A Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1) by Lynne Truss

A Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1)

It's 1957, and the famed theater critic A. S. Crystal has come to the British seaside resort of Brighton with something other than the local production of A Shilling in the Meter on his mind. Sitting in the Brighton Royal Theater with Constable Twitten, Crystal intends to tell the detective the secret he knows about the still-unsolved Aldersgate Stick-Up case of 1945. And yet, just before Crystal names the criminal mastermind involved, he's shot ...

Details A Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1)

TitleA Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1)
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherBloomsbury USA
GenreMystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Humor

Reviews A Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1)

  • Maureen
    Thanks to www.shotsmag.co.uk for sending me a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review *In the first of a new series, Lynne Truss successfully blends crime with comedy to produce a highly entertaining read.Brighton on the south coast of England is the location for ‘A Shot in the Dark’ and it begins with the re-telling of the infamous Middle Street Massacre of 1951, which brought instant fame and adulation to the newly appointed Inspect...
  • Susan
    This is the first of a proposed crime series, set in Brighton. We begin in 1951, with the ‘Middle Street Massacre,’ where Inspector Steine (pronounced ‘Steen’) believes he has wiped out crime in the town, when two major gangs manage to wipe each other out. He has rather lived off this event, which was made into a film and we meet up with him, six years later, enjoying a pleasant and delusional existence as a minor celebrity. However, desp...
  • Gail C.
    My thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing for providing an advanced digital copy of A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss. While it is classified as a mystery, I found it to belong more in the humor category. The mystery as it exists is secondary to the story itself, as told by the unseen author.Throughout the book the author is a strong presence, becoming almost a character in the story itself through use of pare...
  • Richard
    This is an unexpected hit for me.Constable Twitten is the kind of young recruit no-one welcomes into their police station. We will know a few like him our job histories. Too clever by far; far too clever for his own good.His talents are shown up in a clearer light when he turns up at Brighton nick. The is a stark contrast to the little grey cells he would appear to have, and use compared to the existing CID team.Thankfully, although the body coun...
  • Lori
    Inspector Steine (pronounced Steen) solved the Middle Street Massacre in 1951, still glorying in its resolution 6 years later when Constable Twitten enters the Brighton police force. Theatre Critic A.S. Crystal knows a secret concerning the unsolved 1945 Aldersgate Stick-Up case and goes to the theatre intending to share his secret with the constable when Crystal himself is shot in his seat. Constable Twitten and partner Sgt. Jim Brunswick set ou...
  • Latkins
    Lynne Truss is perhaps best known for her popular punctuation guide Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but she’s also a novelist and writer, and this first in a new series of farcical, funny murder mysteries is loosely based on her BBC Radio 4 series Inspector Steine. Set in 1957 in Brighton, the star of the book is Constable Twitten, an eager and intelligent young policeman whose ambitions are thwarted by Inspector Steine, who is still resting on his laur...
  • Kate Baxter
    Ahh, where to begin?...This is definitely not your usual cozy mystery - mystery for sure, but way more farcical with a grand touch of Keystone Cops. The setting is Brighton, 1957. A bumbling Police Inspector is still basking in his presumed glory days of 1951 regarding an event which in his mind, eliminated all organized crime in the community. He just wants everyone to get along and peaceably go about their business. Of course, that's the perfec...
  • OLT
    As an often clueless and sometimes provincial American, I feel I may have missed some of the British humor and allusions in this novel by Truss. But no matter. I caught enough to have had a good deal of fun reading this mystery.Yes, I said "fun reading this mystery". Because it's not your usual serious "bad guys do bad things and the good guys work hard to solve the mystery and put the bad guys away" type of mystery. As a matter of fact, it's a b...
  • Cathleen
    A Shot in the Dark was a droll romp, inspired by the golden age of mysteries. Lynne Truss, most well-known as the author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, draws from her sense of humor in this book, as well. Truss has a flair for characterization and dialogue. Rather than being a straightforward police procedural, this is a send-up of mid-century crime novels, complete with an entrenched inspector, a dutiful seargeant and an inspired but irritating co...
  • Maine Colonial
    Thanks to the publisher, Bloomsbury, for providing an advance review copy.The junior detective who is much smarter than his superiors is common in crime fiction. Here, Lynne Truss exaggerates the notion on both ends. Constable Twitten is so clever (and so eager to show it) that despite graduating the police academy with honors, he’s been transferred out of six squads in three months. Sergeant Brunswick is the usual well-meaning and only slightl...
  • Rachel Hall
    Although I read the odd cosy crime novel and enjoy the comical capers of Charles Paris on BBC Radio 4, I had never heard of Lynne Truss’s Inspector Steine and Constable Twitten series set in 1950’s Brighton. This book came recommended to me by a fond listener and was described as “witty” and “storytelling genius” and whilst A Shot In The Dark had its moments, hitting the spot with its sharp observation on occasions, a painfully slow p...
  • Daniel
    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.0 of 5Wait a minute...this is a comedy?Seriously...is this a comedy?I was attracted to this book because it was described as the beginning of a new mystery series featuring a brilliant and driven police detective, Constable Twitten, and written by a New York Times best-selling author, Lynne Truss. That this first book featured a theatre critic who holds the keys to an unsolved m...
  • John Damelio
