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The Manual of Detection

Fiction: Mystery & Detective
Unabridged   9.25 hour(s)
Publication date: 02/19/2009

A Library Journal Best Audio Books of the Year Selection
A Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award Winner
Winner of the Hammett Prize

The Manual of Detection

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781598878707
Digital Download ISBN:9781598878783


An unlikely detective—armed only with an umbrella and a singular handbook—must solve a string of crimes committed in and through people’s dreams.

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Product Description

In an unnamed city slick with rain, Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at an imperious detective agency. His job: writing reports on cases solved by the palindromic Detective Travis Sivart. When Sivart goes missing and his supervisor is murdered, Unwin is promoted to detective, a rank for which he is woefully unprepared. His only guidance comes from his sleepy new assistant and the pithy yet profound Manual of Detection.

Unwin mounts his search for Sivart but soon faces impossible questions: Why does the mummy at the Municipal Museum have modern-day dental work? Where have all the city’s alarm clocks gone? Can the man with the blond beard really read his thoughts? Meanwhile, Unwin is framed for murder, pursued by goons, and confounded by a femme fatale. His only choice: to enter the dreams of a murdered man.


“Jedediah Berry knows magic. The Manual of Detection combines the intricacy and thoughtfulness of Borges and Kafka with the page-turning excitement of a detective thriller. . . . It made me laugh, thrill, think, and wonder.”

“Berry's ambitious debut reverberates with echoes of Kafka and Paul Auster.”
      —Publishers Weekly

“Weaves the kind of mannered fantasy that might result if Wes Anderson were to adapt Kafka.”
      —The New Yorker

“Pete Larkin's (The Last Campaign) carefully fashioned portrayals of the stock characters—worldly Dectective Sivert, innocent, clueless clerk Unwin, femme fatale Cleopatra Greenwood, folksy janitor Arthur, elderly Colonel Baker, and evil magician Enoch Hoffman—help the listener keep track of who's who but never what's what! Fans of Jasper Fforde and Dashiell Hammett will appreciate.”
      —Library Journal

“Pete Larkin is perfectly suited for this whimsical, Kafkaesque noir; his smooth and sympathetic narration makes the bizarre twists perfectly logical and sensible. The strength of the story and the talent of the reader mesh beautifully.”
      —Publishers Weekly

“Larkin’s deep, sonorous voice sets the perfect tone for this debut novel. Larkin’s characterizations are dead-on.”

Author Bio

JEDEDIAH BERRY holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has been published in Best New American Voices 2008 (his story was described by Kirkus Reviews as a mordant, gripping fantasy) as well as in literary magazines and online fiction sites. By day, he is an assistant editor at Small Beer Press in Easthampton, Massachusetts.