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(IQ #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  19,473 ratings  ·  2,492 reviews
A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.
East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch.
Hardcover, 325 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Mulholland Books
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Leonna K You're not off base at all LOL. The cops are mentioned in this book so sparsely... the synopsis may be a bit misleading in having you think they are o…moreYou're not off base at all LOL. The cops are mentioned in this book so sparsely... the synopsis may be a bit misleading in having you think they are of actual importance. It's more about the second part of the synopsis, that IQ solves cases NO police department (whichever jurisdiction) will touch.(less)
Michael Longo Lots of profanity like muthaf#ker. Violence isn't too bad actually - a lot of people actually just get injured strangely!…moreLots of profanity like muthaf#ker. Violence isn't too bad actually - a lot of people actually just get injured strangely!(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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James Thane
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction, joe-ide, iq
In Isaiah Quintabe (IQ), Joe Ide has created one of the most unique and entertaining protagonists to enter the world of crime fiction in a good long time. Left alone at an early age, Isaiah has a somewhat rocky start. But he pulls himself up by the proverbial bootstraps and becomes a brilliant investigator. Mostly he takes cases large and small in and around his L.A. neighborhood that the cops can't solve or simply can't be bothered with. Sometimes he gets paid in cash; sometimes he gets paid in ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free ARC of this from NetGalley.

There’s no shortage of Sherlocks these days. Both CBS’s Elementary and the BBC's Sherlock are doing fun modern day twists on Holmes. When Robert Downey Jr. can tear himself away from his duties as Iron Man he’s been known to play Sherlock as a steampunkish action hero in the movies. Plus, there always new novels featuring the detective being published. Countless other stories inspired by the character are also always circulating like the medical myste
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
4.5 stars

IQ is a riveting read that offers a fresh take on the Sherlock Holmes character.

Having read a lot of formulaic, over-the-top, gimmicky books lately, I was feeling quite jaded -- to the point where I almost fell into a reading rut. Thankfully, I came across IQ! I devoured every moment of this refreshing, smart, and well-written book.

Joe Ide transforms Sherlock into Isaiah Quintabe (aka I.Q), a private detective who lives in the hood, has a pet chicken named Alejandro, and often receive
This is a contemporary and edgy 'in the hood' reinterpretation of Sherlock Holmes with its distinctive take on The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is set in East Long Beach, where the young black Isaiah Quintabe, IQ as he is known as, is Sherlock. His Watson is the criminal Dodson, selling drugs, involved in the LA gang culture, who sees the opportunity to criminally prosper, using IQ's exceptional talent. Their relationship is fraught and conflict ridden. They obviously have a past which did not ...more
About of a third of the way into IQ, I was strongly reminded of ‘Encyclopedia’ Brown, Boy Detective (real name: Leroy). IQ is on his latest case, a rapper whose life is threatened, and a giant dog had just entered the house through a dog door in an attempted attack. Why the very junior and white- bread Encyclopedia? Although they both have a reputation for intelligence beyond the norm, it may seem a stretch–-on page one of IQ, the reader is introduced to an incompetent but scary man stalking a y ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I was so immediately drawn into the dialogue with the characters, that I was feeling a little 'trashy' ....what the hell am I reading I asked myself? Right at the start there is a scene between a guy in a house ---( I didn't know who he was at the start) ---and a
seemingly slutty female throwing herself at him. The 'guy' was being the gentleman ---
but as I read the scene -I felt like I was in the same room with them. Something about the writing - from the get- go was so 'raw' so 'vi
Dan Schwent
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Someone is gunning for rapper Black the Knife and he hires Isaiah Quintabe to find the killer. Can IQ stop the killer and the people who hired him before Black the Knife takes the big dirt nap?

Mullholland denies me for everything on Netgalley so when they sent me an invitation to read this one, I almost passed out of spite. I'm glad I didn't.

