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A Trouble of Fools (Carlotta Carlyle #1)

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3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  2,852 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
The first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series!

Linda Barnes's A Trouble of Fools is the book that introduced readers to ex-Boston cop and PI Carlotta Carlyle, who knows trouble when she sees it like the old Irish lady offering a grand in cash to find her brother...

TROUBLE…
Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Car
...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

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Marleen
Dec 19, 2011 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and enjoyed several of the later Carlotta Carlye books, I thought I'd start at the beginning of the series. I just adore Carlotta as a character. She’s so solid, while being human and a bit flawed at the same time. She’s my all-time favorite female, P.I. She’s gutsy, resourceful, funny and most of all she’s honourable. Carlotta’s such a stand-up person and a loyal friend. I like it that she’s plays Blues guitar and listens to Bonnie Raitt and Billie Holiday. I thought it was quite fu ...more
Dagny
Jul 24, 2012 Dagny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carlotta Carlyle, a very tall redhead, is a struggling P.I. who moonlights as a cab
driver in Boston. Although each mystery plot stands on its own, the series will
be much more enjoyable if read in chronological order because of character
development.
P. Kirby
Apr 03, 2013 P. Kirby rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, contemporary
Pleasant, but so unmemorable that I'm having trouble even conjuring the interest to write a review. The sort of book that doesn't inspire enough glorious frustration to write a rant, nor the adoration to pen a slavering paean to its greatness.

Carlotta Carlyle, the story's protagonist, is a former cab driver and former cop, now private investigator. She's single and has the requisite cat, T.C. And T.C., being a thoroughly modern cat, gets mail.

When the story begins, Carlotta is eyeing a letter th
...more
Tony Hisgett
The book started quite well and I liked Carlotta right from the start, but the problem for all this type of mystery/thrillers is that there has to be something that sets them apart for the hundreds of very similar books already out there.

This could be that the plot is very clever and well written or the main character has something special about them or there is an interesting relationship that provides an interesting sub-plot. The problem with this book it turned out it didn’t really have any o
...more
Betty
Jan 15, 2014 Betty rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
This is the first of this series. I found it hard to get into the first part of the book. Too much of Carlotta thoughts and not enough actions. Part way through this changed and I found the Carlotta I knew. Carlotta is focus on a guy passing drugs near Paolina's school. She has received a letter for TC Carlyle. TC is Tom Cat, her cat. She is hired to find a cabbie missing for two weeks. You don't need to read this book to understand the rest of the series; but it adds depth. I give the series a ...more
Barbara ★
I've read other books in this series and basically all revolve around drugs or the mafia of which I have no interest. This one added the Irish Republican Army to the fun. I grabbed this one because I needed a book with Fools in the title and it fit. I kept waiting for something to happen but it just plodded along with it's drug, IRA and mafia connections. So not my type of book. This will be the last book I'll read in this series as I don't particularly like Carlotta or anyone else for that matt ...more
Fuzzy Gerdes
A Trouble of Fools is a pretty solid entry in the "quirky private investigator" genre. My biggest quibble would be that Carlotta Carlyle, the aforementioned quirky PI, seems like her character might have been assembled by some sort of MadLibs process -- ex-cop, ex-cabbie, six-foot, redhead private eye who lives in Boston with a cat, her late aunt's parakeet and a crazy artist roommate. I guess others don't mind, because Linda Barnes has gone on to write 11 more novels about Carlyle. I don't thi ...more
Cindy
Aug 27, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books.
This book reminded me a bit of the Janet Evanovich books. A quirky woman detective, Carlotta Carlye muddles through mysteries and men. There is a cast of "characters", too. Roz, her artistic tenant, Mooney (the Morelli of this book), Sam and Gloria...all bigger than life. In place of Grandma Mazur, we get Yiddish quotes from Carlotta's grandmother like, " All is not butter that comes from a cow." I guess there are more Carlotta Carlyle books and I'm eager to read another.
Gail
Jun 14, 2014 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a book from the middle of the series and liked it so much that I started back at the beginning of the series. I got it as an audio book and listened while I readied my apartment for a family visit. It was the most fun I've ever had cleaning. Just got the 2nd book in the series too. I'm hooked. Carlotta is a great character. Roz is so much fun too. Love Mooney. Can't wait to continue the series.
Julie
Nov 10, 2013 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Good, solid comfort read in the series that I missed first-time around.
Ruth Turner
Jun 26, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: chic-lit

