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Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth by Malcolm…
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Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth (2007)

by Malcolm Pryce

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I found this volume in the "Louie Knight Mystery" series to be a bit lacking when compared to the previous volumes. Of course, this is a strange world, with thug druids, descendants of Billy the Kidd, and a murdered Santa Claus, but the story seemed strained, the different pieces didn't quite fit, and there seemed to be too many coincidences.

Of course, its a Louie Knight Mystery - so the writing is tight, the characters are interesting, and a reader isn't quite sure what the mystery is.

Recommended if you like the series. If you are new to this world, start with the beginning book. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 23, 2015 |
Absolute bloody genius. Funny, yes, but also gripping and at times achingly poignant. Start from the absurdist premise of an alternative-reality Hollywoodesque noir version of Abersytwyth, with Louie Knight as this sort of latter-day Welsh Sam Spade. People it with all the series’ usual characters: Sospan, the ice-cream seller; Eeyore – Louie’s dad, the donkey-ride man; Inspector Llunos; Mrs Llantrisant and the evil school games-master-turned-circus-strongman Herod Jenkins. Then weave around it a tale of a decades-long search for a lost macguffin that takes you from Butch and Sundance to Adolf Eichmann to Welsh Patagonia and home again ... a search as mind boggling as that for the Maltese Falcon, and ultimately as futile. And underneath it all ripple the undercurrents of loves lost: Louie’s adored Myfanwy, forever within sight but kept just out of reach by the knife-twists of fate. I must admit I had to stifle a tear or two in the final pages. ( )
  dtw42 | Nov 9, 2014 |
Father Christmas has been brutally murdered and mutilated in rather a shocking way which quite upsets Mrs Dinorwic-Jones when she arrives to draw the chalk outline around the body. Someone purporting to be the Queen of Denmark contacts Aberystwyth's most famous (and only) private detectives Louie Knight and his partner Calamity Jane wanting them to find out who did it. Everybody knows Father Christmas comes from Greenland and with that being an administrative division of her country, the Queen doesn't want the crime to go unpunished. Because business has been a little slow and the money arrives in his account, Louie feels compelled to take the case. Calamity also takes the opportunity to test out some new techniques she's been picking up from the Pinkerton's manual she's been reading recently. The biggest clue they have is the name, Hoffmann, written in blood by the victim just before he died. It seems to point to the capture of Adolf Eichmann and one of the darkest moments of the war in Patagonia that none of the veterans want to talk about along with the exploits of Clip, the Welsh equivalent of Lassie, of which a new cut of his most famous movie, Bark of the Covenant, has just been released. Clip certainly isn't going to be talking though that may have more to do with him being stuffed and mounted in a glass case in the museum rather than general reluctance. But what's it all got to do with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

This is the fourth book and probably darkest of the series so far. The noir-ish tropes are all present and accounted for but while the humour is still prevalent it's much blacker in nature this go around and one character's death is quite brutal and shocking. The prose is once again excellent and while the plot heads out towards the surreal it never quite reaches the boundaries of being too much. An excellent addition to the series and probably my favourite so far. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | Jul 25, 2014 |
Tinker, tailor, Patagonian sailor, ex-Nazi . . . Hoffman. He's coming to save the townspeople. Hopeman. A false prophet, cut-price Messiah . . . The man they send when the town clock forgets to tick.

When a department store Santa is found dead and mutilated in an Aberystwyth alley, the discovery that he has written the word Hoffman in his own blood causes stirrings in the world of espionage. Someone claiming to be the Queen of Denmark pays private detective Louie Knight to investigate the murder, while Louie's assistant Calamity has got hold of a Pinkerton Detective Agency manual, and decides to investigate the case using their methods. The name Hoffman is linked to a disaster in the Patagonian campaign (Wales' Vietnam), the capture of Adolf Eichmann, and a possible descendant of the Sundance Kid, but no-one knows who Hoffman is and why he has finally decided to come in from the cold. A stuffed collie in Aberystwyth museum seems to be at the centre of the mystery, and the re-release of a film about his exploits in Patagonia raises strong emotions among the disillusioned veterans of that conflict.

A darker tale than the first three books in the series, but equally as funny. ( )
  isabelx | Jan 19, 2014 |
The joke of depicting Aberystwyth as the L.A. of Mid-Wales is possibly beginning to wear a bit thin after three novels, but this fourth book has a story that is strong enough to stand up by itself. Tortuous, black and as hard to follow as anything Raymond Chandler ever did, the joky setting has become a distraction rather than a prop. Pryce obviously doesn't need the Aberystwyth setting any more: he's quite capable of writing detective stories that work without gimmicks, but he seems to have got trapped into a brand label that sells well. ( )
  thorold | Dec 29, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Mrs Powell's first cousin had left Patagonia and gone back home to Wales.

'He has done well,' she said. 'He's now the Archdruid.'

      In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
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To Wilhelm Warth
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Aberystwyth at Christmas.
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Aberystwyth's celebrated crimefighter Louie Knight finds himself at sea caught in a web of intrigue spanning the world from Patagonia ato Aberystwyth. He sets out on the trail of a legendary document stolen long ago from Adolf Eichmann. It is said to contain a revelation about the ultimate fate of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.… (more)

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