IQ is the first mystery starring Isaiah Quintabe and I hope there are many more to come. IQ is a high school dropout who takes cases for whatever people can
Adina (taking a break from literary fiction)
Sherlock Holmes from the Hood. Great idea, loved the dialogues, a couple of interesting characters, wobbly execution in some places.

Isaiah Quintabe (known as IQ) is a young man with an amazing intellect but with a semi-failed life as the author will reveal later. He is known in one of the toughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles as the person to go to if you need an investigation when the police can’t or won’t do anything. He helps everybody and usually does not receive much in exchange, sometimes
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All crime fans and anyone else that’s looking for a laugh
Recommended to Paula by: James Thane
What an absolutely fun book to read!

IQ is the nickname for Isaiah Quintabe who lives in a tough LA neighborhood. He is not sure what to do with his young life after his older brother Marcus is killed. Isaiah falls into helping people in his neighborhood and becomes the local unlicensed crime investigator. What’s neat about the unassuming IQ is the way he solves crimes with his superior intellect. I loved the way he tells off the tough guys throughout the book and their shock at being bested by t
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
When writing this review, my quandary is between writing about the book itself or writing about the story in the book “IQ” by Joe Ide. Perhaps I’ll try and do a little of both, problem solved.

All of the excellent hype about the book, such as “IQ” was the winner of The Private Eye Writers of America's “Shamus Award” for Best First Private Eye Novel, winner of the “Macavity Award” for Best First Novel, winner of the “Anthony Award “for Best First Novel, nominated for the “Edgar Award” the “Barry A
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bayb-2018

There's a new sleuth in the Los Angeles hood, and his nickname is IQ. This is perfect because IQ are Isaiah Quintabe's initials AND he's a brilliant consulting detective - along the lines of Sherlock Holmes.

Now in his mid-twenties, IQ had a life-changing experience in high school. Isaiah's beloved brother Marcus - who was raising him - got killed in a hit-and-run.....leaving the boy alone, bereft, and angry at the world.

Needing help to pay the rent, Isaiah let his gangbanger/drug dealer classma
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“You lucky you got skills, son, ‘cause if you had to survive on your personality you’d be working at the morgue with dead people.”

Remember pretty much every single year last year when it was #oscarssowhite? Books like this serve as a reminder that #literaturesowhite. I.Q. is definitely not a new tale, it’s a twist on something old – Sherlock Holmes in the ‘hood, if you will. However, that little spin is all it took to make everythi
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top marks. Must read. Completely delicious!

A fabulous journey into Tarantino-esque dialog and characters, a bling noir, a poor black's Sherlock and money-driven, a'hole Watson, a completely guilty pleasure.

The two main threads of the story: 2005 -Isaiah after a terrible loss, slowly bonding/hating Dodson, and 2013 - the bling noir of them "working together" to solve the mystery.

Both threads worked well for me, the first is a flashback, tragic, inevitably sad and somewhat desperate, and the se
Joe Valdez
Jun 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
As research for a novel I'm going to write, I'm reading detective fiction and stealing everything of value. My story takes place in L.A. of the early '90s, but I'm sampling every item in the buffet like I was visiting the MGM Grand before the pandemic. Published in 2016, IQ is my introduction to Joe Ide. All I knew was that his amateur sleuth "IQ" was from East Long Beach and renowned for powers of deductive reasoning. There are many versions of that book yet after a promising start, I was hugel ...more
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I read this book as it was in the Book Pool for the BLK Group - & for me it was a most unsatisfying read.

It wasn't that it wasn't my usual sort of read - part of the reason I do the Book Pool is to go out of my comfort zone & try something new.

The main problem for me was that it was one of my most hated book structures - going back & forth (for no good reason) between two time periods. In comments on a completely different book's review, another Goodreads member called this book style a Ping Pon
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve made it a goal to read more from writers off the beaten path and especially more books with male lead characters as it seems, to me at least, that about 80% of what I read is written from a female perspective by women. Well, let me just say that this book is far out of this girl’s range and what a tremendously entertaining read it was!

