This novel is a Northern Irish stand-alone (a belated St Patrick´s Day review)
The narrator of this story is a nameless first-person owner of a bookshop in Belfast. When his neighbour, a private detective, disappears, he is more or less pushed into taking over his unsolved cases.
One cannot help admiring the enterprising protagonist who calls himself Lawrence Block:
“The next customer was just looking for directions. He wanted to know where Queen´s University was. I said I wasn´t sure and sold him a street map. It was only around the corner, but the profit was the difference between burger and steak.”
The detective business seems to be a bright, new way of making money, and having solved a couple of cases relatively successfully, ´Larry´ feels he is ready to embark on a missing person case. Soon he is not sure if he has got himself entangled in a Nazi conspiracy or just a long row of unfortunate coincidences.
This is an extremely funny story, especially Larry´s fumbling relationship with the girl next door, his self-appointed sidekick who is not always willing to accept her minor role.
I bought it myself and read it for the Ireland Reading Challenge # 4.
See the review that tempted me: Mystery Man