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The Good Thief's Guide to Paris: A Mystery Hardcover – November 11, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Charlie Howard, a crime writer who's also an international burglar, once again makes a funny, fast-talking narrator in Ewan's delightful second mystery (after 2007's The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam). Tipsy after a Parisian book signing, Charlie agrees to show a new acquaintance the basics of the trade by breaking into the man's own apartment. Trouble ensues when the apartment actually belongs to someone else. Charlie's fence commissions him the next day to break into the same apartment to steal an apparently worthless painting, and the apartment's real owner turns up dead in Charlie's apartment. Hiding in a Montmartre hotel, Charlie tries to save his skin while also placating his attractive agent, Victoria, who's arrived unannounced only to discover that the client she's grown so close to by phone looks nothing like the author photo he provided. That Charlie pens a memoir titled The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam adds a nice postmodern touch to a classic caper. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mystery author and professional thief Charlie Howard is back in an all-new comic caper, this time set in the City of Lights. Having recently published a fake (but not really fake) memoir of a professional thief, Charlie is on the book circuit in Paris and falls in with a bohemian crowd living and working at the Paris Lights bookshop. He breaks into an apartment on a lark with a fan he met at a reading and the next day is offered a job to break into the same apartment. That might not have been so bad if the owner hadn’t turned up murdered in his apartment later that day. Charlie is on the run, trying to finish the job, get his money, keep his good name, and stay alive. This time, though, his ever-useful London agent, Victoria, is in Paris, and although she is not happy to discover Charlie’s lies, she is willing to help. Fast and funny, Ewan’s second offering in the Good Thief series is even better than the first, with more fully developed secondary characters and a tighter plot. Charlie and Victoria’s discussions of mystery stories and plotting problems in Charlie’s latest novel are just one of the reasons this series stands out from the crowd. --Jessica Moyer
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Product Details

  • Series: Good Thief's Guide (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (November 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312376456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312376451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Ewan is an award-winning British author of eight novels. His popular series of mysteries about globetrotting thief-for-hire, Charlie Howard, include THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO PARIS, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VEGAS, THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO VENICE and THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO BERLIN. Chris has also written the standalone thrillers, SAFE HOUSE and DEAD LINE. Chris's latest standalone thriller, DARK TIDES, will be published in the UK by Faber & Faber in October 2014.

THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM won the Long Barn Books First Novel Award and went on to be published in 13 countries. SAFE HOUSE has been a major bestseller in the UK and was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. In 2011, Chris was voted one of America's favourite British authors by a Huffington Post poll.

Born in Taunton in 1976, Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham with 1st Class Honours in American Studies with a minor in Canadian Literature, and later trained as a lawyer. He now lives on the Isle of Man with his wife, daughter and labrador, where he writes full time.

Find out more at www.chrisewan.com. You can also get in touch with Chris on Twitter @chrisewan or email him at chrisewan@gmail.com

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Clarice on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The idea behind the GOOD THIEF books is cute: A real-life thief, Charlie Howard, writes "novels" about a career thief that are thinly disguised autobiographies. Charlie, who's never met his agent, Victoria, nonetheless has a bit of a romantic relationship with her, perhaps fostered by the photo (not of his own) of a handsome model that is used on his book jackets.

I think the issue here is that the concept requires a light touch to pull it off, and I'm not sure Ewan is up to the task. The book should be like popcorn, or bonbons, or potato chips, addictive and fun, hard to put down. Unfortunately, it's marred by a narrator who's a little too self-conscious, perhaps too calculatedly twee, to make the reader feel as if she's in the hands of a skilled raconteur. So, while the plot does provide plenty of twists and turn-abouts (including some that are not fully resolved and that don't quite make sense), the book doesn't make you race through it the way you would another screwball-type caper.

I had a few other disappointments, too. The Paris shown here is mostly touristy-type Paris, though there is a detour into a slummy neighborhood that's a good contrast to the tourist sites like the Louvre, the Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower. I am willing to suspend disbelief in most novels - particularly one that is so intentionally stylized - but there are so many coincidences in this book that a good deal of it felt like lazy plotting to me.

The book makes me wonder, too, if a lot of writers have such thoroughly unhealthy relationships with their agents. If so, that might explain why so many really bad books are published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is Ewan's second novel about Charlie Howard, mystery novelist-slash-gentleman burglar, and while it's not bad, it's not as good as the first one (set in Amsterdam) -- or, for that matter, the third one (Vegas). Charlie's good at making bad decisions and proves it, while in an intoxicated state in the City of Lights, by taking a fee to mentor a young would-be burglar on his first break-in -- into his own apartment. Or so Charlie thinks. Then his fence in Paris passes on to Charlie his next assignment: Breaking into the very same apartment to steal an exceedingly mediocre oil painting in exchange for way too much money. But the painting is already gone. And when it gets home, he finds the owner of the apartment he burgled (twice) is now dead and tied to one of his kitchen chairs. And if all that isn't enough, his agent and closest friend, Victoria, comes on an unexpected visit from London -- and she doesn't even know what he really looks like, having always assumed the jacket photo on his books was genuine.

The set-up is pretty good and there are enough puzzles and unexplained happenings to keep the reader almost as busy trying to figure things out as Charlie is himself. But after awhile, with two separate art thefts, a murder, a whole series of mysterious phone calls, and a not-very-convincing government-employed fixer, it all becomes rather *too* complicated. And as the questions mount up, the pace of the narrative slows down. By the halfway point, I was trying to decide whether the satisfaction of finding out whodunit was sufficient payback for plowing through the rest of the story. (I found I couldn't not finish it.) I'm not even sure all of the questions were answered and all the secondary mysteries solved.
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By Amazon Customer on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love the dialog between characters and character first person language. A fun, very down to earth kind of main character. Sometimes goes a bit over the top but don't see it coming. No in your face behaviors or odd details that carry no obvious significance about things that aren't pertinent to the story. I hope the Venice book( next on my winter read list) is just as good as the other two I've read.
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By Bunnymom on March 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All these Good Theif Guides are very Entertaining. You get a nice tour of whichever city he's in and it's fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The people who say this book is boring must have very, very exciting lives.

There is so much going on that I didn't try to figure out what would happen next. I just let the events wash over me and enjoyed the book very much. Charlie finally meets his agent, Victoria. And, we find out that he suffers from gout in his finger joints which can interfere with his lock picking.

I've ordered the third book and am hoping that it is as enjoyable as the first two.
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By Amazon Customer on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
I loved the book! The Good Thief's Guide series is just so cool! The main character is just so nice and lovable. And if you're familiar with Paris it's really nice because you can imagine things happening. As usual our favorite thief gets in way over his head but manages to walk out to steal another day. The story was fun and moved quickly, i kept reading on, and I especially appreciated his "How to Pick Locks" part at the end of the book. I want to try it myself :P
Keep writing Chris Ewan!
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By J A Rushbrook on April 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had high hopes for this after reading the Guide to venice.....but somehow it just didnt work. Was a bit clumsy and not that amusing
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