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

A Shot in the Dark (Constable Twitten #1)

After the notorious 'Middle Street Massacre' of 1951, when the majority of Brighton's criminals wiped one another out in a vicious battle as the local police force enjoyed a brief stop en route for an ice cream, Inspector Steine rather enjoys life as a policeman. No criminals, no crime, no stress. He just wishes Sergeant Brunswick would stop insisting that perhaps not every criminal was wiped out that fateful day. So it's really rather annoying w...

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, Humor, Cozy Mystery, European Literature, British Literature

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...
  • Phrynne
    I picked this book up in the library because I remembered how much I enjoyed Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation and I was interested in how the author would fare with writing fiction. The answer is she does it just as well as she does non fiction.A Shot in the Dark is set in Brighton, England, in 1957 where we meet Constable Twitten who is young, incredibly intelligent and a little naïve. Like many people who are s...
  • 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...
  • Jill Hutchinson
    Mixing mystery with humor is nothing new....think Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crime Unit series which is truly top drawer. But this book loses its way really quickly and doesn't know what it wants to be which causes it to be irritating at best.No need to attempt to describe the plot except to say that the police are portrayed as total idiots; Constable Twitten, who is supposed to be the main character is not; none of the characters are "normal"...
  • 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...
  • Icewineanne
    An obtuse inspector is saddled with a young brilliant constable (Twitten) who’s been shuffled from police station to police station for being “too clever”. The inspector (few tomatoes short of a full salad), desperately wants to be rid of Twitten because his new constable has a habit of highlighting the cock-ups & stupidity of police depts....but he also realizes that Twitten could help him win the “Policeman of the Year” award that he ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Jeanette
    I came for the murder mystery. I stayed for the witty and satirical humor.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Linda
    The danger of using audiobooks for mysteries is that a few seconds of inattention can mean you miss crucial details. I'm blaming the fact that I completely missed murder #2 until someone casually mentioned it later on another driver's boneheaded traffic move.Initially, I thought the book hopped around a lot, but by the second half, I'd grown accustomed to the style, and learned most of the character names, and really started to enjoy it.I have a ...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Cathleen
    I am a fan of droll, and I also appreciate a well-executed send-up. This, however, somehow manages to be clever but not fun, and that's more than mildly disappointing.I lost count how many times I paused to consider whether to continue, but there were glimmers of wit that would take me further. When Twitten himself enters, it was almost as if a lamp had been turned on in the dusk, which sparked new hope. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to comba...
  • 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.
  • Ed
    #1 in the Constable Twitten mystery series. This 2018 series entry by author Lynne Truss came as a surprise to me. I had only heard of this author in respect to her renowned Eats, Shoots & Leaves (2003), sub-titled: "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation". Reading Elly Griffiths the Magic Men mystery series about Brighton, England in the 1950s did not prepare me for Constable Twitten in 1957 Brighton either. Author Truss proposes a police fo...
  • 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...
  • 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...