    I am always on the lookout for a good cozy mystery series and I appreciate the sometimes odd or quirky British sense of humor (at least to Americans) but A Shot In The Dark is written in such a manner that the story borders on being unreadable. A prime example of this is the author's fascination with the word nebulous. I can honestly say I have read scores of books where this word does not appear even once, but it becomes apparent that author Lyn...
  • Donna Davis
    The world is a serious place right now, and everyone needs to step away from it now and then in order to stay sane. Here it is, your very own mental health break. In fact, if you look at the hourly rate of a good therapist versus the number of hours you’ll read this mystery, even at the full jacket price, Truss’s book is clearly the more economical choice, and it’s far more fun. Lucky me, I read it free courtesy of Net Galley and Bloomsbury...
  • Sid Nuncius
    Lynn Truss is an excellent writer with a fine comic sense and I have enjoyed a lot of her work very much, but I'm afraid I was a little disappointed in A Shot In the Dark.The Book is a "crime mystery" but also essentially a farce. Set in Brighton in the late 50s, a hopelessly stupid and vain police Inspector turns a blind eye to all crime, completely convinced that he has eradicated it from Brighton. A brilliant, socially inept new constable arri...
  • Mike Sumner
    "Lumme!" A word right out of the 50s. I can hear my mum saying it, when she was rather surprised. Constable Twitten uses it too, in this romp through Brighton in the 50s. Remember Bob-a-Job week? Ha! My memories of being a cub and boy scout! Knickerbocker Glories? Vim (the cleaning variety)? cockles and mussels in vinegar, saucy postcards, reprehensible Max Miller jokes, Stick-ups (not hold-ups)? It's all here in this comical, witty crime fiction...
  • Susan
    1957 and theatre critic A. S. Crystal has arrived in Brighton to review a play. But Crystal was once a witness to a robbery, the culprits never caught. But just before he exposes a clue he is killed.Unfortunately I really didn't care for the writing style, and I certainly didn't get the humour of the story.A NetGalley Book
  • Beverley
    I received a free copy from NetGalley. I had heard of the author, so was willing to try a new series. I struggled to finish it. Maybe it was the 1950s setting or maybe the British humor was just lost on me this time, but it was very difficult to finish this one.
  • Elaine Tomasso
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) for an advance copy of A Shot in the Dark, the first novel adapted from the Inspector Steyne radio series.Brighton 1957 is a quiet place after the Middle Street Massacre of 1951 when the town's criminals wiped themselves out. Inspector Steyne is happy to preside over a crime free environment although Sergeant Brunswood isn't so sure, especially with a rash of burglaries, and...
  • Carin
    You may already know Lynne Truss from her phenomenal book about grammar, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. If so, you may be surprised to hear that her newest book is a historical British mystery. But you won't be surprised that it is filled with period slang and she has a lot of fun with language throughout. But if language isn't your thing, no worries, the plot is rollicking enough to carry you along without dwelling on what is really a minor aside.In ...
  • Jane
    What fun! Here's hoping Lynne Truss makes this into a series. Her delightfully dense police inspector Steine made me laugh, and Constable Twitten, his young and highly irritating (but right) assistant, was a delight. The critic with astounding BO, the charlady who gets away with everything - Dickens would love all these well-drawn characters.
  • Pages & Cup
    3.5/5 stars. A good first book in a possible series. I really liked the bits of humor throughout, but the characters seemed a tad too stereotypical. Still, a very entertaining read. I was given a copy for review by the publisher.
  • Melissa Dee
    Lynne Truss is a talented writer, and her language is clever. When we eventually get to the untangling of the several plots of “Shot”, she weaves her way through the tangles with precision and purpose. In this homage/send-up(?) of a classic golden age detective novel, Truss includes the bumbling policemen, the clever amateur and the nosy newspaperman. Although she checks all of these boxes, I ultimately felt the characters were just a bit fla...
  • Christopher Roden
    Loved the radio series, and was glad to see this moved to bookform. Good read. Looking forward to many more.
  • Anjana
  • Julia
    Now, I will preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Lynne Truss – both of her non-fiction works and of her Radio 4 series Inspector Steine. When I saw that the same characters were now available in book form, I was really keen to read.There are many positives in this but, unfortunately (for me, and anyone else who has heard the series), there is a problem: A Shot in the Dark is largely a re-hash of some of the key points in the fi...
  • Linden
    Quirky and uncoventional mystery about some clever criminals and some less than clever policemen. Set in 1957. Will be interesting to see how things progress in the next book. Very funny.
  • Diane Hernandez
    A very British parody of post-WWII police procedurals. A Shot in the Dark will either tickle your funny bone or it won’t. It helps if you are a fan of slapstick.It’s 1951 in Brighton. Inspector Steine is famous for stopping all organized crime in the area by allowing the two mobs to kill each other four years earlier. Therefore, he thinks the current rash of home burglaries are done by young independent thieves. He sends the newly arrived Con...
  • Peter
    I must admit I was concerned when I saw that Lynne Truss was having a go at writing crime but I was at that point unaware that this book has its origins in 4 series broadcast on Radio 4. By then end of the first couple of chapters my feelings were confirmed as the y are to my mind a little muddled as if someone had given an instruction manual on how to set up a crime novel BUT after this the book takes off properly. I am not going to summarise th...
  • Jane
    DNF at 100 pages. I should have learned my lesson about fiction by Lynne Truss after Cat Out of Hell (two stars).I'm sure the author is being very clever, but all that cleverness was getting in the way of interesting characters, a plot worth following, etc.I started and did not finish a paper advance reader copy.