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The Book Stops Here (Mobile Library Mystery, #3)
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The Book Stops Here (Mobile Library Mystery #3)

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  521 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews

Disgruntled, disheveled, fish-out-of-water mobile librarian Israel Armstrong is finally going home to London, rattling along with his irascible companion Ted Carson in their rust bucket book van en route to the Mobile Meet. The annual library convention gives Israel the opportunity to catch up with his family, eat paprika chicken and baklava, and drink good coffee. But th

Paperback, 307 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2008)
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Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
These books are not only laugh out loud funny but also very unique. They are mysteries where not even the criminals are bad. The crimes are not even really crimes and there is certainly no violence.

In this installment, Israel and Ted are back in England to attend a mobile librarians' conference with their mobile library van. Unfortunately, it gets stolen and sold to Travellers (gypsies). Hilarity ensues!

As an American, I did have to google a few terms like potain and craythur. It really is a fun
Jul 01, 2016 Lemar rated it really liked it
Israel Armstrong, more heroically mediocre than he knows, hits the road from Northern Ireland to England with his odd couple partner Ted. Ian Sansom has a breezy and ver funny style making this series enjoyable in a way comparable to P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie.

Sansom gently but accurately describes what it's like to live in a new city. As he continues to adjust to the move from London to Northern Ireland "Israel still found it hard to believe that he had ended up here in the first plac
Sep 26, 2011 JC rated it really liked it
Sansome is one of my favorite writers--if Alexander McCall Smith had a malicious bone in his body, he might write the kind of mysteries Sansome writes. The story line in this book rambles a bit as the mobile library bus and its handlers "gang aft agley"; but the scene in the ersatz Irish pub in London, operated by a former Tumdrum acquaintance, is worth the price of the book by itself.

The humor in the Mobile Library series ranges from sly satire to all-out moments of farce that remind me of the
Sep 15, 2011 Judy rated it liked it
Israel Armstrong is my favorite Jewish, mobile librarian--a total fish out of water in Northern Ireland. Since moving to Northern Ireland, Israel has been in culture shock. After leaving London for life in rural Ireland, he has been longing to return to England to visit his family, to see his friends, to eat the foods he misses, and, most of all, to reunite with his girlfriend, Gloria. A golden opportunity presents itself when Israel and his mobile library partner, Ted Carson, are assigned to ta ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, funny, novels
These books are marketed as a mystery series. And I guess each one has a little mystery at its core, but really they're more of a hilarious fish-out-of-water series. In this one, we focus in on Israel and Ted, which suited me perfectly, as their relationship is my favorite part of these hilarious, readable books. Also, we finally get to meet some of Israel's friends and family in London, and the way they interact with him answers tons of questions about how he came to be the passive, bumbling, l ...more
Israel Armstrong is an unlikely hero, and this series is comprised of unlikely but delightful mysteries. Although the mystery plays second fiddle to an odd but intensely likable people and communities in Northern Ireland. And no talk of The Troubles, which is an unexpected and welcome surprise. This is one of my fave series, and I highly recommend it for a funny, fast read.
Jul 16, 2009 Joanna rated it liked it
These books are all about the character--poor hapless Israel Armstrong---and not at all about the supposed mystery. The sequence of events hurtle out of his control and I feel a bemused can't-look-away sympathy for his ineptitude and the intense discrepency between who he thinks he is and who he is. Meanwhile, I love it.
Dec 06, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: librarians and librarian haters
Things manage to get even worse for our Israel in this entry in the Mobile Library Mystery series, leaving a pretty beaten down adventurer at the end. That's all good, though, now that he's hit rock bottom I know that this reader is curious to see where he goes from here. The only problem I have with these books is that I read them so quickly... then wait and wait for the next to be published.
Mar 29, 2009 Ed rated it liked it
Isreal Armstrong is a fish completely out of water. Holding a BA (Hon) from Oxford, employed in a book shop where he feels his talents are wasted, engaged (more or less) to a beautiful, intellignet and successful woman, he feels he needs to do something with his life. So (in the first book of this series) he answers an advertisment for a librarian postition in Tumdrum, Northern Ireland. Tumdrum might as well be at the other end of the world. It takes longer to travel there from London by train, ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Annina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took a while - well months - for me to read this book. I started it quite long ago, but had absolutely no problem putting it down to read other things. I had more problems getting myself to pick it up again. I was a little bored by this book. I still had so much interest in it that I wanted to finish it. The mobile meet also seemed like something fun, but that was glossed over in about a page in the end.

