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The Chairman's Toys

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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  18 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Vancouver, British Columbia - land of psychotically expensive real estate, high-grade cannabis, and Jake Constable. A man adrift.

After Jake quits the drug business, his realtor/ex-wife, Nina, gets him a job as a house sitter for her wealthy clients. Jake celebrates by throwing a party in the mansion he was hired to look after. Unfortunately, the guest list gets out of hand
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Paperback, 344 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Cheryl
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This book does have the slap stick humor of black comedy. Which, if you have not read a black humor book, than you will either love or hate it. Black humor is more crude and in your face. In this case, it works well for this storyline. The characters were eccentric which helped to keep the story interesting.

For example, the story starts out with Jake hosting a party at a house he is house sitting at. Things go wrong with a dead body in the bathroom and the house owner a big name in China with M
...more
Eliott Behar
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book, written in an insightful, sharp, and very distinctive new voice. Reed has a style that's always one or two steps ahead and that invites you to catch up with him, packing a ton of observation (and quick wit) into every sentence. You'll likely find yourself, as I did, going back over sentences to unpack them again. Quite a debut...I'm excited to see what's next.
Lesa
Jun 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Graham Reed's debut novel, The Chairman's Toys, was the winner of the notable Freddie Award for

Writing Excellence from Mystery Writers of America at Florida's Sleuthfest. Set in Vancouver, this is the type of caper that will appeal to fans of Tim Dorsey. The antihero, Jake Constable, tells the story of what can go wrong when a drug dealer tries to reform.

After his grandfather died, Jake grew marijuana on his farm, and partnered with a distributor he calls "the Norwegian". Although he had to buy
...more
Joan
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this quirky mystery as it wandered through the dark side of Vancouver, BC. Jake is definitely a deeply flawed hero but one I liked. He is the epitome of so many today, unsure how to live a productive life. Having given up growing marijuana, he checks on the houses of wealthy but absent owners. He can't even get that right. He is loyal to his friends, however, even if he keeps getting them into trouble. It was a bit humorous how Jake bumbled his way through to solving a murder.

I appreci
...more
Mark Hudson
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable read. It puts an eclectic and quirky band of characters together in a roller-coastery trip through the underside of Vancouver, set off by an ill-advised and unauthorized house party in the mansion of a Chinese underwear magnate. Jake Constable is a super-likeable hero, who spends the book stumbling from corpse discovery to break-in to maritime kidnapping with a scotch- and tequila-mediated calm. The book welds a unique and funny kind of cynical, almost fatalist wit to scenes of ...more
Benjamin Berger
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yes, this book is funny and compelling. And yes, the tale is fast paced and lively, steering the reader far clear of the cliché and pottedness that afflicts so much of the genre. What impressed me most was the keen intelligence and command of the fun of language that shone through this debut novel. You’ll smile at author’s masterful turns of phrase while you delight in the wonderfully, deeply flawed cast of characters that Reed introduces us to. A dark comedy for the thinking person and an impre ...more
Kathleen Gray
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would make a good movie. Jake's just messed up again, but this time it's on a big scale. His ex-wife is mad at him (nothing new) because he threw a party in a house he was watching for one of her clients but that's the least of his problems. Some of this is way out there - there are Chinese government agents, narco types, vengeful men, and a murder- but hey, that's what makes it fiction. It's a funny quick read. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. For fans of the crazy funny crime novel genre.
Jay
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm going to be doing a review of this one for Mystery Scene magazine, so I'll update this when that link ends up online.

I will say that while I liked the wit of the main character, the story itself was merely okay. I thought the supporting cast was a bit more interesting than the lead. Haven't figure out how I'm going to write this up yet though.
Marlene
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Fast read. Interesting plot.
PJ
rated it it was ok
Aug 02, 2018
Mikhail Rapoport Jr.
rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2018
Heath Henwood
Jake Constable is a drifter, currently as a house sitter for wealthy clients in Vancouver. During a out of control party, Jake discovers a dead guy in the bathroom, and a world of troubles begin.

Suddenly more enemies than friends, Jake must do some quick talking and side stepping to come out alive.

An easy read, that does not stretch the brain to follow. The characters and plot are not developed to any depth, leaving a fun and easy book to read.

www.books-reviewed.weebly.com
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Graham Reed is an award-winning author of crime fiction. He lives on a small island in the Salish Sea with his wife and two kids.
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