Well written, interesting characters, good story line, but I struggled to stay interested.
Cymiki
Jun 30, 2010 Cymiki marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
author recommended by melissa
Laurie
Mar 20, 2017 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad for a mystery!
Joan
Mar 02, 2017 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte Carlyle is a ex. Boston cop who is now a P.I. She is hard to miss, she is 6'I , red hair
and with an attitude. She is hired by an elderly lady to find her brother who is missing. She
thinks this will be an easy job. But she finds herself uncovering a drug a money laundering
scheme.
Kathleen Hagen
A Trouble of Fools, by Linda Barnes. B. First in the Carlotta Carlyle series, borrowed from the National Library Services for the Blind.

We’re introduced to Carlotta Carlyle, sometimes cab driver for Green and White cabs, former cop, and now Private investigator. We meet her house mate, Roz, who cleans her house, sort of, as payment for the rent, and who is an artist. We meet her friend Lieutenant Moon from her days on the force, and we hear about her boy friend, Sam, part owner of the cab compan
...more
Sherri F.
Audio version: I tried & tried but just couldn't get into it and don't think it was the narration. The book or author synopsis compared it/her to Paretsky (VI Warshawski) and Grafton (Kinsey Millhone), which are both favorites of mine. I can't really see the comparison other than it has a female P.I. that was former law enforcement. I don't think it's b/c book was from late 80s b/c I only started Paretsky's books in past year and her books started in 80s and I am ready Mrs. Pollifax (from la ...more
Ann Giammona
Carlotta Carlyle, a PI in the Boston Metropolitan area in the 1980s, could have been the inspiration for Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum-they are birds of a feather. In this book, the smart, brash, and broke red-haired, 6'1" former cabbie and former policeman is trying to figure out how to make ends meet when a refined and lady-like senior hires the detective to find her missing brother Eugene. The ensuing investigation has Carlotta rehired at the cab company, evading possible IRA thugs in Sout ...more
Linda Brue
Jul 14, 2016 Linda Brue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, kindle
Carlotta Carlyle, former Boston cop, works out of her home as a private investigator, taking just about any case that comes her way. When an elderly spinster, Miss Margaret Devens, stops by her home asking Carlotta to find her missing brother Eugene, Carlotta is hesitant to take the case, assuming that the man had his own reasons to leave his sister's house. Carlotta even worked with Eugene, back when she drove a cab for Green and White. But she's broke and bored and decides it should be an easy ...more
Pr Latta
Sep 02, 2012 Pr Latta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pr by: Recorded Books, at the end of a Patricia Cornwell book.
[audio] First in a new-for-me woman detective series. C. J. Critt narrated which may be why I'm grouping Carlotta with Stephanie Plum (not as ditzy or sexy or funny, but just as strong a cast of character), Kay Scarpetta (strong, self-reliant, not as driven), and Judge Deborah Knott (no court room scenes and more of an ensemble). Others have compared her to Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone but more rounded, "real" person, not just a case history and Laura Lippman's Tess Monahan (but Carlotta is not ...more
Ed
May 29, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Carlotta Carlyle series. "Finalist 1988 Edgar Award for Best Mystery; Finalist 1988 Anthony Award for Best Mystery; Finalist 1988 Shamus Award for Best Novel"

