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Il caso dei libri scomparsi (Mobile Library Mystery #1)

3.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,400 Ratings  ·  515 Reviews
Appena arrivato da Londra nella piccola cittadina di Tundrum, Irlanda del Nord, per ricoprire il suo primo posto come bibliotecario, il giovane Israel Armstrong scopre che in effetti il suo posto non c'è, né la biblioteca, né i libri... E questo non è che l'inizio dei suoi guai. Nel giro di poche ore infatti perde vestiti, soldi, carte di credito, e forse anche fidanzata, ...more
Paperback, Narrativa TEA, 312 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by TEA (first published 2005)
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Feb 23, 2015 Tracey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was obvious from when I ordered this book that it would not be your average mystery: young Jewish (half Irish) man arrives from joblessness in London to a small town in Ireland - Tumdrum - in the expectation of taking up a post as the new town librarian. After a hellish trip, which turns out to be fairly typical of his luck, he discovers that funding has been cut, the library will be sold and razed, and his new job is to be driving the mobile library replacing the brick and mortar stationary ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Luana rated it liked it
Avete presente quei commenti in copertina scritti per chissà quanti millemila euro da giornali importanti, come il New York Times etc. etc.? Vorrei dire, quei commenti che ci prendono per il culo 'Scrittura magistrale, una storia da togliere il fiato' e lusinghe varie? Ecco, io mica ci credo mai a queste cazzatine che scrivono sullo stile, su quant'è bravo Tal dei Tali, su quanto la sua storia sia una spirale di emozioni, però, quando ho letto 'Antidoto alla malinconia' scritto dal The Guardian ...more
I did not like this book. It’s a fish-out-of-water tale where Israel Armstrong moves from London to northern Ireland to be a librarian. As are many small communities, Israel has a rough transition that is exacerbated by almost every member of the community. He’s so hapless that his continual misfortunes don’t garner an abundance of sympathy. I did not find a single character in this book likable.

He also must solve the mystery of the missing library books which goes just as badly as his transitio
May 05, 2012 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Israel Armstrong is a passionate soul, lured to Ireland by the promise of an exciting new career. Alas, the job that awaits him is not quite what he had in mind. Still, Israel is not one to dwell on disappointment, as he prepares to drive a mobile library around a small, damp Irish town. After all, the scenery is lovely, the people are charming -- but where are the books? The rolling library's 15,000 volumes have mysteriously gone missing, and it's up to Israel to discover who would steal them ...more
Jun 13, 2010 adlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2008 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all librarians
Recommended to Carolyn by: Washington Post Book Review
This is a charmer. This is the story of a vegetarian librarian from London who finds himself in rural Ireland running a run down bookmobile with no books. Israel Atmstrong, the librarian, is a composite of Walter Mitty, Inspector Clouseau and a bit of Ignatius Reilly. The people in the village would also be right at home in Twin Peaks. How can anyone resist this? The joy in this read is the richness of the characters coupled with wonderful writing of Ian Sansom. I have read some criticism that i ...more
Mary Tuley
Nov 20, 2007 Mary Tuley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's hipper than me, and that should be a large group
I know I should've loved this book, but I really didn't -- probably because it's rougher and grimmer than I could enjoy right now. However, I still think it deserves four or five stars, for all the open-minded readers who WILL enjoy it. Besides, the main premise -- that the new librarian has to go search for the library's books, all of which have been misplaced -- gets automatic points for originality and fun.
Ruth Turner


I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't.

A cast of unlikeable characters, inane dialogue and a little too much slapstick. At times I was reminded of the Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First."


BJ Rose
Israel Armstrong is an overweight vegetarian Englishman with a Jewish mother and an Irish father who takes the job of librarian in a Northern Ireland village. A few problems erupt immediately, however. The library is closed permanently, the Mobile Library he's supposed to use is an empty, rusty van, AND all the books are missing! And the craziness begins.

