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The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin Hardcover – August 6, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 5 of 5 in the Good Thief's Guides Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A burglary assignment brokered by Charlie Howard's agent, Victoria Newbury, proves much more trouble than it's worth in Ewan's outstanding fifth Good Thief's Guide mystery (after 2011's The Good Thief's Guide to Venice). A representative of the British embassy in Berlin offers the professional thief a tidy sum to break into the homes of four people in search of something that the embassy official won't describe (You'll recognize it when you see it ). The first apartment Charlie burgles has nothing of obvious value, but before leaving, he glances out the window and sees a murder in progress across the way. Torn between doing the right thing and self-preservation, he calls the crime into the police and watches as they enter the building and emerge without corpse or killer. Meanwhile, his search for the McGuffin attracts the attention of certain parties who aren't hesitant to use violence. Ewan perfectly blends tension and humor in a neatly constructed plot. Agent: Valerie Borchardt, Georges Borchardt Literary Agency. (Aug.)

From Booklist

Thief and mystery writer Charlie Howard is enjoying Berlin, mainly because there’s so much to steal, which keeps his mind off the problems he’s having with his latest book. Then things get dicey. The British Foreign Office requires Charlie’s expertise to break into the homes of four embassy employees suspected of stealing a sensitive item—so sensitive that Charlie’s contact won’t tell him what he’s supposed to look for. Throw in a Rear Window angle when Charlie, on the job, sees a murder being committed in the apartment across the street, and you have more than enough to keep a blocked writer away from his desk. Ah, but there’s more. Charlie’s simmering relationship with his fetching agent, Victoria, heats up this time, both romantically and ethically, as Victoria, always titillated by Charlie’s thieving, becomes embroiled in the action, prompting crises of conscience on multiple fronts. As usual, Ewan keeps the action and the humor cantering along at a comfortably swift pace, but this time there’s a startling finale that will have fans craving more. For everyone who misses Lawrence Block’s equally “good” and amusing thief Bernie Rhodenbarr, Charlie is the ideal stand-in. --Bill Ott
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Product Details

  • Series: Good Thief's Guide (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition first Printing edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250002974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250002976
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,052,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the conclusion a little unfair to the reader. I will not say why, since I don't really want to discourage someone from reading the book. I have read all of Chris Ewan's Good Thief's books and this one's conclusion was a little disappointing. However, it leaves me wondering what will happen next. Still a joyful read for a rainy day.
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Format: Kindle Edition
For many reasons I've been a fan of the Good Thief's Guide series about the crime writer and gentleman thief Charlie Howard ever since I read TGTGT Paris about three years ago.

Charlie Howard is not at all like those James-Bond-I-can-do-everything-kind-of-heroes who are brilliant at everything, know everything, never need any help and are never afraid. Charlie makes mistakes, is vulnerable, has a lot of self-doubts and would be totally lost without his best friend and literary agent Victoria; in other words: He's a guy who is only slowly growing into a part he's not really made out for. Which makes him more believable and likeable as a character.

Each book in the series is set in a different city and Charlie's Paris and Berlin adventures are proof enough for me that Chris Ewan has the IMHO rare talent to recreate each city's special atmosphere, because I know both cities myself.

As for the plot, well, always be prepared for an intriguing story, a lot of suspense, many hilarious moments, unexpected plot twists and superb wittiness.

In his Berlin adventure Charlie is asked by a representative of Her Majesty's Government to retrieve an item that had been stolen from the British Embassy in Berlin. He is given the addresses of the four likely suspects' homes. However, Charlie is not told what said item looks like, only that he will know as soon as he sees it. What follows is an eventful and exciting search in a wonderfully described Berlin for an item not only the British have an interest in; a fact which poses a threat to Charlie's and Victoria's safety.

I would like to say more, but that would mean to give away too much. So I just say that like the others in the series, TGTGT Berlin is a fantastic and absolutely unputdownable book.
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As with all of Chris Ewan's books narrated by Simon Vance, this is an enormously entertaining "to catch a thief" romp a la Cary Grant. The charming and honorable thief always manages to become entangled in deeper mysteries, what he considers "real crime". His thieveries are not "real crime"; the people can always afford it, and he is always neat and respectful of their premises. When dishonorable characters force his hand, he always appears trapped and doomed, but in the end, always manages to outsmart them. Or does he? He always has pulled his behind out of the fire at the last minute at the book's end, but this book has no end!

Although pretty much guaranteeing another in this delightful series, this lack of ending sort of compromises the delight one feels while reading these books, and the disappointment when it is over. This type of disappointment is different--I felt a bit cheated. Where was the anticipated wily but honorable thief's "ta da" moment? And how long do we have to wait for the next book?

Nevertheless, anything Simon Vance reads is enchanting, and the humor and audacity of Charlie make a perfect match with Vance's extraordinary talent for inflection. All of Ewan's books are well worth a listen, even if the ending seems to be missing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why do these books end so quickly! I have been saving this book since it came out and I devoured it in less than 24 hours. Charlie is at it again, getting himself in trouble and entertaining us in the process. I loved the book, the pace was very swift and the end was as usual not expected! Except for one glaring clue, which Charlie should have gotten. The ending is rather open though, uncharacteristically so. I am really looking forward to the next installment. I'd love it if we can move things forward with Charlie and Victoria but at the moment i am just really hoping that there is a next installment.
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Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed the previous books in this series. I felt this one fell short. The chemistry between Charlie and Victoria seemed off and their dialogue was very stilted. The major clue that no character could figure out was painfully obvious and that just annoyed me. I don't like ambiguous endings either, so that was another miss. Hopefully the series will get back on track.
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By LH19 on September 14, 2013
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Great story and a quick and entertaining read. I Can't wait for the next one! I'm hoping for Rio de Janeiro.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fun plot and clever events makes this a great escape from everyday duties.
The characters are likeable and get into imaginative scrapes.
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