The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez
March 26, 2015
A hilarious and charming literary novel about the mysterious disappearance of an Englishman in the heart of Spain. 'A joy to read . . . Deliciously quirky!' Rosanna Ley, author of The Villa and Return to Mandalay Atticus Craftsman never travels without a supply of Earl Grey and a favourite book. So when he is sent to shut down a failing literary magazine in Madrid, he packs both. A short Spanish jaunt later, he'll be back in Kent, cup of tea and smoked-salmon sandwich in hand. But the five ladies who run the magazine have other ideas. They'll do anything to keep the jobs they love and their cosy office together. Even if it involves hoodwinking Atticus with flashing eyes, the ghosts of literature past and a winding journey into the heart of Andalucía. With not the most efficient of detectives in hot pursuit, it's only a matter of time before Atticus Craftsman either falls in love, disappears completely or - worst of all - runs out of Earl Grey. Crime comedy, love story and literary adventure all at once, The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is fiendishly fun and delightfully different.
It’s like a grab bag in book form!
The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez is not like any book that I have ever read. Or, maybe it’s like a lot of different books all rolled into one. The fact that it is a translation of foreign book is partially the reason for its uniqueness. But, that only explains some of the cultural and language nuances. The story of, Atticus Craftsman, the son and heir to the publishing company that owns the Literary Magazine in Madrid, is set up as a mystery until you meet the Inspector in Madrid in charge of investigating Atticus’ disappearance after arriving to shut down the financially failing magazine. From then on you are continually presented with different genres; drama, comedy, romance, etc. The only conclusion I can come to is that The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is just Mamen’s quirkiness shining through her writing.
Have you ever gone to a party or event that had a grab bag for party favors or door prizes? You reached your hand into a bag and felt around at the different items, not having any idea what you will be pulling out. Your friend could reach their hand in right after you and pull out a completely different and unrelated prize. Keep this in mind when you read Mamen’s book. It is literally a grab bag of literary genres, only you get to take them all home in one story. As disjointed as this sounds, it actually works in The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman.
The synopsis says that it is ” fiendishly fun and delightfully different” and that actually sums it up perfectly! You will be intrigued by the mystery one moment and in stitches the next at the Tina Fey style comedy. You won’t know whether it is truly a serious mystery or tongue in cheek spoof on love and life. But all that won’t matter because you will continue to turn the page to find out what happens next.
Sometimes things that don’t seem to go together actually make for something intriguing and unique. So, while I can’t quite define it, I definitely think you should read it!
Tanya’s love for books has been a lifelong passion that she likes sharing with others. Reading is also the thing that relaxes her after a day of juggling the many responsibilities that come with being being wife to an amazing man, mother to four great kids spread around the world, business manager, and farm hand on their place in southwest Missouri; home to Akaushi cattle and a menagerie of pygmy goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.