I really quite enjoyed the first Mobile Library book I read. That was the one before this
Nilo Di Stefano
Feb 02, 2011 Nilo Di Stefano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'è poco da fare o da scrivere, la saga del bibliobus di Tundrum è divertente, irriverente, fresca e assolutamente da leggere. Questo terzo episodio ha meno colpi di scena, ma non meno ritmo rispetto i precedenti. Gli immancabili riferimenti sessisti e razzisti ne fanno una lettura politicamente non corretta, ma sono riferimenti sempre da prendere con il sorriso ed in modo intelligente perché rompono gli argini del buonismo, dei classici benpensanti, quei canoni di falso moralismo che spesso ino ...more
Gerri Alexander
Apr 05, 2011 Gerri Alexander rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, soar
You can't go home again, even if you get to go there on a business trip.

Bookmobile librarian Israel Armstrong has been working in rural Northern Ireland for a few years, and always compares it to the wonderful way things were done in London. He's excited to return for a bookmobile conference and thinks how great everything will be, but finds out that the whole country has changed since he's been gone. And none of it is changed in a good way. Or was it like this before, and he just never noticed
Mar 15, 2012 Jenny rated it it was ok
I found the first two Mobile Libraries quite enjoyable. Perhaps it was relocating the characters away from Tumdrum that made this less fun for me. The plot is stimple: Israel takes off for London for a mobile library convention. Unfortunately the book mobile is stolen their first night in London. Confusion, solstice celebrations, and patchouli smelling dirty hippies later the van is recovered. And Gloria is dispatched from the series without ever actually appearing.

Unlike the first two, I did n
Dec 01, 2011 Kylie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not for the mystery, there isn't really one, but for the writing which is laugh out loud funny and for the author's perception and kind, keen observation of human nature. I laughed the whole way through this book, and kept coming to bits that I wanted to read out loud to someone. I meant to start this series with the first book, and somehow ended up starting with a book in the middle so I'll have to go back and read them all in order. Basically, the series is abo ...more
Jan 04, 2009 Camille rated it did not like it
i'm halfway through with this book, but i have absolutely no desire to open it again. i've read the first two in the series and was annoyed with them and can't imagine why i thought this one would be any less unpleasant.
what got me to finally give up on finishing this one was checking out the other reviews here on goodreads. there are others who found the conversation between the main characters annoying. i don't want to say that this book is written poorly or to diss the author in any way. i j
May 08, 2012 Thais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Il primo episodio della saga mi era piaciuto moltissimo. Il secondo era pessimo. Questa è la terza delle avventure di Israel Armstrong, biblioecario ebreo, vegetariano ed estremamente sfigato, e devo dire che un po' si ritrovano l'ironia e la suspence del primo romanzo. Non mi è dispiaciuto, e la trama era più originale e meno scontata rispetto al secondo episodio, senza trascurare un pizzico di riflessione su cosa significhi tornare a "casa" dopo mesi che si è via.
Bravo Sansom, stavolta mi hai
Aug 24, 2010 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Sansom has created a great little series here. When you have finished those high brow intellectual books you read pick up one of these and have a little light relief. Light relief? side splittingly funny. This is the third book and our hero travels to England (on business apparently)and takes his Irish colleague on a tour of the London, Essex and Hampshire areas. They come into contact with some, lets say interesting characters and, of course, get into to some terrible scrapes that only thes ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Beth rated it it was ok
Um, I read it. I kinda enjoyed it? It was too pithy. Too witty to be believable. I didn't actually like any of the characters because the writing was all about being super catchy. Every once in a while I'd get a good section, something deeper, than it would regress into the shallow snippy writing that made it hard to read. Hard to sink into and just enjoy. And it was more than a bit depressing and sad. There was a section on Isreal trying to re-connect with his friends and they were all texting ...more
Kevin K. Gillette
Apr 11, 2016 Kevin K. Gillette rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is one of those books that I really want to like more than I actually do. It's funny and peculiar, and normally these sorts of books appeal to me. I've read the previous volumes in this series as well, and came away with the same feeling: That although they weren't a waste of time by any means, I simply don't empathize with the main character (Israel Armstrong) enough. He's too much of a ninny to be a hero, and yet he's also too much of a ninny to be a proper anti-hero - a real conundrum! N ...more
Candy Wood
Jul 23, 2011 Candy Wood added it
Shelves: mysteries
This third outing in the Mobile Library series sounded interesting because the not-so-intrepid Israel Armstrong and his Irish colleague, Ted, take the van to London on the way to a Mobile Meet. And I enjoyed it, while suspecting that it's all too clever. The mixture of social satire (like the episode where the neighborhood hangout, Grodzinski's, has turned into a Starbucks) and sort of mystery (this time it's just about finding the stolen van) still works, but. Israel's mother is heading back to ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Nicole rated it it was ok
This is a mystery in the same way The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a mystery-- that is, not really at all. Which is fine, as long as it is a good story, just miscategorized. I read the first in this series and that was a fun, unique take on the mystery genre. This book (third in the series-- I skipped the second by accident) is more of a character study, which would be okay if the author hadn't taken it to the emotional climax and then abruptly ended the book without the smallest of resol ...more
Sep 07, 2011 DROPPING OUT rated it really liked it
Sansom improves over time - In this third outing, characters continue to sharpen and deepen, and the dialogue is witty, often viciously so. The "mystery," like the second one of shallow - and less than a mystery than a detective procedural. Something that is beginning to bother me if the constant referencing to contemporary culture. This will clearly hold up over time. While it has its place in defining Israel Armstrong, I can only wonder what readers in even five years will think. But, clearly, ...more
May 21, 2013 Tilia rated it liked it
Israel Armstrong leaves the Northern Ireland village of Tumdrum on a business trip to London, but the van is stolen. Funny and lyrical, but as was the case with an earlier book in the series, I want him to grow a spine. Israel never stands up for himself and has no pride in his Jewishness or anything else. No matter how adept the writing is--and it is far more than that; it is often lyrical, surprising, and funny--one doesn't want to spend too much time with a protagonist one couldn't respect in ...more
Sep 12, 2010 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my favorite in this series so far. These are my light reading go-to books and they never fail to make me laugh. With sentences like: "The old man may have had a head like a pig and may have struggled to walk farther than a couple of hundred yards, but he was utterly, utterly blingtastic." and... "In Israel's [main character's] fantasies, librarians were mild-mannered superheroes, with extrasensory perceptions and shape-shifting capacities and a highly developed sense of responsibility w ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Connie rated it really liked it
This is the humorous adventure of Israel Armstrong, who is an English, Jewish, vegetarian, bookmobile librarian who is working in Northern Ireland.

