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A Trouble of Fools (Carlotta Carlyle Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Carlotta Carlyle Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312359438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312359430
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boston-based private eye Carlotta Carlyle is the newest creation of the author of the lively Michael Sprague mysteries. In addition to being red-haired, 61 tall, a former cabbie and an ex-cop, Carlotta is the sort of storyteller capable of enlisting readers' sympathies at the very outset. Her first adventure involves a missing person. An elderly Irish woman hires her to find her brother, Eugene, who has vanished from their home, leaving behind a mysterious cache of $13,000. Eugene's cronies, who, like himself, are drivers for a taxi fleet and secret sympathizers with the Irish cause, seem to be involved with a scheme in support of the IRA. Having once worked for the cab company herself, Carlotta hires on again to monitor their activities, an action that eventually sets her at odds with a major drug ring, the FBI and a certain Mafia-connected former lover. All of the above learn that it's not wise to step on the toes of someone who wears size 11 shoes. Carlotta first made a brief appearance in a prize-winning short story called "Lucky Penny"; in this longer form, she's pure gold.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Moving from the popular Michael Spraggue series, Barnes has created Carlotta Carlyle, ex-cabbie, ex-policewoman, now private investigator. While looking for a missing cab driver, Carlyle stumbles upon some strange goings on at the taxi company. From the trashing of her client's house to a strange scam involving large sums of money, Carlyle moves through Boston until the threatening violence explodes when least expected. Barnes uses all of her finely honed technique to deliver an exciting book. JV
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I was born in Detroit; I always say it's where I learned about crime, but I mean no disrespect to a great city. It's also where I learned to love Motown music and do the Stroll. Came to Boston for college, and like so many, stayed, awed by the Atlantic Ocean and accessible public transportation. I still love walking Boston's cobbled streets, riding the T, breathing the history.
I started writing while teaching high school theater. Required to enter a one-act play festival sponsored by the Boston Globe, I posted the cast list before I selected the play. (I had great students that year, and 12 of them certainly deserved to be in the festival cast.) When I couldn't find a one-act with 12 roles, I had to write one myself. The festival was a competition, and darned if we didn't keep winning, right up until the state finals, where a man introduced himself to me and inquired whether he might publish that play. I said yes, wrote more plays, then segued into crime fiction.
My first Carlotta Carlyle short story, "Lucky Penny," won an Anthony Award. The first Carlyle novel, A TROUBLE OF FOOLS, was nominated for an Edgar and a Shamus, and won the American Mystery Award. Eleven books later, the most recent Carlyle, LIE DOWN WITH THE DEVIL, was named one of the Best Mysteries of 2008 by Publisher's Weekly.
In April my first stand alone novel, THE PERFECT GHOST, comes out. It was exciting to work with brand new characters in a wonderfully scenic Cape Cod locale. Please check my website at lindabarnes.com for upcoming appearances and follow me on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

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See all 21 customer reviews
The plot seems a bit contrived.
Carol Peterson Hennekens
One does a disservice to an author/series if one reads book #3 or #4 or #5 and then goes back to read #1.
A. L. Rubinkowski
Anyone who likes a good crime mystery will enjoy this book.
Robert Doll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on November 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read and enjoyed several of the later Carlotta Carlye books, I thought I'd check out this first book. As a first book goes, it's solid but not stunning. Carlotta and her supporting cast (crazy artist roomie, cab drivers, "little sister") are all interesting enough. The plot seems a bit contrived. The blues music interest doesn't quite ring true. It's as if the author was told to give your character and interesting hobby.
Bottom line -- Don't go out of your way to read this book but at the same time, don't let it put you off from later books in the series, some of which are great reads.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Rubinkowski on January 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One does a disservice to an author/series if one reads book #3 or #4 or #5 and then goes back to read #1. Characters develop, relationships develop, and authors develop. I read this first Carlotta Carlyle book before I read the rest, and enjoyed it just fine. Yes, the following books get better as they go along, but you'll have missed out on several important relationship/character points if you don't read this one before you read the others.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on July 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If this book were a film, it would definitely be noir. I imagined everything in black and white throughout my quick gallop through these wonderful pages.
Having never read a Linda Barnes mystery before, I was enthralled by the gritty language, the down-and-dirty description of the Boston streets, the no-nonsense tone, and above all, the main character, PI Carlotta Carlyle.
Written in the mid 80s, this book is not outdated in the least. The plot concerns a group of Irish-American cabbies, all over 50, who may be running money and guns for the now-severly-restricted IRA. Accidentally stumbling into their activities while investigating a missing persons case, Carlotta finds herself in very deep trouble--the kind that can easily end in murder.
This is a perfect book to devour one lazy afternoon while shutting the rest of the world out. I loved it, and intend to sample more Linda Barnes mysteries from now on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Noble on July 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series. It is in the same tradition as other female P. I. series such as Sue Grafton. Carlotta is single and moonlights by driving a cab. In this book you will also be introduced to her somewhat wacky roommate and her mob connected boyfriend as well as her "little sister", Paolina. Carlotta is very independent and after all is said and done, seems to want to do the best thing for people. In this book she is hired by an elderly lady to find her missing brother who turns out to be involved with the IRA. There are other twists and the ending came as a surprise to me. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to others; especially to those who like "hard boiled" type mysteries with a female protagonist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachelima on February 6, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have really enjoyed reading the entire Carlotta Carlisle series! Unbelievably relevant even though this first book in a long series was written so long ago. Very fast paced, always complex plots that dove-tail within themselves. Carlotta is more interesting as the series goes on. Carlotta is a typical female protagonist: single, divorced, strong, independent to a fault, and so scrappy! The world created in Boston is detailed and vivid: personal life with 2 ongoing beaus, one the good boy, one the bad boy, and motherly role with her "little sister" and the seedy night world of the cab company offer interesting characters and worlds unfamiliar to explore. Not too gruesome, no explicit sex, but realistic and interesting. Go beyond the first book - Carlotta's world is worth the effort, and this is one of the classic female mystery series. If you like Paretsky, Grafton and Cornwell - you will be happy to discover this series!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on June 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carlotta Carlyle doesn't go by the book, which may explain her defection from the Boston Police Department and her subsequent jobs as a cab driver and private investigator. In this first novel of the series, she is approached by an elderly woman named Margaret Devers who is concerned about the disappearance of her brother Eugene. Carlotta takes on the case, but comes up with a lot of blind alleys in her search for the missing man. She returns to her job as a cab driver to do undercover work and introduces us to the dispatcher Gloria who shows a lot of potential as a supporting character, as well as her partner Sam, a former lover of Carlotta's, whose family is into organized crime. Another nice touch is the Big Sister--Little Sister relationship between Carlotta and a young school girl named Paolina. Before the dust settles, Carlotta is involved with the IRA and drug pushers, but she never loses her "moxie" or her sense of humor. This is a good series with lots of potential.
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By Mary on May 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A friend recently told me about this series, and I'm so glad she did! If you like Kinsey Milhone, you'll love Carlotta Carlyle. The only problem I've seen so far is that the second book in the series is not available as an e-book. I hope that changes soon!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Looking for new authors for my reading pleasure, AMAZON directed me to Linda Barnes and the Carlotta Carlyle series. A TROUBLE OF FOOLS is the first book. It is an older book but does not read as a dated piece. Carlyle is a PI, in Boston, ex-police (hum sounds familiar) who also drives a cab, that's different. A tall red-headed gal, Carlyle is athletic and takes no guff, a very strong personality. In this first book, Carlyle is looking for a missing person and it leads to guns, money and the IRA. A very very good introduction to a new detective for me. RECOMMENDED .
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