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A Private Business: A Hakim and Arnold Mystery
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A Private Business: A Hakim and Arnold Mystery (Hakim and Arnold #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
2012: London is hosting the Olympics and the East End is at the centre of the world. Yet surrounding the glamorous Olympic Park are some of the most deprived areas of the city.
PI Lee Arnold and his assistant, Mumtaz Hakim, work in these streets, in a community fraught with tensions. When Arnold is hired by a controversial stand- up comedian, he already knows that her rout
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Quercus
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Such a great book. I love Barbara Nadel Inspector Ikmen Istanbul-based books, and wasn't sure how I'd feel about the British setting with entirely different characters.

I particularly liked Mumtaz, while Lee seems like kind've a stale/overly familiar (ex) police character (former alcoholic with a messed up family life and a child with whom he's got an awkward relationship), Mumtaz is what elevates the book for a 2.5 star book to a 4 star book. She was definitely surprising and almost reminded me
Steve Norris
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.

I wasn't sure at first about the narrative style and thought the authors may be playing the politically correct card in the character selection. But that wasn't the case at all.
The narrative grew in confidence and style and you really were on the heroes side. There was a warmth and positivity that ran through what is essentially a tragic and dark story.

So a low key crime story, which challenges some racial stereotypes, and leaves you feeling good about the characters a
Rachel Hall
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely cracking start to the Hakim and Arnold series with Barbara Nadel firing on all cylinders and the introduction to her new pairing, ex-policeman Lee Arnold and his assistant, an early thirties headscarf wearing Muslim window in Mumtaz Hakim. An original East End boy Lee is seeking to establish his private investigations business and in need of an assistant and occasional secretary. Lee hires Mumtaz, impressed by her psychology degree and also somewhat intrigued, well aware that he is ...more
A Private Business is the first in a new series by Barbara Nadel, set in the modern-day East End of London. Private detective Lee Arnold hires Muslim widow Mumtaz Hakim to be his assistant, and they soon find themselves embroiled in a sinister case involving a former female stand-up comedienne who has found God.

While there is nothing particularly new or different about Lee Arnold (I think this is the third divorced, alcoholic (ex)cop character story I've read this year), Mumtaz does stand out as
Hayley Crandell
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Started this last night. God I love Quercus Crime.
Centres around an ex-detective, now Private Detective, and his assistant who happens to be a Bangladeshi Muslim. I loved every aspect of this book - it's the start of a series, and Nadel has set up the protagonists beautifully. I can't wait for the next one. It's not at all preachy, but the author has just completely integrated all the characters in their melting pot suburb really well, while gently educating the reader. LOVED IT.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent, most decent. An unusual pairing and a pleasantly convoluted storyline.
Miss R Elliott
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent new series

I love these new characters. The plot adds more and more clues and slowly reveals more and more secrets and lies, as the endings lead you further still, into book 2!!
Miki Jacobs
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A nice easy read, good story it so sure about the ending.
Rob Kitchin
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The real strengths of A Private Business is the characterisation, contextualisation and social interplay between characters. Nadel has created four strong lead characters in former cop, Lee, Muslim widow, Mumtaz, divorced and world weary cop, Vi, and former alternative comedienne, Maria Peters. The plot focuses as much on their own lives and troubles, and the various forces shaping them, as it does the investigation, and this is a definite plus rather than a distraction. They are genuinely inter ...more
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thriller
I wanted to like this..I adore Cetin Ikmen and Barbara Nadel's other characters in her Istanbul novels. I'm a headscarf wearing muslim woman like Mumtaz , (half of Nadel's new Private Eye team.)and there aren't many characters I can identify with in mainstream fiction ,so that aspect of this attracted me too.I don't know what I expected, but I just found it a bit too 'grubby'..the flasher, the foul mouthed comedian, the pervy neighbour.. Not my cup of tea.I think the reason I like the books set ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some dangling modifiers but I liked the plot and premise and characters enough to forgive them -- private detective and ex-copper Lee Arnold is a white lifelong East Ender, and his assistant Mumtaz Hakim is a headscarved British Pakistani Muslim widow with a stroppy teenaged stepdaughter. This one is set in East London around the Olympic Stadium in 2012 and has the feel of inside knowledge to it -- I'll read more of these.
Cornelia Boldyreff
This is the first book in Barbara Nadel's Hakim and Aronld Mystery series. It's set in East London at the time leading up to the 2012 Olypics. My book group is reading it on my recommendation, so I hope they enjoy it as much as I did.
Audrey Chong
After Istanbul, Detroit seems rather dull. Still a good read but I am a huge fan of Ikmen and his team.
Ann Tonks
Lots of layers - social, religious, community - to this thriller featuring Lee Arnold and Mumtaz Hakim and their resptective families. A good read.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to love it, but it was slow...
Hoping the next one is better!
Kyle Erickson
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a very good mystery with a lot about race problems with Indians and brits with a twist at the end
Thelace Bee
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Jo Cornish
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Jul 03, 2017
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Brian Williams
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Barbara Nadel is an English crime-writer. Many of her books are set in Turkey. Born in the East End of London, Barbara Nadel trained as an actress before becoming a writer. Now writing full-time, she has previously worked as a public relations officer for the National Schizophrenia Fellowship's Good Companion Service and as a mental health advocate for the mentally disordered in a psychiatric hosp ...more
More about Barbara Nadel...

Other Books in the Series

Hakim and Arnold (4 books)
  • An Act of Kindness (Hakim and Arnold, #2)
  • Poisoned Ground (Hakim and Arnold, #3)
  • Enough Rope (Hakim and Arnold, #4)