Since I am an American, Jewish, vegetarian, bookmobile librarian who is working in the U.S., I found this book to be really funny.

Ian Sansom has clearly either worked as a librarian or knows a librarian because he "understands the territory"!!!

I am not certain if a non-librarian would enjoy this book, but it would be worth "giving it a try" in my opin
Rena Sherwood
Jan 28, 2016 Rena Sherwood rated it really liked it
This is the most unique mystery book I've ever read. Only problem is that it is not much of a mystery. However, as a BOOK, this is a delightful read. I lived five years in the UK and read this soon after I returned to America and was suffering from reverse culture shock. I'm not sure I should admit this, but I met people like the characters shown in this book when I was in England.

This is the only book in the series that I've read and I did not have any problem figuring out what was going on.
Laura Rodd
Apr 05, 2013 Laura Rodd rated it really liked it
I truly adore Sansom's Israel Armstrong character. Our hapless English librarian is back (though still stuck working on a mobile book van in the northern most area of Northern Ireland) and his clothes are no cleaner nor his attitude improved in this installment. He is on a pilgrimage home to London to pick out a new book van when all heck breaks lose...his girlfriend has empty her life and apartment of any and all things Israel, his mother is on an "improvement kick to self discovery", his old f ...more
Jul 12, 2009 Mom rated it did not like it
I have found more books that I can't even finish during this past year than I have in the past 60! The conversation between the two main protagonists is supposed to be witty repartee I think. Instead, it is merely ill tempered nastiness that reminds me of when I had two tired cranky toddlers in the back seat on a long trip. I didn't enjoy it then and I don't enjoy it now. Usually I enjoy the British sense of humor and was looking forward to this book. I read about a third of it and nothing happe ...more
Oct 25, 2008 Aubrey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Buehner, Matt
The continuation of Israel Armstrong's adventures as mobile-librarian-detective extraordinaire!
Matt and Beuhner, my wish is for you two to read at least the first book and to eventually get hooked so you have to read them all against your will.
Ha, ha!!

"Mobile librarians are of course some of the finest, most open-, broad-, and community-minded individuals in the world-they're basically social workers on wheels, with a penchant for Penguin Classics."
Mar 19, 2012 Kellie rated it it was ok
The Book Stops Here.. and so does my reading of this series.

I read it because it was already on my shelf, but it cemented my choice to not read this series any longer. This one was not nearly as enjoyable as the other two (although exchanges between Ted and Israel are still funny). Maybe it was taking them out of Tumdrum.... I just found it slow and tiring, especially Israel's mom and the side story of Gloria. It took too long for Israel to figure that out, and I wanted to shake him.
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“But then twitching nervously in the presence of a librarian wasn't an uncommon response—librarians, like ministers of religion, and poets, and people with serious mental health disorders, can make people nervous. Librarians possess a kind of occult power, an aura. They could silence people with just a glance. At least, they did in Israel's fantasies. In Israel's fantasies, librarians were mild-mannered superheroes, with extrasensory perceptions and a highly developed sense of responsibility who demanded respect from everyone they met. In reality, Israel couldn't silence even Mrs Onions on her mobile phone when she was disturbing other readers.” 5 likes
“Those who can, do; those who can't learn classification and cataloguing.” 4 likes
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