This isn’t a traditional detective story, for one it’s rather hilarious and for another, it’s an inner-city homage to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. These
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018, audio

Those who know me know I love a good detective or police procedural. But it’s so hard to come up with a unique perspective. But Joe Ide has done it. Isaiah Quintabe (IQ) is an “unlicensed detective”, someone who takes on the crimes the police ignore. He lives in East Long Beach, and his clientele are generally poor. He charges each according to their ability to pay. To make ends meet, he looks for a high charge job and finds it with rapper Black the Knife.

The hit man is a really interesting cha
Andrew Smith
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isaiah Quintabe is a bright lad deserving, it seems, of his nickname IQ. Set in South Central Los Angeles (the same turf in which the author spent his formative years) the story picks him up in his mid twenties operating as a private eye, taking on small cases the police aren’t interested in. He’s getting by, but only just. The action alternates with events that occurred during Isaiah’s teenage years and we learn that in these early years an incident occurred that was to have a significant impac ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Few novels are able to capture the reader's attention and maintain a firm grip all the way through - IQ is one of those few; from the opening stanza I was hooked.

IQ (Isaiah Quintabe) is a modern day Sherlock Holmes but comes across more grounded and 'real'. He's a young guy getting by on the kindness of his neighbors who supplement his 'free-lance detecting' with food and other means, all useful but rarely result in a payday. When IQ's longtime acquaintance Dodson, a guy on the fringe of the und
Cindy Burnett
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I somehow missed this book when it first came out. I am a firm believer that a cover can make or break a book, and this cover is fabulous. I would not have picked it up if the cover had not caught my eye. I.Q. was a ton of fun to read. Joe Ide’s fabulous sense of humor shines through the pages of his debut novel, and he has created a memorable and unique protagonist in Isaiah Quintabe (I.Q.). I enjoyed the mystery at issue and the colorful characters. My one quibble was that there was too much t ...more
IQ is Isaiah Quintabe, and yes, Isaiah is intelligent. He is very observant and assiduous but he is also a troubled young man. Having lost his parents at the age of 10, he has been raised by his older brother, Marcus, in a rough neighborhood in East L.A. But then Isaiah looses Marcus, whom he idolized, too. Desperate to stay out of the system, he starts associating with Juandell Dodson, a persuasive thug and petty criminal. Due to his analytical skills and some word of mouth referrals, IQ manage ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I liked this one. I didn't love it but I liked it well enough. I did seem to take me a little longer to read this book than it usually would and I think that a big reason was that this was a book that was easy for me to set aside. I am really not sure why this story didn't completely hook me but the fact is it just didn't grab me like I wanted. In the end, I found it to be a book that I am glad that I read.

This book really told two stories se
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
After finishing the last page of IQ, I immediately looked to see if Joe Ide is working on a follow-up. No news yet (that I could find anyway), but after an Epilogue like that, if there isn’t a second book coming there’s no justice in the world.

I was blown away by the quality of this one, especially so considering it’s Ide’s debut. His author bio mentions his fascination with Sherlock Holmes stories when he was a kid, and the connections between those classic detective stories and the book he’s
You might think Isaiah Quintabe’s nickname was just a case of convenient initials. He’s a young guy living in a run down part of Long Beach & spends his days trying to make ends meet while he dodges various gangs.

After years of dead end jobs, Isaiah found his calling one night in the laundry room. Over fluffing & folding, a neighbour told him how her daughter’s wedding gifts were stolen. It didn’t sit right with Isaiah & after a few questions & a little snooping, the gifts were returned. The br
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Note: the events that happen in this review are absolutely, 100% true. Cross my heart.

So it was Wednesday night, that means my weekly knitting group had taken over the living room. As the guys and I arranged our yarn and sharpened our knitting needles, we discussed the Joe Ide’s debut mystery, IQ.

