The Road to Lisdoonvarna

By Charles de Lint

Place: Publisher & Year: Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2001

Genre: Mystery, hard boiled crime fiction

ISBN: 9781892284914

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 190

Setting: Ottawa, Canada

Time period: mid 1980s

Plot summary: Private investigator, Jake Swann, has a big heart, especially when it comes to his friends.  When Jake discovers that one of his friends has been terrorized by a gang of thugs, he vows to get revenge.  It doesn’t matter that the thugs happen to be police officers.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Short chapters with lots of dialogue and action make this a quick read.

Characterization: Told in third person mainly from Jake’s perspective.  Important secondary characters include Sammy, Jimmy Crackle, and Bo.

Frame: The title and opening chapter set the frame.  Lisdoonvarna represents an idyllic destination and goal for the main characters.

Story line:  A hardboiled mystery complete with the damsel in distress, big hearted PI, great sidekicks, gangsters, and rotten cops.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Ottawa (Ont.) — Fiction

Mystery fiction.

Similar authors: Charles de Lint primarily writes contemporary fantasy, but his love of hardboiled detective novels inspired him to write one.  In the Introduction, he notes authors which he has enjoyed reading:

Robert Crais

Dennis Lehane

Mickey Spillane

Andrew Vachss

Personal notes:  I enjoyed this story.  It had a very black and white background with clear bad guys and good guys.  And while it is definitely not a fantasy book, it does have a bit of a fairy tale ending.

Other: Diversity – Native American – Ojibwa, physically disabled woman, punk rockers, runaway

Charles de Lint’s website

One thought on “The Road to Lisdoonvarna

  1. Well i have enjoyed it throughly, great stuff and content. Hoping for same stuff in your future blogs also.


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