Shortlisted for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award 2012
“Ewan gives Charlie lines Hammett would have approved of and creates a witty action caper that can only be described in best Italian terms as a proper bunga-bunga.” The Times
Charlie Howard – struggling crime-writer by day, talented thief by night - has gone straight. But holing himself up in a crumbling palazzo in Venice in an attempt to concentrate on his next novel hasn’t got rid of the itch in his fingers. And to make matters worse, a striking Italian beauty has just broken into his apartment and made off with his most prized possession, leaving a puzzling calling card in its place.
It looks as though kicking the habit of a lifetime will be much more of a challenge than Charlie thought.
Sneaking out into Venice’s maze of murky canals, Charlie’s attempts to tame a cat burglar embroil him in a plot that is far bigger and more explosive than he could ever have imagined.
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Praise for The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice
Starred Review. Hilarious yet suspenseful … Ewan can turn a Wodehousian phrase on occasion, and his taut plotting adds substance to his considerable style. Publishers Weekly
Enjoyable mayhem … Ancient buildings explode, gambling cartels disintegrate, Charlie topples into a canal and secondhand bookdealers meet gruesome ends in this engaging and well-paced crime caper. The Guardian
Since Dashiell Hammett gave us Sam Spade, and Raymond Chandler followed up with Philip Marlowe, the fast-thinking wise-cracking first-person narrator with a neat line in sarcastic metaphor has been one of the best loved traditions in popular fiction. Chris Ewan started his own variant on the theme with The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam in which two mysterious monkey figurines cause his cat burglar, wannabe crime writer hero Charlie Howard, as much trouble as the Maltese Falcon. In his latest excursion, following outings to Paris and Las Vegas, the “good thief” finds himself in Venice where a seductive female has given him a taste of his own medicine by pinching his prized first edition of the said Dashiell Hammett classic. She blackmails him with its promised return if only he will break into a Venetian palazzo and return a locked briefcase. Seems easy until Charlie realises that he has been conned into a murder plot and dirty dealings among the high-rolling Italian aristocracy. Ewan gives Charlie lines Hammett would have approved of and creates a witty action caper that can only be described in best Italian terms as a proper bunga-bunga. The Times
Danger in gorgeous, dilapidated Venice … Charlie Howard writes crime novels about a thief. Charlie Howard is himself a thief. And Charlie Howard is being blackmailed by a thief. This triangular structure forms a pleasing symmetry — and some big fun — in “The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice” … [The] adventures take place in a nicely evoked Venice, with its dilapidated but gorgeous buildings, quietly self-contained neighborhoods, touristy intrusions (St. Mark’s Plaza, gondolas, pesky tourists) and seductive charm. Seattle Times
This is quick, witty, funny, bursting with suspense and surprises, and has a wonderful sense of place. Whichbook
Once again, Chris Ewan picks the readers pockets whilst dazzling them with a sardonic spiel … The prose is neatly manicured and the entirely first person viewpoint is what elevates this novel and turns it from a petty thief into a criminal mastermind. Charlie’s introspections in particular, stand out thanks to the author’s stiletto sharp observations and the piercing accuracy of his sardonic wit. From the first page Charlie Howard stole my attention and even after finishing the book I still haven’t got it all back. Crimesquad
Chris Ewan has a really great series rolling along… Another great addition to this series which is more fun with every book. Crimespree Magazine
The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice is a sparkling, engaging, and mysterious piece of fiction. The book’s descriptions, witty humor, and likable characters will entrance any reader. Deseret News
Ewan’s fourth Charlie Howard romp moves briskly, relying once more on the boyish charm of its roguish narrator-hero. Kirkus Reviews
The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice is fun holiday reading and the perfect thing to lounge with in the sun …The action moves along at a cracking pace and the characters are well drawn. My Favourtie Books
[A] splendid new entry in this wonderfully clever and effortlessly charming series… Really, this is very good, very witty and likable stuff. Claire Ernsberger, Ellenville Shawangunk Journal and the Sullivan County Democrat
The latest Charlie caper (see The Good Thief’s Guide to Paris) has the gentleman thief-writer being manipulated by an agile cat burglar whose cleverness matches the hero and in many ways trumps him. With a nod to “To Catch a Thief” fans will enjoy the jocular chess match between the Good Thief and the Venetian Bella Donna. Midwest Book Review