother himself with such frippery as striving for physical perfection, not when there are important considerations such as organising the Christmas Club (it is June after all) and dodging SOS phone calls from the Sunny Day nursing home (our Man's Mother may be out of sight, but she's still stubbornly refusing to be out of mind) to be dealt with anyway, and so it takes something a great deal more important than cosmetic interest to draw him into the case.

Our Bookseller might not like to exert himself, but even he couldn't ignore the sight of a distressed and dishevelled Augustine Wogan hurrying past the window of No Alibis and so, quicker than Jeff can invoke Amnesty International policy, he rushes after the man to see what the problem is. No doubt this laudable concern for his fellow man is heightened by the fact that Augustine Wogan is a reclusive yet respected crime writer whose [currently out of print and therefore rather valuable if signed copies could be made available] Barbed-Wire Love trilogy is much admired by crime aficionados. As any Bookseller worth his salt knows: just because a writer is unknown, it doesn't mean that he isn't a legend.

Wogan, it turns out, has bought a gun and was dashing off to murder Doctor Yeschenkov before he was interrupted with the promise of bourbons, companionship and a few autograph requests. Wogan's wife Arabella had checked herself into the Yeschenkov Clinic for his world-famous Million-Dollar Makeover and, after telephoning her husband to say that the surgery went well, promptly disappeared. While the official story is that Arabella had left Wogan and run away to Brazil, he believes that Dr. Yeschenkov has killed her. Keen to help one of his literary heroes, and even keener to have the chance of republishing the author's works, our Bookseller jumps [metaphorically of course] at the chance to help/exploit Wogan and is soon knee-deep in mayhem, make-up, thuggery and porn star names.

He might be appallingly self-centred and generally disagreeable and infuriated, but this Belfast Bookseller is one of my favourite crime fighters of the moment. Both his personality and his ailments are as bad as always in Dr. Yes, but impending fatherhood [although he is, admittedly, still awaiting DNA confirmation of his role in the affair] is at least giving him the occasional, very occasional, moment of sensible thought. The regular witticisms and dramatic flair are, however, still present and so his investigations are just as funny as in the previous two books. You also have to admire the way he is now selflessly willing to allow Jeff and Alison to take risks in investigations when his own preferred method of deduction is to sit in a dark room with a plentiful supply of Opal Fruits [never Starbursts] and think things out. Speaking of his [mostly] trusted sidekicks, both Jeff and Alison have large rolls to play in Dr. Yes. Jeff may have cooled off on the poetry front, but a night-time visit to a popular Belfast towpath in search of a missing photographer gives him plenty to occupy his mind. As for Alison, she still has the patience of a saint and the mouth of Colin Farrell and is determined not to let her pregnancy get in the way of showing our Bookseller how the detective game should really be played.

DI Robinson and Mother - the other series regulars - are present in Dr. Yes, but to a lesser extent than in the previous two novels. DI Robinson is mainly left to raise a weary eyebrow during the early stages of the investigation but does get to be present, if rather uninvolved, during the delightful denouncement. I do wish that Mother had been featured more. It's nice to know that, even if her general demeanour is as crotchety as ever, her joint pain must be easing somewhat if she is able to regularly squat down for a number two on the floor of the TV room at the Sunny Day home. Still, when she is involved, she is on top form and raises some real belly laughs.

Comedic crime fiction is hard to get right but with Dr. Yes Bateman has once again triumphed. Dr Yes is an inspired satire on the clichés of the crime genre and manages to be a hoot and a half while still offering an intriguing mystery to unravel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars is not enough!, 17 Mar. 2011
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The Mystery Man is back, along with his long suffering girlfriend Allison and assistant Jeff for another dose of murder, mayhem and calamity.

I really enjoyed this, as I did the previous 2 Mystery Man novels, but this is, in my opinion, the best so far, full of very dark, sarcastic humour, vey well written and pacy - a joy to read.

Some of the humour is certainly not PC, some of the jokes the protagonist comes out with are old, but they always hit the mark.

However, be warned, I read some of this on while using public transport and received some very odd, disapproving looks because it made me laugh out loud, that, in itself is enough to give this 5 stars.

Fantastic - bring on the next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Three Dense Mice, 18 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
Having read plenty of books in my time I get a certain pleasure in reading books that talk about books. Confused? Take ‘Dr Yes’, this is a novel about a bookshop owner who solves crimes. What better way to unravel a mystery than using the knowledge gleaned from the 1000s of crime books he has read? Unfortunately, the likes of Robert B. Parker et al are not going to help a hypochondriac who refuses to acknowledge his girlfriend’s pregnancy is down to him and who is trying to solve the none-case of a woman who may (or may not) have disappeared. A typical case for the Mystery Man (MM) then.

Colin Bateman is been one of my favourite authors for a long time now; he combines great crime fiction with some of the best one liners in the industry. The Mystery Man books continue this trend and are all excellent, ‘Dr Yes’ included. The tale is rather a simple one as MM, Alison and Jeff investigate whether the mysterious plastic Surgeon Dr Yes has any links to a missing woman. However, it is how they go about it that makes the book so much fun. MM is not always the nicest person, using those around him to get what he wants. It is these quirks and his social issues that make him stand out. The banter between MM and Alison works because they are both a little twisted in their outlook.

