The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide, #1)
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The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam (Good Thief's Guide #1)

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,150 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living, about an intrepid burglar named Faulks.To supplement his income---and to keep his hand in---Charlie also has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission.

When a mysterious American offers to pay Charlie 20,000 euros if he steals two small monkey figurines to match the one...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 2007)
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Mel Siew
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Cheeky, clever, & with a semblance of Dashiell Hammett & Raymond Chandler, this mystery novel entertained me through and through. This is the first in a series of "Good Thief" stories which I'd heard of and finally decided to try. Very pleased I did; the book itself is not particularly long, but the story was solid. I particularly liked that what seems simple on the surface is actually a little more complex as you peel back the layers. And, while this has some humorous elements to it, it...more
Charlie Howard writes books about thieves and suspense. He's also a thief himself. Approached by a man who wants him to steal three monkey figurines of little apparent value, but the theft must occur in a certain time frame. Charlie decides, against his better judgment (the money's really good,) to take on the challenge. He recovers two of them only to discover he had competition, and that the American who hired him has been severely beaten and left for dead. Charlie is soon a suspect in the mur...more
A decent story, with a great setting (I love the Netherlands), all totally obscured by the absolute worst copy editing/proofreading I have ever seen. Weird constructions, flat-out grammatical errors, and the homonyms, oh, the homonyms. St. Martin's should be ashamed.

- First page, fifth sentence: "If I was a lesser writer,..." This should read, "If I were a lesser writer..." (an example of the otherwise rare subjunctive in English). This isn't a typo; it's consistently wrong, throughout the book....more
Whenever I travel, I try to read a book before hand that has something to do with that locale. This summer I traveled to the Netherlands and picked 2 books to read - Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (great story but has almost nothing to do with Amsterdam) and The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam. This is the first of Chris Ewan's 'Good Thief' series which revolve around a mystery author, Charlie Howard, who happens to supplement his income with a bit of burglary on the side. Charlie is no ordinary burgla...more
If Chris Ewan was an architect, his philosophy wouldn't be "less is more", Corbusier is he not. His buildings would probably be of Richard Roger's intricate steel structures. His detective story sure is. Well, probably not that complicated but I can see how he revels in plots & details, there's a conclusion he made involving a break-in using mallet & drill, there's a gun being hidden somewhere that turned up again several chapter later, there's a manuscript with a plot hole involving a b...more
While the book had a great premise--a crime novelist who writes about a thief, and is actually a thief himself!--the execution was really pretty bad. I had no sympathy for the main character, as he was boring and didn't really ever engage the reader. Also, the whole I'm-a-writer aspect seemed like it was just tacked on as an afterthought, and wasn't ever developed fully. While sometimes we saw the main character thinking about his book, we never saw him writing or revising in any depth. Finally,...more
This book is a reader's choice book at my library and I loved it. It was well written with a lot of unexpected plot twists. It was very fast paced and left a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter so it was hard to put down. The climax was very complex with a lot of loose ends but the author tied it all up nicely. There is one adult scene though, which I guess unfortunately is standard for any modern book anymore. But the tight prose was gripping.
One of those books that I would have not finished if I had actually been reading it instead of listening to the audio. The premise of a mystery writer who moonlights as a burglar sounded great but the characters were kind of flat and the plot was not all that engaging. The narration by Simon Vance was the highlight of the whole enterprise.
I think this might have been slipped into my suitcase by Skyring to release in Amsterdam, but unfortunately I started reading it there, and it continued on to the plane home...

It was a fairly good book, good escapist, and had enough twists and turns in it to keep me interested.
Interesting concept for writer/thief. Liked narrative style. Moved along at fair pace. Translation bit sketchy in a few places. Enjoyable quick read.
Wordy plot with nothing but talk over the final 40 pages. Early action comes to a standstill as the main character works out the details of an old murder.
Iva Tarle
fun and exciting, full of suspense. i want to read more of his books. if you like thiefs, thriller and mistery, this is your number.
I really, really enjoyed this. The narrator was wonderful and the storytelling was great! I will definitely read more of the series.
Exceeding expectations, this is a fun romp through Amsterdam and a solid mystery about a mystery writer abroad.
Entertaining mystery with lots of twists and turns, quirky characters, and interesting setting.
This book was a crap-shoot for me - not my usual type of mystery read, but it sounded like a clever and different concept, with a writer who writes about a burglar, and actually IS a burglar himself in his spare time. Unfortunately, this really didn't hold my attention.

There was just something about the writing style that felt flat to me. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it felt like I was skimming through the story without really connecting to anything that was happening except on the...more
I bought this because I thought it would be quick, light plane reading. And it was. It's easy to read, quick and doesn't really require a lot of brain power. I did have to stop and start with the book a lot though, mainly because the main character annoyed me a bit. He tried too hard.

The main character- Charlie- is a crime-fiction author, who also happens to moonlight as a thief. He's somehow embroiled in this elaborate, and invariably messy, burglary where everything goes wrong. The thing about...more
Amy Cockram
This is the first book in a series of "Good Thief's Guide to (insert foreign, interesting location)." I noticed the 4th book in the series (Venice) in the library while on my current "read anything you can find set in Venice" binge. As I am an obsessive, I have to read the other books first, in order, before I can get to Venice. However, as I have also previously been to Amsterdam, I was interested in the first entry to the series.