I do not enjoy slapstick comedy, and I'm sure I would not like a movie version of this book. But I think that the reason this works in book for
May 14, 2015 Roberta rated it it was ok
Shelves: regno-unito
E' il primo libro che ho preso in prestito dalla sezione ebook delle biblioteche di Milano, tanto per provarne il funzionamento. Mi sono basata solo sul titolo e sulla copertina, e mi sono trovata a metà senza accorgermene. Israel, londinese un po' sfigato, accetta un lavoro da bibliotecario in uno sperduto paesino rurale dell'Irlanda del nord. Peccato che, come si evince dal titolo, la biblioteca sia vuota. Anzi, è pure chiusa: gli assegnano uno scassato furgoncino, un autista bilioso e il comp ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Bibliophile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Israel Armstrong, a half-Jewish, half-Irish slacker is hired by the local council of Tumdrum, a small town in Northern Ireland, to be the librarian for a newly-instituted mobile library. There's only one small problem (aside from the fact that Israel hates everyone in and everything about Tumdrum): the library's entire collection of books is missing and Israel is expected to find it. Our hero becomes an unlikely gumshoe, determined to trace his missing collection and in the process discovers tha ...more
So much more could have been done with this plot the slight humor could not make up for for the missing substance.

When a protagonist is as supercilious as this one, its not possible for this reader to triumph along. Perhaps a reader more versed in detective style would appreciate the references and innuendoes that fell flat for me.
Rob Kitchin
The Case of the Missing Books is effectively a cozy set in Northern Ireland. It has a quirky, awkward, central character as the sleuth and a cast of other colourful characters, and it takes place in a small town where everybody knows everybody else. The central plot revolves around Armstrong trying to find his feet in a strange place, where the locals are at one level welcoming and, at another, standoffish, whilst he tries to locate the missing books. It’s one of those books that I’m kind of amb ...more
Jun 22, 2011 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book although I realize that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Israel Armstrong is a librarian--well, he has his degree and has worked in several short-term situations--who is willing to relocate from London to Tumdrum, a small town in Northern Ireland, in order to finally have a job in a full-time position. Israel is around 30 and is a Jewish vegetarian who arrives in Tumdrum to find the library closed and all of the books missing. In fact, his new supervisor, Linda Wei (Northern ...more
May 15, 2009 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I finished reading this book the three words that first came to my mind were; clever, funny, and human. I give it 3.5 stars.

The Case of the Missing Books is the first in a series about Israel Armstrong, a librarian who takes a new job only to discover it is not at all what he expected. His library is closed and all the books are missing. To top things off he is in a "quirky" small town in Ireland far from anyone he knows and surrounded by a very, um, unique set of towns people. The people i
Aug 31, 2009 Holli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Kind of goofy, but I liked it. I liked the setting (Ireland) and the subject (libraries). I didn't especially like Israel Armstrong, the main character, but I'm not sure I was supposed to like him all that much. I really don't think life had to be that hard for him. Plenty of quirky townspeople. Plenty of possibility for more mobile library adventures.

Loved the following passage:
Israel had grown up in and around libraries. Libraries were where he belonged. Libraries to Israel had always been a
Oct 27, 2011 Marfita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Why, oh, why don't I find incompetent librarians, obtuse supervisors, and uncooperative customers funny? Israel (the character, not the country) failed to win my sympathy (okay, maybe we're talking about the country as well). He's hostile (although it could have been blood sugar and bad travel karma - that would do it for me) and clumsy. The woman at the council is two-dimensional and her fatness and constant eating of junk food is insulting to those of us who love junk food, I guess.
Israel is
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom is the first installment of Israel Armstrong, librarian/inept detective. Israel is a Jewish librarian from London who accepts a position as librarian in a small town in Ireland at the urging of his girlfriend. It is significant that Israel is Jewish because it is a very big deal to the residents of this small town.

Once in Ireland, Israel suffers a series of mishaps that leave him physically and emotionally bruised, penniless, and the unhappy librarian
Jan 09, 2016 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This book reminded me, in a way, of Cold Comfort Farm - also starring a relatively-sophisticated urbanite amongst incomprehensible rural people. In this case, a bumbling, headache-prone librarian finds that the rural library that has hired him is administered by a woman whose food habits alone make him wince. The local Council has decided to close the library building and replace it with bookmobile service - not at all what Israel Armstrong had expected. Before he can begin, though, he has to fi ...more
Kate Schindler
I had a hard time getting into this. It's about a hapless Jewish librarian from London who goes to a village in Ireland only to find out that the library he was supposed to run is closed. He's in charge of the mobile library, but the books are all missing. Some of the conversations he has are just galling. To paraphrase one between him and his boss, a bureaucrat:

Librarian: But how can I be the librarian with no books?
Boss: Looks like you'll have to find them.
Librarian: Alone?! I don't know anyon
Mar 05, 2014 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
A light, fluffy, slightly slapstick cozy mystery that is an easy and pleasant read with a few laugh-out-loud moments. I love cozy mysteries like this for their refreshingly inconsequential crimes — following the search for 15,000 missing library books makes for a nice break from the dramatic build up (and often inevitable let down) of other more serious mystery and crime novels.
Mar 18, 2009 Kaila rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Another book that I forced myself to read 100 pages and then could not stomach it after that. I have a hard time putting up with blundering idiots in real life so it's little wonder why I can't tolerate them in my books. The main character of this novel is whiny and kind of mean and the author blames it on the fact that he is a book person and therefore sensitive and shy. In other words his love of books has led him to have no fortitude. That was the first big tip off that I was probably not goi ...more
Mar 16, 2010 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I have to thank Bonnie for her review of book 4 in this series: I'd never heard of Ian Sansom and the Mobile Library Mysteries before, but her great review made me want to read them.

I loved every minute of reading this book. I don't have one of those dainty, giggly-girl laughs, I have an embarrassingly loud, guffaw-type of laugh, and let me tell you, I've embarrassed myself in the lunchroom, the doctor's waiting room, and woken up my husband laughing out loud at this book. The dialog is
Apr 18, 2010 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I decided to carry on reading this book even though it was full of dreadful cliched characters and a weak plot. I just wanted to find out where the books were. I can't find any info about Ian Sampson but I am assuming he is English, and at times I felt that this book could be a bit insulting to Irish people in the way he portrayed them. On the other hand, they may be so easy going as to say "Ach, its only a silly book" as one of his characters may say.

On the plus side, it was a pretty quick read
Oct 15, 2007 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funnylight, mysteries
A vegetarian Jewish Londoner gets his first librarian job in a small town in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, the library is closed. He's assigned to drive the mobile library, but first he has to find out where the fifteen thousand books disappeared. Meanwhile, he tries to fit into a small town where he's constantly reminded about church, offered a lot of meat, and forced to sleep in a chicken coop. Hilarious! The author writes with a sly, dry wit, and the small-town life details are almost cyni ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: médiathèque
Lecture abandonée...
Ron Ecklebarger
Feb 27, 2016 Ron Ecklebarger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, fiction, mystery
As I read about the misadventures of Israel Armstrong in The Case of the Missing Books, I am reminded of a line from a HEE-HAW song: “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” Poor Israel just wanted to be a librarian. So he was rather excited when he got the job as librarian of the Tumdrum and District Public Library, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His bubble burst in a big way when he arrives after a harrowing trip from London to find the Library permanently closed. The good news ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of Israel, who moves from England to North Ireland to accept a job as librarian. Except that when he gets there, he finds the library closed and they bully and bribe him into staying to set up their mobile library, except that there are no books for it. This was something of a mystery since Israel was supposed to be looking for the missing 15,000 library books (the whole library stock), but Israel is a horribly inept sleuth. Which could have made for a humorous story but somehow, it didn ...more
Stef Eleane
Ian Sansom est un auteur Anglais qui a écrit de nombreux romans dont cette série des "Enquêtes en bibliobuss". Cette série contient 4 livres sortis entre 2007 et 2010 au Royaume-Uni. Ce premier tome traduit en Français est dans les rayons depuis en Mars 2015.
Il a été plébiscité par de nombreux libraires, j'ai donc voulu le lire à mon tour.

Le personnage central, Israël, est un trentenaire, qui ambitionne d'être bibliothécaire. Végétarien, Londonien, très maladroit et un peu assisté. Il débarque
The adventures of the hapless Israel Armstrong who arrives in the rural village of Tumdrum in Antrim, Northern Ireland to take up his first job as a librarian - only to find that the Council has shut down the library. Worse, the Council has reinvented Israels position to an Outreach Support Officer (that's mobile librarian) - with a condemned bus and a bastardly ex-pugilist as a driver. In the land of Guinness and fry ups, uptight Israel finds himself living in a converted chicken coop pining fo ...more
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Fiction Addiction: * The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom 3 8 Nov 14, 2013 06:26PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Mobile Library Mystery (4 books)
  • Mr. Dixon Disappears (Mobile Library Mystery #2)
  • The Book Stops Here (Mobile Library Mystery, #3)
  • The Bad Book Affair (Mobile Library Mystery, #4)

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