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The manual of detection
Berry, Jedediah.
Adult Fiction BERRY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Set in an unnamed city, Berry's ambitious debut reverberates with echoes of Kafka and Paul Auster. Charles Unwin, a clerk who's toiled for years for the Pinkerton-like Agency, has meticulously catalogued the legendary cases of sleuth Travis Sivart. When Sivart disappears, Unwin, who's inexplicably promoted to the rank of detective, goes in search of him. While exploring the upper reaches of the Agency's labyrinthine headquarters, the paper pusher stumbles on a corpse. Aided by a narcoleptic assistant, he enters a surreal landscape where all the alarm clocksÅhave been stolen. In the course of his inquiries, Unwin is shattered to realize that some of Sivart's greatest triumphs were empty ones, that his hero didn't always come up with the correct solution. Even if the intriguing conceit doesn't fully work, this cerebral novel, with its sly winks at traditional whodunits and inspired portrait of the bureaucratic and paranoid Agency, will appeal to mystery readers and nongenre fans alike. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In an effort to locate a missing detective, an agency clerk investigates that detective's most renowned cases. Is he following the right clues? Is he trusting the right people? His steps through the surreal City, the Agency Archives, and the Travels-No-More Carnival take him ever closer to his destiny. Merging a comedic yet dark fantasy world with the hard-boiled school of detection, this clever debut novel both amuses and confuses. Pete Larkin's (The Last Campaign) carefully fashioned portrayals of the stock characters-worldly Detective Sivert, innocent, clueless clerk Unwin, femme fatale Cleopatra Greenwood, folksy janitor Arthur, elderly Colonel Baker, and evil magician Enoch Hoffman-help the listener keep track of who's who but never what's what! Fans of Jasper Fforde and Dashiell Hammett will appreciate. [Audio clip available through; see Major Audio Releases, LJ 2/1/09.-Ed.]-Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Colonial Williamsburg Fdn. Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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