Chris Ewan's hero is Charlie Howard, an author of mysteries and s...more
Charlie Howard is an appealing rogue who can't resist a locked door or locked drawer. He is also a mystery writer. An email from a stranger invites the author to a bar in Amsterdam. The stranger is fellow burglar who offers a large sum if Charlie will retrieve two small monkey figurines to complete his set of three. The secret of the three monkeys and the loose ends left after a diamond robbery 12 years earlier draw Charlie into a twisted plot where names and relationships change until the final...more
A ripping good yarn. Who would have thought to create a character that is a thief and a successful crime writer - talk about creating your own stories! This audio book kept me company on the miserable journey from Glasgow to Birmingham today (May 10th) and what a lot of rain there was. A lot of rain in our hero (?) Charlie Howards life as well as he steals two monkey figures for an American who dies in suspicious circumstances before Charlie can hand them over and receive his substantial pay. So...more
Sometimes life really does imitate art. That's certainly the case for Charlie Howard, who has written a series of suspense novels about an intrepid thief named Faulks. As it turns out, Charlie also does a bit of burgling on the side. Apparently, this is not a very well-kept secret. Charlie is currently working in Amsterdam and is approached by an American who is willing to pay him a lot of money to steal two monkey figurines, which are a part of a "Hear/See/Speak No Evil" set, and for which he h...more
Good, clean fun. I might even follow this self-absorbed hack writer (speaking of the protagonist, not his creator, although...) to Paris for another silly caper. What I needed to get through a stressful couple of days.

A couple of months ago I attended a day-long writing conference. It was a series of workshops featuring a multitude of themes; most sessions featured writing prompts that we responded to and then read our writing aloud.

There was this thing I noticed from fellow participants who w...more
I don't remember what I expected from this book, but it certainly wasn't what I got. The plot was all right, with its fair share of twists, but the book, especially towards the end, was incredibly cliched. Example: The ending is purposely ambiguous so as not to prematurely reveal all. He talks about how he calls "this person" or goes on "errands". This is done so he can have a big reveal at the end, which is incredibly cliched and annoying. And his big reveal goes on FOREVER!!! The character kee...more
This is rather reminiscent of the Bernie Rhodenbarr series —the main character/narrator is not only a thief who has to solve the mystery to save his own neck, but is also involved in the world of books (though here as an author, rather than a seller) —but it's neither plotted nor written anywhere near so well, and the "Let's gather everyone together for the dénouement" approach seems much more out of place here.

Although not self-published, this was one of the first novels released by the single...more

This book was a nice romp, something to take my mind off of the excessive heat and humidity of the East Coast summer. It is not taxing and the mystery is not very difficult to solve. Most likely you will put the pieces together, or at least solve a few riddles, long before the narrator, Charlie, does. For a mystery writer, he took a bit too long to figure a few things out. I almost wanted to shout at him at one moment.

The point of this book is to learn about Charlie, enjoy him and enjoy Amsterda...more
I wish there was an option for 2 1/2 stars, but since I had to choose, I went with 2 stars rather than 3. I thought the book ended stronger than it started. I was annoyed by what felt like a superiority complex on the part of the author; especially because I thought the main character was an idiot for not figuring out right off the bat that something was hidden inside the monkeys. (Of course I thought it was the diamonds until I realized that they were still uncut. But still!) The solving of the...more
Auf Chris Ewans Krimi-Reihe um den Meisterdieb und Krimi-Autor Charlie Howard wurde ich durch den dritten Band der Reihe, „Vendetta in Las Vegas“, aufmerksam. Nachdem ich den dritten Band zu Erst gelesen habe, habe ich nun auch nacheinander den ersten und zweiten Band gelesen. Da es mir zu beiden Büchern nicht richtig gelingt eine Rezension zu schreiben, ohne das Gefühl zu haben, zwei Mal die gleiche Rezension zu schreiben, möchte ich an dieser Stelle die beiden Bücher bzw. die Reihe einfach nur...more
The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam is book 1 of the Charlie Howard mystery series by Chris Ewan. Series protagonist Charlie Howard travels internationally, writes mystery thrillers featuring a burglar, and is a thief himself on the side.

The first book of the series is set in modern-day Amsterdam, where Charlie Howard is living and finishing up his latest mystery. A mysterious American stranger contacts Charlie through his website, and offers him a large sum to steal monkey figurines (of the ‘h...more
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Born in Taunton in 1976, Chris Ewan now lives on the Isle of Man with his wife Jo and their labrador Maisie.

Chris’ debut novel, THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM, won the Long Barn Books First Novel Competition and is published in paperback by Simon and Schuster. THE GOOD THIEF’S GUIDE TO PARIS, is due to be published in the UK in February 2009 and in the US in November 2008.

More about Chris Ewan...
Safe House The Good Thief's Guide to Paris (Good Thief's Guide, #2) The Good Thief's Guide to Venice (Good Thief's Guide, #4) The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas (Good Thief's Guide, #3) The Good Thief's Guide to Berlin (Good Thief's Guide, #5)

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