The Manual of Detection

By Jedediah Berry
(Penguin Press HC, The, Hardcover, 9781594202117, 288pp.)

Publication Date: February 19, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Selected by Indie Booksellers for the March 2009 Indie Next List
“This story of a clerk becoming an unlikely detective is the perfect novel noir, like some wonderful, early black-and-white film from France or Germany. The mystery twists and turns, and the universe grows into a beautiful web of fantasy. The Manual of Detection is the most fun circus ride I've been on in years.”
-- Justin Fetterman, The Alabama Booksmith, Birmingham, AL


Description

In this tightly plotted yet mind- expanding debut novel, an unlikely detective, armed only with an umbrella and a singular handbook, must untangle a string of crimes committed in and through people's dreams

In an unnamed city always slick with rain, Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at a huge, imperious detective agency. All he knows about solving mysteries comes from the reports he's filed for the illustrious detective Travis Sivart. When Sivart goes missing and his supervisor turns up murdered, Unwin is suddenly promoted to detective, a rank for which he lacks both the skills and the stomach. His only guidance comes from his new assistant, who would be perfect if she weren't so sleepy, and from the pithy yet profound Manual of Detection (think The Art of War as told to Damon Runyon).

Unwin mounts his search for Sivart, but is soon framed for murder, pursued by goons and gunmen, and confounded by the infamous femme fatale Cleo Greenwood. Meanwhile, strange and troubling questions proliferate: why does the mummy at the Municipal Museum have modern- day dental work? Where have all the city's alarm clocks gone? Why is Unwin's copy of the manual missing Chapter 18?

When he discovers that Sivart's greatest cases-- including the Three Deaths of Colonel Baker and the Man Who Stole November 12th--were solved incorrectly, Unwin must enter the dreams of a murdered man and face a criminal mastermind bent on total control of a slumbering city.

The Manual of Detection will draw comparison to every work of imaginative fiction that ever blew a reader's mind--from Carlos Ruiz Zafón to Jorge Luis Borges, from The Big Sleep to The Yiddish Policeman's Union. But, ultimately, it defies comparison; it is a brilliantly conceived, meticulously realized novel that will change what you think about how you think.




NPR
Thursday, Aug 20, 2009

Getting ready for one last trip to the beach? Have a long plane ride coming up? Or are you just ready to become engrossed in a good book? Try these mysteries you may have missed. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer
Benjamin Dehaven
Lagniappe Publishing
Annihilation
Jeff VanderMeer
FSG Originals
The Martian
Andy Weir
Crown
Benediction
Kent Haruf
Vintage

Make Your Own Wishlist








More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.

For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org

Update Profile