Where ‘Dr Yes’ falls down a little from some of the previous outings for the characters is that with familiarity, contempt is bred. The first book in the series has MM truly being mysterious; was he a killer? Now we know that he would be hard pushed to kill a fly, some of the mystery that makes him Mystery Man is gone. What you are left with is a book that relies on the humour and the case to carry is forwards. In terms of being funny, the book is as good as ever. However, the case feels a little flat in places. The book is quite quick and does feel like the ‘Spenser’ novels that the MM loves so much. Like those novels, the book is almost over before it can begin and you are left with a feeling that this was a case in the history of the character, rather than a full novel. As more books in the series are released, you could read multiple tales to see the character progression over time. As it is, it is limited here, but still a very fun book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars YES!!!!!!, 28 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
This is the third in the Mystery Man series and succeeds in being both funny, quirky and entertaining- some of the riffs are great fun and the characters reflect a tried and tested formula- Mystery man himself with all his foibles, allergies and learned behaviour. Jeff, the well meaning but hapless assistant; a cantankerous and psychotic mother and the pregnant (not) girlfriend. Locations also revolve around Starbucks; the No Alibis bookshop (murder is our business) and Mystery mans home. The plot involving the supposed machinations of a flash plastic surgeon provides plenty of opportunities for jokes, henchmen and set piece situations. Like some other reviewers its hard to see how this can stretch to more volumes since some jokes in this are repeats and reworks- of course there is nothing wrong with recycled jokes told by characters we love- most TV comedy would not be possible without such conventions- but it looks a little strained and lazy on the page.Still, if Bateman's ambition is simply light comedy with laughs he achieves it with ease- there is great stuff on the importance- nay- sacred nature of the printed book and some wonderful riffs that have a stand up, comedic quality. Occasionally there are hints and references to darker comedy but this is never really fully realised. I am still perturbed by the publishers eschewing the writers first name as though they are selling dog food or branding something one dimensional- Bateman may well wish to be a brand and it may be a way of getting the writer into the publics consciousness; indeed this book references other Bateman characters such as Dan Starkey- but if there is a conspiracy to make the name Colin a distant memory that seems a shame and takes away the humanity of the writer- Colin Bateman. this book is great fun, entertaining and if you have enjoyed the previous Mystery man novels does exactly what it says on the tin- (sorry book) but Bateman will have to ensure he isn't writing by numbers if he wants to extend this series further. The ending of this particular book could arguably be said to have reached a natural conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracker. I loved it., 14 Oct. 2014
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am an unashamed fan of Bateman's Mystery Man series, despite the fact that it is at times farcical and he has a great tendency to over egg the pudding. The books always make me laugh out loud somewhere along the line and I just love the damaged, untrustworthy narrator and his twisted relationships with his friends and family. The black humour element, as always, gives this a real lift, and it was in essence, a joy to read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't say 'no' to Dr Yes!, 11 July 2011
This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
Bateman's latest tale featuring the Mystery Man delivers another cleverly crafted crime tale full of interesting twists and turns. Quirky characters fill the pages alongside the usual mystery solving team. This time around we meet everything from an illiterate criminal who discovers a thirst for reading, to a nipped-and-tucked receptionist, to a celebrity surgeon.

One of the most enjoyable things for me to encounter when reading Bateman is the peppering of laugh-out-loud humour he includes whilst on the crime solving trail. Dr Yes didn't let me down on this score. Always refreshing and adds much to the enjoyment of the read.

If you want a good tale that makes you really keen to find out 'whodunnit' as fast as you can (I finished the book in 3 days) - don't say 'no' to Dr Yes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book in the Mystery Man series. Please read from the start though, 13 Aug. 2014
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This is definitely a series to enjoy from the start so if you are reading this please buy Mystery Man first and work your way through.

I have long enjoyed the humour in books by Bateman. He's one of the few authors who make me laugh out loud when reading. When I read the first Mystery Man novel I wasn't sure but like a record that grows on you, the more I thought about the book the more I realised I'd enjoyed it.

This book had all of the humour that goes with the many many hang ups the lead character has. It's a mark of the quality of the character writing that there is some aspect of his various issues that we can all identify with. This is coupled with the usually good quality of the mystery that needs to be solved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It, 16 May 2012
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This review is from: Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) (Paperback)
As a fan of Colin Bateman, I am ready to admit that he does write the odd book that is not up to his usual high standard.. However, this is not one of those occasions. I absolutely loved this book. It is so funny, it had me laughing out loud in public. I loved the twisty turney plot along with the humour. I especially loved the final scene, which is so obviously a tribute to Agatha Christie.
Other reviewers have summarised the plot, far better than I could, so all I will say is if you like humour, if you like detective novels, then you can't go far wrong with this book.
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Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3)
Dr. Yes (Mystery Man 3) by Bateman (Paperback - 23 Jun. 2011)
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