Carlotta Carlyle series - An elderly Irish woman hires her to find her brother, Eugene, who has vanished from their home, leaving behind a mysterious cache of $13,000. Eugene's cronies, who, like himself, are drivers for a taxi fleet and secret sympathizers with the Irish cause, seem to be involved with a scheme in support of the
...more
Sascha Altschuler
Feb 09, 2017 Sascha Altschuler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the detective, love the mood and the writing is beautiful. The mystery in it self was a little so so.
Em
Jun 27, 2013 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Carlotta Carlyle "woman detective" series. I had to get it on Nook, because I couldn't find a copy of it anywhere else. It reminded me a lot of Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski series. Although, of course, this series is set in Boston, not Chicago, and not quite so hard-boiled. I couldn't tell if it was the era or the genre that seemed so familiar. Nothing like reading a book set in the 80s. I loved her "cool" white wicker bedroom furniture and the frantic search fo ...more
Nancy
Dec 18, 2013 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed another book by Linda Barnes (The Perfect Ghost) so decided to start this series. The goodreads ratings were higher for this book than the book I had enjoyed so much. Maybe that sent my expectations too high. The protagonist is a six foot tall redheaded female private investigator. The are plenty of quirky characters but I did not care about them and did not find the mystery sufficiently mysterious to keep me engaged. About half way through I skipped to the end. I guess I was cu ...more
Tory Wagner
Feb 27, 2012 Tory Wagner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A quick read with some interesting characters. The protagonist, Carlotta Carlyle is a retired policewoman turned private detective. She also moonlights as a taxi driver in her sometimes lover's cab company. He is the younger son of a Mafia don who has decided to go on the straight and narrow. Her other love interest is her former boss on the police force. The mystery involves her fellow cabbies who become involved in an IRA scheme to send money to Ireland for the good fight. Unbeknownst to these ...more
Jan
Aug 02, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book fooled me! I read the sample chapter, & when Carlotta Carlysle meets her client I thought this would be a cozy-genre mystery. I should have known an ex-cop, ex-cab driver, 6'1" with bright red hair, from Detroit, living in Boston would not be a tea and scones mystery solver. Is it possible to write a cozy series set in Boston? Well eventually the IRA gets involved and, while Linda Barnes isn't as hard-boiled as Dennis Lehane, her Carlotta would be good company for Kenzie & Genn ...more
Betty
Jan 09, 2014 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PI, Mystery
Shelves: e-books, linda-barnes
This is the first of this series. I found it hard to get into the first part of the book. Too much of Carlotta thoughts and not enough actions. Part way through this changed and I found the Carlotta I knew. Carlotta is focus on a guy passing drugs near Paolina's school. She has received a letter for TC Carlyle. TC is Tom Cat, her cat. She is hired to find a cabbie missing for two weeks. You don't need to read this book to understand the rest of the series; but it adds depth. I give the series a ...more
Ryan Mishap
This is a fine mystery series set in Boston. Barnes gives Carlotta Carlysle an interesting history (family background, ex-cop and musician, Big Sister, old flame of a mobster's son, taxi driver) that provide many avenues for a detective to have adventures in. First person point of view narratives are the norm for these types of books, so if you don't warm up to carlotta, you probably won't enjoy the mystery.
If you enjoy Paretsky or any other of the better writers with female detectives, you wil
...more
Kathleen Franklin
Apr 03, 2011 Kathleen Franklin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Linda Barnes books remind me a great deal of Sue Graftons. So if you enjoy the Alphabet murders I think you will highly enjoy Carlotta mysteries as well. They are gritty, evenly paced and well written. Set in Boston predominantly they also offer insights into the city, its culture and history - mostly its traffic though.

If you're looking for something easy to digest but also more realistic and edgy than this is a good series. They have realistic and well fleshed out characters.
Sarah
Jun 25, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The first Carlotta Carlyle mystery was quite well done. Good writing, good characters, interesting story. I especially enjoyed it as someone who lives in Boston (while I can imagine someone who hasn't been to Boston occasionally finding it a bit confusing).

I think my one complaint is that a lot of the elements of the mystery seemed a little bit unlikely. A lot of rather wide points got tied together neatly, and I don't think real life is very often that neat.
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Linda Barnes is an American mystery writer, born and raised in Detroit, and graduated from Boston University"s School of Theater. She is best known for her series featuring Carlotta Carlyle, a 6'1" redheaded detective from Boston. Carlotta Carlyle is often compared to the hard-boiled female detectives created by Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky. Her new novel, "The Perfect Ghost," which will be publi ...more
More about Linda Barnes...

Other Books in the Series

Carlotta Carlyle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Snake Tattoo (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #2)
  • Coyote (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery, #3)
  • Steel Guitar (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #4)
  • Snapshot (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #5)
  • Hardware (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #6)
  • Cold Case (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #7)
  • Flashpoint (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #8)
  • The Big Dig (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #9)
  • Deep Pockets (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #10)
  • Heart of the World (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #11)

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