A Shot in the Dark: A Constable Twitten Mystery (Hardcover)
The charming first novel in a new comic crime series from New York Times bestselling author Lynne Truss.
It's 1957, and Inspector Steine rather enjoys his life as a policeman in the seaside British town of Brighton. As far as he’s concerned, the town has no criminals, which means no crime, and no stress.
But much to Steine’s irritation, there’s a new constable in town—the keen and clever Constable Twitten, who sees patterns in small, meaningless burglaries and insists on the strange notion that perhaps all the crime has not been cleared out quite as effectively as Steine thinks.
Worse yet, some of Constable Twitten’s ideas could be correct: when renowned theater critic A. S. Crystal arrives in Brighton to tell the detective the secret he knows about the still-unsolved Aldersgate Stick-Up Case of 1945, he's shot dead in his seat.
With a new murder, a new constable, and a new lead on the decades-old mystery, the Brighton Police Force must scramble to solve this delightfully droll mystery in “the funniest crime novel of 2018” (Wall Street Journal).
About the Author
Lynne Truss is a celebrated author, screenwriter, columnist, and broadcaster. Truss is the writer of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the bestselling book on punctuation Eats, Shoots and Leaves. She lives on the South Coast of England with two Norfolk Terriers.
"A Shot in the Dark couples suspense with dark hilarity in the manner of the 1955 British black comedy film ‘The Ladykillers,’ thus delivering (just in time) the funniest crime novel of 2018." - Wall Street Journal
"The mystery takes an amusing turn once the clever young Constable Peregrine Twitten starts second-guessing his superiors. ‘You are an impetuous, arrogant pipsqueak,’ shouts the detective in charge, who tries to fire him before realizing he could use this pipsqueak’s supersize brain to his own advantage. We should be hearing more from this clever young know-it-all." - Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"Truss writes with the dry old-timey wit of a BBC radio play" - Entertainment Weekly
"Pitch-perfect send-up of 1950s Brighton with nods to Graham Greene . . . ingenious plot . . . Hilarious." - Sunday Times
"A Shot in the Dark is a delight." - Refinery 29
"British author Truss makes her crime fiction debut with this hilarious series launch . . . She successfully combines wry humor with a fair-play mystery." - Starred review, Publishers Weekly
"Truss' language, unsurprisingly, sparkles, and her portrayal of class and its exasperating effect on even the British underworld is memorable. Readers of Agatha Christie are a natural audience for this study in peculiarity." - Booklist
"Truss piles up ingenious plot twists, preposterous coincidences, snarky asides, and characters out of P.G. Wodehouse, this time replacing her murderous felines with a setup out of the genre's golden age." - Kirkus Reviews
"It takes a writer of Lynne Truss's wit and intelligence . . . to take on both the cosy and comic fields, shaking them up to forge something fresh and beguiling . . . A large cast of strongly drawn characters (including an "angry young man" dramatist) helps to keep things bubbling along, and not only is the whole thing delightfully witty-- more early Evelyn Waugh than Agatha Christie--it also functions very successfully as a novel in the vein of the genre it is satirising: the police procedural . . . As in Brighton Rock, we are given a vivid picture of Brighton in its pre-chic heyday, with the kiss-me-quick hats and candy-floss era providing bags of colour . . . Twitten, in particular, is a delightful creation." - Barry Forshaw, Independent
"This farcical tale is packed with interwoven plotlines, clues strewn about like confetti and a comically oblivious chief inspector. It reads like a stage comedy . . . Sharp and witty, A Shot in the Dark is a good time." - Top Pick in Cozies, BookPage
"I thought anyone who could make a grammar book amusing and engaging must be able to write a good novel. A Shot in the Dark—a comedic, dark mystery—more than meets my expectations. . . . as much a dance as a mystery. . . . a must-read for anyone who loves mysteries and has an adventurous spirit." - Killer Nashville
"The highly entertaining game is most seriously afoot in A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss . . . Murder, both cold- and hot-blooded, gangsters, and a suspiciously high number of comforting cups of tea and accompanying cakes make for a quasi-cosy and very funny read." - Seattle Review of Books