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4.8 out of 5 stars
The Diamond Brothers in South by South East
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2005
The diamond brothers are on the move yet again and are caught up in trying to find someone who is planning to murder someone else. I like the idea of MI5 (Tim: I've driven up it. Nick - no that's the M5 motorway) and the head of MI5 is also quite good. It is based to be the complete opposite of North By North West by Hitchcock as you may guess from the title but the really quite sad jokes still are funny and it involves a scene in a cornfield just like Hitchcock's movie. Tim is brainless as usual and Nick is the brainy one although Tim always takes the credit.
Anyway, 10/10 - hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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on 16 May 2010
I have been reading the Diamond Brothers stories out of sequence, and have only just learned from this one that Tim's real name is Herbert and he used to be a police officer, which is a big joke. So that must be where he got the idea of being a private investigator from! I am also starting to recognize patterns: for example, the usual opening where the brothers have no money and nothing to eat until an unexpected client gives them some cash.

Nick and Tim go to Amsterdam for this assignment, and as usual have many unrealistic, over the top adventures. Tim seems slightly out of character here: he actually notices something before Nick does, and is quite right to be suspicious of someone whom Nick does not accept as a threat. He also picks up a cue from Nick very quickly. Tim goes to an interview for the position of Head of Security of a bank, which is another big joke, and he is again rightly suspicious where Nick is not. The bank is described as a small, square one-floor building in Pall Mall, more like a high class jeweller than a bank. This is exactly what might be expected in this part of London.

The best witticism is when Nick in desperation bids £1,000,000 for an item at Sothebys: the auctioneer says "You're just a boy", and Nick replies "I know, but I get a lot of pocket money". Anyone of any age will appreciate this and want more of the same.
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Ruthless assassin Charon, deaths, explosions, frantic chases, havoc in Holland, dastardly deeds in the Tunnel of Love.... The Diamond brothers are back, high speed fun and corny jokes ensuring another exciting, laughter-filled read.

Private Detective Tim remains as dim as they come. (On the run from the law he stops to ask a policeman the way.) Fourteen year old Nick is again the reason for any success.

Although for young readers, adults will enjoy the tongue-in-cheek allusions. The directions in the title may be different from those of Hitchcock's film, but there is still that crop spraying plane bent on destruction. The head of MI6, Mr. Waverly - was this not the name of the intelligence chief in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E"?

Silly? You bet! Who would wish it otherwise? (I still chuckle about that sufferer from vertigo who faints when Tim calls out, "Hi!".)
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Your children will love it because Tim Diamond is just the funniest character Horowitz has created (the scene in the bank had me laughing so much I couldn't go on). You will love it because of all of the references to other films and books that you will know. In this case all the references are to Hitchcock films - The Birds, Vertigo, and of course North by Northwest itself. There is the famous scene at the bus-stop with the crop-duster and there is a spy called Rushmore.

It is a really fun read and hopefully your children will work out who the assassin is before the secret is revealed.
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The Diamond Brothers are back and they are down to their last carton of milk when there is a knock at the door. Unfortunately it is soon followed by a shot through the window and that is where the trouble begins. If you have seen North by Northwest then you will get all the jokes and see all the fun. If you haven't then see it first so you can be amazed by Horowitz skill in parody. These are great books for children and adults who want to feel young again. A delight to read.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2003
I don't know what age range these books are aimed at, and I don't care. I'm 41 and I loved it. This one (fairly obviously) is a Hitchcock pastiche. Alright, a lot of the jokes are corny. That doesn't stop them being extremely funny.

This time, Tim and Nick Diamond are on the trail of a ruthless killer while on the run from the police. Yes it has a scene in a cornfield. Yes it has Rushmore (read it to find out). It has many more references. And it has the famous Diamond Brothers.

More please Mr Horowitz!
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I have been reading a book called South by south east by Anthony Horowitz.
I have read many of his books and they are awesome, but South by south east is the best!. In the book tim and nick move to campden town for their new office. The Person that last used the office name was on it. Jake - McGuffin .
Jake McGuffin is a spy. in the story he is working for the M15 a secret spy group.
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on 6 March 2013
Amazing book! Gripped me all the way! I recommend this to anyone who loves a good murder mystery! Loved it! My favourite character was Tim because he was especially funny and the things that he did were particularly hilarious. I guarantee that anyone at any age will love this book but if you really want a big twist, then try The Falcon Malteser by the same author!
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on 15 June 2014
I can not strain the point of how good this book is. MI5 is a briliant thing to write about and always grips you. The enemy was so well put together as a charecter and like always a great read for 10- It is by far one of the most interting ones of the series. get the book without hesitation.
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on 11 February 2013
All of the Diamond Brothers mysteries are fantastic and this is no exception.

My sons have always enjoyed these stories and the fun, easily accessible nature of them has helped encourage them to read at ages where reading often dwindles in boys.
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