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Spirit House

(Vincent Calvino #1)

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In the nearly twenty years he has lived in Bangkok, Christopher G. Moore has written nine novels starring Vincent Calvino, a disbarred American lawyer working as a PI in the dark and steamy Thai capital. Internationally acclaimed, the prizewinning novels have been translated into ten languages. Now Spirit House, the first novel in the series, will finally be published in N ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 20th 1999 by Heaven Lake Press (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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 ·  275 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jack Heath
Synopsis: Calvino plunges in when a farang dies and the Bangkok police have a confession that he doesn't believe. The city can be dangerous. ...more
James Newman
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great first chapter leads us into a Calvino canon that has been running for many years. Moore hardly puts a foot wrong here. The prose is economical, each event needs to occur in order for the entire book to stand on her legs and walk. Walk she does. Beautifully. While a few writers have carried the torch of Bangkok noir fiction for brief snatches of time, Moore has proved time and time again that his is the light that they are following. After many years this book and others of Moore's have f ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
PROTAGONIST: PI Vincent Calvino
SETTING: Bangkok
SERIES: #1 if 14
WHY: It's nothing out of the ordinary for a farang (Caucasian) to be killed in Bangkok. But it is unusual for the killer to confess the next day. PI Vincent Calvino doesn't believe that a young paint-thinner addict has murdered Ben Hoadly, an expat Brit. Joining forces with his best friend, Pratt, a Thai police colonel, and a friend/lover naked Kiko, Calvino plunges into the dangerous world of Bangkok. Moore does an except
Kay Skopitz
Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Ok, I couldn't actually finish this book. Tough guy PI (of course, he's *from* Brooklyn, and a disbarred lawyer to boot)in Thailand. Usually, I love this kind of macho exercise, but this novel never really came together for me. The POV changes without warning and without reason. Eh. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I believe the reader should understand a few things about the author.
It does not matter whether he is Canadian or of another nationality.
He has been living in Thailand for so long that he is soaked in it.

We expatriates are well aware that our host country,
"Thailand, has changed a lot."
I am a member of the "Pattaya Expats Club" and Moore had come to give a conference I attended.
It was the first sentence of his speech.
His introduction.
I, who have lived in the land of smiles for 13 years, have n
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
First, the narrator was wonderful. He had so many accents due to the variety of male and female international characters in this book, plus using his voice alone I was able to know who was talking. At times, the narrator was what kept me listening to this audio book. I first thought I was getting a story by Christopher Moore, just curious about the G. Otherwise I never would have bought this book. But I'm glad I did because there was so much I enjoyed about this story.

Expats in Bangkok, Thai cri
Stewart Olson
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the first of a number of books by this author (not to be confused with the other Christopher Moore who writes humerous fantasies, although his books are great), in which the protagonist is Vincent Calvino, a disbarred lawyer who works as a PI in Bangkok. If you like this one you are in luck as there are 15 or 16 more. I have a copy of this book which I will loan you. The library has some others, otherwise Kindle is the way to go.
Ed Teja
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading a review of the latest book in this series, I was curious enough to want to read the first one. It is a hard-boiled PI story set in Bangkok. I've been there a few times over the years and the place rings true. Vincent's life is a little depressing but realistic. If you like noir and SE Asia crime, you'll probably love this book. ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Expat disbarred lawyer works as a p.i. in Bangkok. He navigates through layers of intrigue in the labyrinth of Thai society trying to find who killed an English businessman. From bars to squash court he pursues his quest. Vinnie Calvino is a like able character with problems but a decent streak. He has respect for Thai culture even if it trips him up. Realistic characters make a good yarn.
I really enjoy mysteries that are set in Thailand for some reason. This is definitely more of a hard-boiled, noir-type mystery than an atmospheric, surreal kind of mystery. I liked meeting the characters, and enjoyed the ending.
Michael D Holland
Slow starting

The novel was slow to get started. After laying the ground work the pace picked up and kept me turning the pages to the end.
Rogue Reader
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thailand
Timothy Hallinan, author of the Poke Rafferty series, introduced me to Thai crime fiction and Hallinan's short story in Bangkok Noir (Akashic, 2011) introduced me to Christopher G. Moore's writing. I can't believe it took me that long to discover Moore.

Spirit House is excellent, featuring private investigator Vincent Calvino. Calvino knows the nighttime, the darkness of the city. He's broken in some ways - given to drink, not able to love. But Calvino's observant and smart, with a sense of just
Jan 21, 2009 rated it liked it
To be honest I bought this book thinking it was by Christopher Moore and not Christopher G. Moore...Yes I should pay more attention to these details. In the end I was happy enough as Moore writes like Raymond Chandler crossed with Elmore Leonard. He sets his story in Thailand which makes a nice change from the mean streets of New York or Los Angeles as many cop turned private detective books are frequently based in these two familiar urban environments.

Moore's hero, Vinee Calvino is in the best
This was my second Vince Calvino book. I just couldn't get into it. His writing confuses me at times. I don't know if it's a lack of continuity, a failure to make clear what the antecedents are for his pronouns, or just my ignorance, but I find it difficult to follow in places. I just slogged through it, hoping the ending would make up for it (but it didn't).
Don't know if I'll make it through this one because it's set in Bangkok and the author brings in lots of stuff about the sex trade there as background and I'm getting grossed out...on the other hand, it's an interesting mystery and I want to see what happens...OK, I gave up. The grossed-out part beat out the wanting-to-see-what-happens part. ...more
Farhan Saya
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
A good story, but the style of writing was a little confusing. However, knowing that the series has reached fifteen books, the writing style must have improved in the future books.

If you are a fan of John Burdett Bangkok series, do give CGM's Vincent Calvino series a try. It is a more grittier version of Burdett's Bangkok.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, mystery
I could not finish it either -- I read far enough to figure out who did what, then quit. I felt like it suffered from really poor editing; there were jarring transitions and references to events I couldn't remember, like large sections had been cut out and the rewrite was rushed. ...more
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foreignmysteries
Great suspenseful read & definitely recommended!
rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2012
Kevin Corr
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2014
Joan Brandt
rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2020
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2019
rated it really liked it
Aug 06, 2015
rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2014
rated it it was ok
Nov 28, 2013
Peter Herman
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2009
rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2015
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Aug 13, 2013
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Christopher G. Moore is a Canadian author who has lived in Thailand since 1988. Formerly a law professor at the University of British Columbia and a practicing lawyer, Moore has become a public figure in Southeast Asia, known for his novels and essays that have captured the spirit and social transformation of Southeast Asia over the past three decades.

Moore has written over 30 fiction and non-fic

Other books in the series

Vincent Calvino (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Asia Hand (Vincent Calvino #2)
  • Zero Hour in Phnom Pehn
  • Comfort Zone
  • The Big Weird
  • Cold Hit: A Novel
  • Minor Wife
  • Pattaya 24/7
  • The Risk of Infidelity Index: Vincent Calvino, an American P.I. in Bangkok
  • Paying Back Jack: A Vincent Calvino Novel (Vincent Calvino, #10)
  • The Corruptionist (Vincent Calvino, #11)

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