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A Private Man

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In 1947, World War II veteran and former lawman Max Dexter opens his own detective agency in Hamilton, Ontario. Max and his assistant Isabel O'Brien are on the case from murder to money laundering and organized crime.
Paperback, 291 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Seraphim Editions
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Chris Laing, a former native of Hamilton, Ontario, is a long-time fan of the mystery genre. Growing up, he listened to mystery stories on the radio. Later he read mysteries and decided one day that he could do better than some of the books he'd been reading. So he took up writing as a hobby in his retirement. And as a result, we have his first mystery novel, A Private Man.

The story is set in Hamilton in 1947. Max Dexter, a wounded veteran traumatized by his experiences during World War II, has
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are from the Hammer, pick up this book!! Set in post World War II Hamilton, this book really engrossed you in the scenes and locations of the city (all of which I recognized which was pretty cool)! It was a noir mystery with hardboiled detective elements but the characters were complex and interesting. They didn't fall into stereotypes as can usually happen. Would definitely read more following Isabel and Max!
Jane Mulkewich
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is set in Hamilton, Ontario, which was one of the things that made it so enjoyable for me.
C Valeri
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In the tradition of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, this is an exciting and interesting work of hard-boiled detective fiction introducing WWII veteran ex-RCMP PI Max Dexter. Characters are well-drawn, including Dexter's assistant, Isabel, although she fell into female stereotypes at times. Plot was exciting and kept you reading.
What I really enjoyed about this book was that it was set in my home-town of Hamilton in 1947 and it had a strong sense of place. I
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Decent detective novel. What elevated it to a 4 star for me was that it is set in Hamilton in 1947 and generously makes use of familiar old and new landmarks. Marg Houghton, retired HPL archivist is included in the thank you notes. Two more novels with the same likeable main characters are listed in the library catalogue and on my 'to read' list.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
interesting reading a crime novel based in my own home town; could see all the places named.
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More Than a GOOD read! I stumbled on this book while trying to read books that sounded like the type I like that have won or been shortlisted for an Arther Ellis award since 2009. Then I went against my better judgement, after having been burned a few times, and bought it without having previously read anything by this author. And, amazingly for once, am I ever glad I did because this is a entertaining and enjoyable read with a pretty good plot, a fair bit of action, some really great ...more
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This book takes place in 1947 in Hamilton, Ontario. Max Dexter, former RCMP officer and wounded war veteran, opens up a detective agency and gets a missing person's case and attractive assistant all on the same day. I enjoyed reading about old Hamilton and was intrigued with how so many facts were unearthed without the benefit of modern technology. A good read.
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this a lot. It's a conventional mystery more or less: missing man, who may be guilty of embezzlement, is found murdered in a style reminiscent of the Mafia. What makes it superior is the humour in the writing and the detail about life in Hamilton, Ontario in 1947.
Lindsey Sieders
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I found the actual story was a bit slow for a murder mystery, however the detail of life in Hamilton made it a neat read for me!
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A highly readable debut detective noir set in Hamilton in the heady post-World War II era.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN13: 9781927079096 2 22 Dec 07, 2012 10:13AM  

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Chris Laing is a native of Hamilton, Ontario. He worked in private business for twenty years before joining the Federal Public Service, where he served in the Department of the Secretary of State and National Museums of Canada until his retirement.
In the past few years he has expanded his long-time interest in detective stories from that of avid reader to writing in this genre. His short stories
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