The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance Of Atticus Craftsman, by Mamen Sanchez

Atticus Craftsman never travels without a supply of Earl Grey tea and a favourite book. So when he is sent to shut down a failing magazine in Madrid he packs both. A short Spanish haunt later he’ll be back home in Kent, tea in hand, within days. Or so he thinks.

The five ladies that run the magazine have other ideas and they’ll do anything they can to keep the jobs they love. Even if it involves seduction, ghosts of literature past and a journey into the heart of a small Spanish town.

This is the first of Sanchez’s five novels to be translated into English – and what a delight it is. It is a crime comedy, love story and literature adventure all rolled into one great read.

Yes, the characters are a little cliché, but it’s such a fun read you can easily put that weakness to one side. From the bumbling detective charged with finding Atticus, to Atticus’s father Marlow – who is more worried about telling his wife their son is missing than finding out what has happened – each character is charming and as quirky as the title itself.

Humour can often be lost in translation, but in this case it is not. You will laugh out loud, groan in despair and smile to yourself as the truth behind Atticus’s disappearance is revealed.

While it is a comedy, there are heartwarming moments woven into the pages. Sanchez shows that while the world isn’t always one big happy place, you can try and make your part of the world as happy as you want.

A fresh, original comedy that is easy to read and hard to put down, I hope we see more of the talented Sanchez’s books in English very soon.

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TITLE: The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance Of Atticus Craftsman
AUTHOR(S): Mamen Sanchez
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
RRP: $36.99
ISBN: 9780857523235

Rebekah is a former journalist and primary school teacher turned Mum. She has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. She lives on the West Coast of the South Island with her husband and two young daughters. Follow her on Twitter.

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