Monday, August 11, 2014

I Can't Wait To Read: STUMPED

Two weeks ago, as part of a revamp of Crime Watch, I kickstarted a new series, "I Can't Wait To Read", which takes an in-depth look at upcoming crime fiction titles myself or some great guest bloggers are looking forward to, for a variety of reasons. In the series we won't just be noting upcoming titles, but taking a look at the book itself, the author, why we can't wait to read it, and when it will be available. As this is something new, feedback would be welcome, on the concept, and what you'd like to see or not see moving forward.

For the second instalment in this new series, today I'm taking a closer look at an upcoming screwball noir novel by Irish crime writer Rob Kitchin, whose debut THE RULE BOOK I really enjoyed a few years ago.

STUMPED by Rob Kitchin

The book blurb:
It is election time in Ireland and a lot more is about to change for Grant, a new arrival from England, and his wheelchair-bound friend Mary, than their political representatives.

Their friend, Sinead, has been kidnapped, and her brother, Pat, has disappeared. Charged with tracking them down, Grant and Mary are soon caught between a vicious Dublin gangster seeking the return of a valuable package and an ambitious politician determined to protect a secret that might harm his re-election prospects. To make matters worse, when someone they confront is found floating face down in the River Liffey, Inspector McGerrity Black, Dublin’s finest rockabilly cop, is soon hot on their trail.

With election day looming and Sinead’s fingers turning up on a regular basis they race through County Kildare suburbia, Dublin’s saunas, Manchester’s gay village and rural Mayo, crossing paths with drag queen farmers, corrupt property developers, and sadistic criminal gang members, as they desperately seek a way to save themselves and their friends while all the time staying ahead of the law.

The author: 
Rob Kitchin is a professor at the National University of Ireland and a prolific academic writer (21 books and a 12-volume encyclopaedia) and blogger - see The View from the Blue House - who turned to crime fiction in 2009 with the excellent debut THE RULE BOOK, an intriguing police procedural thriller. He's since written THE WHITE GALLOWS, a sequel, before switching to more comic crime with STIFFED in 2013. Kitchin is also a media commentator on social issues, and has written a collection of short stories.

Why I can't wait:
I really enjoyed THE RULE BOOK when I read it back in 2010. Kitchin had a nice mix of plot, character, setting, and theme that just read well and kept me intrigued on multiple levels. I've been meaning to read more from him since. I'm curious about his take on a screwball noir - I do enjoy humour in crime novels, although usually this is more dark humour (Paul Cleave, Stuart MacBride etc) rather than out-and-out comedy. But I do love films that are caper-esque, mixing laughs and criminal (mis)adventures, and I have enjoyed the likes of Mike Ripley's Angel series when it comes to comic crime novels, so the thought of Kitchin using his undoubted writing talents for a mix of comedic and criminal appeals to me very much.

When it's available:
13 November 2014 in paperback and ebook form


You can read more about Rob Kitchin and his novels here:


Do you like the sound of STUMPED? What are some of the books or authors that you eagerly look forward to? What do you think of this new series? Feedback and comments appreciated.

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