“Everyone who reads IQ will be clamoring for the next book, and the one after that. This is one of the most appealing-detective characters to come along in years,” Carl Hiaasen (author of Strip Tease a
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
His name is Isaiah Quintabe, nicknamed "IQ" - though this has less to do with his initials than it does his sharp and ever-factoring mind. Known on the mean streets of East Long Beach as a kid who can solve a problem, he is sought out by those in the neighborhood who have failed to receive the assistance they require from the police. This is not a lucrative employment. He is frequently paid in food or services, whatever a client's poverty will bear, which keeps Isaiah in a state of financial vul ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Aside from the promise of a hard-boiled (i.e. 'bustin' a cap in yo ass') Sherlock Holmes-y novel set in East Long Beach (mi cantón, or my home town, in hood-speak), I pretty much had zero expectations for Joe Ide's debut IQ and just wanted to take a vicarious stroll through through one of the seminal birthplaces of 'gangsta rap'.

That Snoop Dogg, Biggie and Tupac vibe pervades throughout, though not exactly through the eponymous protag "IQ" (aka Isaiah Quintabe), a rather apt moniker fo
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club, 2019
This was better then I was expecting! 3.5 stars!

You know what’s great about book clubs and group reads? They introduce you to books that are not on your radar or you wouldn't have thought to read.

IQ was one of those books and was a book club selection.

I have not read a book by Joe Ide and thought this was a decent, first book in a series. I really liked the character of Isaiah Quintabe as the main character. Isaiah’s nickname is IQ and he’s like a real life Sherlock living in the bad part of Lon
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
IQ is a kid from one of the toughest neighborhoods in L.A. who even though he's a high school dropout he uses his intelligence to help take on cases that the LAPD hasn't solved. He usually charges his clients whatever they can afford whether that be dinner that night or other random things they can part with. But in order to pay the bills IQ finds himself taking on the case of a rap mogul whose life is in danger.

IQ is a story that I found rather confusing to follow as it had a lot of flashing ba
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love authors that aren’t afraid to take risks. Joe Ide definitely flexes his writing muscles in the novel IQ, the first in a series of detective novels. I haven’t read the next two books yet but I’m excited to see where this series goes. Ide integrates authentic dialogue, attention to detail, fast-paced action scenes, and a fascinating back story into a detective novel that is sure to captivate readers.

Isaiah Quintabe is a high-school dropout and has found a way to get paid for his intellect a
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Play Book Tag: IQ - Joe Ide (4 stars) 4 16 Jan 14, 2020 06:25AM  
Play Book Tag: IQ by Joe Ide 3 stars 1 12 Dec 15, 2018 10:50AM  
Crime, Mysteries ...: IQ by Joe Ide (no spoilers) - June 2018 33 90 Jul 06, 2018 03:44PM  
Crime, Mysteries ...: IQ by Joe Ide (with spoilers) - June 2018 28 54 Jul 06, 2018 03:41PM  

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Joe Ide is of Japanese American descent. He grew up in South Central Los Angeles, an economically depressed area with a largely black population. Gangs and street crime were rampant. Like a lot of kids, Joe wanted to belong and his speech, style, musical tastes and attitudes reflected the neighborhood.

His favorite books were the Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories. That a person could make his way

Other books in the series

IQ (5 books)
  • Righteous (IQ, #2)
  • Wrecked (IQ #3)
  • Hi Five (IQ, #4)
  • Smoke (IQ #5)

Articles featuring this book

Billy Jensen is an investigative journalist who focuses squarely on unsolved murders and missing persons. He helped finish Michelle...
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“Isaiah went on explaining like a college professor talking to a not very bright middle school student:” 4 likes
“A customer came in, the only one in the last couple of hours. The man had the shakes and was looking around like he’d lost a child at the county fair. He was a regular, somewhere between forty and sixty, his face sagging like Auntie May’s basset hound, his eyes yellow and bloodshot from seeing too much of his own life.” 3 likes
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