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The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer
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The Satsuma Complex (edition 2022)

by Bob Mortimer (Author)

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23510112,505 (3.43)5
Fiction. Mystery. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:Bob Mortimer, beloved comedian and #1 Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of the memoir And Away..., returns with a delightfully quirky mystery in the vein of Richard Osman and Nita Prose.
Unremarkable legal assistant Gary Thorn goes for a pint with his coworker Brendan, unaware his life is about to change. There, Gary meets a beautiful woman, but she leaves before he catches her name. All he has to remember her by is the title of the book she was reading: The Clementine Complex. And when Brendan goes missing, too, Gary needs to track down the girl he now calls Clementine to get some answers.

And so begins Gary's quest, through the estates and pie shops of South London, to find some answers and hopefully, some love and excitement in this page-turning, witty, and oddly sweet story with a cast of unforgettable characters.
… (more)
Member:elhtfiction
Title:The Satsuma Complex
Authors:Bob Mortimer (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster Ltd (2022), 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Nice story. I liked its quirkiness and the authenticity of the protagonist. Nicely read by the author. Fun, entertaining, but not exceptional. ( )
  jvgravy | Nov 19, 2023 |
I love a good mystery (even though I don't read that many anymore), and even more so if any humour is promised so The Satsuma Complex sounded like just the book for me. I received a sampler from NetGalley (although I hadn't immediately realised it wasn't the full copy) and finished listening to it on audiobook on Storytel.

I'm not too familiar with Bob Mortimer and his brand of humour, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from this, but I was in the mood for a light read and to switch it up a little after lots of fantasy books. Unfortunately, this didn't really meet my expectations.

The premise was quite good and I liked the mystery aspect of it, though I won't go into any details to avoid spoilers. I tend to like stories where we don't really know which characters we can trust, and there was plenty of that going on here. However, for the most part, the characters just felt flat. I definitely appreciated the attempt at introducing a wide and varied cast, and there certainly were some colourful characters in there, but to me, they all felt very one-dimensional and I never actually started caring about any of them, which meant the stakes were very low whenever any amount of danger was involved.

I found the main character to be very annoying and... well, just not funny. I did like his relationship with his neighbour Grace and her dog, which I found wholesome and sweet, but he didn't really have much else going for him. I found it very hard to get through the book and was bored for the most part. I really only finished it because it wasn't overly long and I wanted to see if it would improve when everything wrapped up. The ending itself was good, but it didn't really make up for the rest.

This is by no means a bad book; if anything, I found it fairly average, just like Gary: not anonymous, but not memorable either. It probably just wasn't my kind of humour and others may like it a lot more, but this one just wasn't for me.


I received an advanced review copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.
( )
  bookforthought | Nov 7, 2023 |
Not as out loud funny as I imagined, but a fun, quirky, entertaining thriller that’s highly amusing. I loved the characters, especially Grace and her dog, Lassoo. ( )
  SharonMariaBidwell | Oct 17, 2023 |
Gary Thorn is an unassuming legal assistant at a firm of solicitors. He lives a straightforward and fairly uneventful life until the night he goes out for a drink with an acquaintaince called Brendan. After Brendan leaves, Gary meets a lady in the pub and strikes up a conversation with her, but although they hit it off, she leaves before he can get her name or contact details.

The next day, Gary finds out that Brendan is now missing, and Gary is the last person to have seen him. He now needs to find the young lady he met to confirm his own alibi, but all he has to go on is the book she was reading, which was called The Satsuma Complex....

As you might expect if you know Bob Mortimer's kind of humor, this crime/romance/comedy mash-up is a little obscure and offbeat. It has some genuinely laugh-out-loud funny scenes (Gary's client's 'no comment' police interview was a hoot) and I liked the acidic neighbour Grace and her expressive dog Lassoo. Some of the humor didn't quite land with me - the conversations with squirrels for example. But I liked the way that pieces of the story slowly came together to show the reader the full picture of what was happening.

The book is mainly narrated by Gary although some parts are narrated by another character. I did like Gary's self-deprecating and slightly impish sense of humour. I wasn't as fond of the other narrating character (I'm not going to say who this was because I want to avoid all spoilers).

All in all, I can see that this is definitely not a book for everyone, but I enjoyed it and would definitely read another novel by Bob Mortimer - I only hope he writes one. ( )
  Ruth72 | Oct 16, 2023 |
"... it's not a particularly bad outing, it's just not a standout, grab you by the throat, this is great stuff outing. And it's definitely going to be better if you can hear Mortimer's voice when Gary's on page. "

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/satsuma-complex-bob-mortimer ( )
  austcrimefiction | Aug 23, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
But it’s the details that really set this book apart. Off the wall doesn’t quite cover it. What other fictional sleuth would write “large bananas” in tiny letters on an architrave in his office to cheer himself up at work? Or assign the names Zak Briefcase and Lengthy Parsnips to a pair of dogs he passes in the street? Fans of Mortimer’s surrealist turns on Would I Lie to You?, or his internet sketch show Train Guy, won’t be disappointed. Nor will crime fiction devotees, if only they can get over the talking squirrels
added by rv1988 | editThe Guardian, Killian Fox (Oct 16, 2022)
 
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Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction (2023), for when LT 'Awards and honors' are unlocked.
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Fiction. Mystery. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:Bob Mortimer, beloved comedian and #1 Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of the memoir And Away..., returns with a delightfully quirky mystery in the vein of Richard Osman and Nita Prose.
Unremarkable legal assistant Gary Thorn goes for a pint with his coworker Brendan, unaware his life is about to change. There, Gary meets a beautiful woman, but she leaves before he catches her name. All he has to remember her by is the title of the book she was reading: The Clementine Complex. And when Brendan goes missing, too, Gary needs to track down the girl he now calls Clementine to get some answers.

And so begins Gary's quest, through the estates and pie shops of South London, to find some answers and hopefully, some love and excitement in this page-turning, witty, and oddly sweet story with a cast of unforgettable characters.

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