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Once Upon a Crime


For anyone who was in need of a pick-me-up during lockdown – and who wasn’t – Fergus Craig’s absurd crime fiction parody videos on Twitter starring the useless, egotistical and completely out-of-date Detective Roger LeCarre were a real tonic. Laugh-out-loud funny, the exploits of his hero to control the spiralling crime in Exeter sent up the standard maverick detective stereotype to such a degree that it makes it hard to ever again read a police procedural seriously.

Now we have this lovely, concise novel, Detective Roger LeCarre writ large, and what a joy it is. Utterly absurd, hugely enjoyable, it’s Ian Rankin via Alan Partridge, and just as fun as that sounds. The audio, read by Craig, is especially superb.

Ed Wood