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A Trouble of Fools

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The first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series! Linda Barnes's A Trouble of Fools is the book that introduced readers to ex-Boston cop and PI Carlotta Carlyle, who knows trouble when she sees it like the old Irish lady offering a grand in cash to find her brother... TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Car The first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series! Linda Barnes's A Trouble of Fools is the book that introduced readers to ex-Boston cop and PI Carlotta Carlyle, who knows trouble when she sees it like the old Irish lady offering a grand in cash to find her brother... TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Carlyle has set up shop as a private investigator ready to deal with anything from lost pets to substantially grander larcenies. Though Carlotta, a six-foot-tall, redheaded ex cop, part-time cabbie, and neophyte private eye, works out of her home, it's rare that clients stop by unannounced. Especially clients like the genteel, reserved, elderly spinster Miss Margaret Devens. ALWAYS COMES… With cash flow problems and a caseload so light that she's taken to reading her cat's mail, Carlotta accepts the case of Miss Devens's missing brother Eugene. Oddly enough, Carlotta knew Eugene when they worked together back at Green and White Cab. As far as Carlotta sees it, this case should be a pinch--until two thugs looking for money send her client to the hospital. WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT… The old lady's missing brother seems to have been involved in something much more dangerous than simply driving a cab. Carlotta is determined to do whatever it takes?work the cops, pose as a hooker, and even drive a cab again--to find Eugene before it's too late. "She is one of the most sparkling, most irresistible heroines ever to grace the pages of a whodunit." ?Chicago Sun-Times "All elements are skillfully woven together in a book that has just about everything." --Denver Post


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The first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series! Linda Barnes's A Trouble of Fools is the book that introduced readers to ex-Boston cop and PI Carlotta Carlyle, who knows trouble when she sees it like the old Irish lady offering a grand in cash to find her brother... TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Car The first book in the Carlotta Carlyle series! Linda Barnes's A Trouble of Fools is the book that introduced readers to ex-Boston cop and PI Carlotta Carlyle, who knows trouble when she sees it like the old Irish lady offering a grand in cash to find her brother... TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Carlyle has set up shop as a private investigator ready to deal with anything from lost pets to substantially grander larcenies. Though Carlotta, a six-foot-tall, redheaded ex cop, part-time cabbie, and neophyte private eye, works out of her home, it's rare that clients stop by unannounced. Especially clients like the genteel, reserved, elderly spinster Miss Margaret Devens. ALWAYS COMES… With cash flow problems and a caseload so light that she's taken to reading her cat's mail, Carlotta accepts the case of Miss Devens's missing brother Eugene. Oddly enough, Carlotta knew Eugene when they worked together back at Green and White Cab. As far as Carlotta sees it, this case should be a pinch--until two thugs looking for money send her client to the hospital. WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT… The old lady's missing brother seems to have been involved in something much more dangerous than simply driving a cab. Carlotta is determined to do whatever it takes?work the cops, pose as a hooker, and even drive a cab again--to find Eugene before it's too late. "She is one of the most sparkling, most irresistible heroines ever to grace the pages of a whodunit." ?Chicago Sun-Times "All elements are skillfully woven together in a book that has just about everything." --Denver Post

30 review for A Trouble of Fools

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marleen

    Having read and enjoyed several of the later Carlotta Carlye books, I thought I'd start at the beginning of the series. I just adore Carlotta as a character. She’s so solid, while being human and a bit flawed at the same time. She’s my all-time favorite female, P.I. She’s gutsy, resourceful, funny and most of all she’s honourable. Carlotta’s such a stand-up person and a loyal friend. I like it that she’s plays Blues guitar and listens to Bonnie Raitt and Billie Holiday. I thought it was quite fu Having read and enjoyed several of the later Carlotta Carlye books, I thought I'd start at the beginning of the series. I just adore Carlotta as a character. She’s so solid, while being human and a bit flawed at the same time. She’s my all-time favorite female, P.I. She’s gutsy, resourceful, funny and most of all she’s honourable. Carlotta’s such a stand-up person and a loyal friend. I like it that she’s plays Blues guitar and listens to Bonnie Raitt and Billie Holiday. I thought it was quite funny that in this book I also discovered that, like me, she doesn’t like nail polish, she doesn’t like earrings, and so never wears those. All things considered I think it’s important to do the series justice and read it in the right order. Characters develop, relationships develop, and authors develop. I think this first book clearly lays the ground-work at depicting Carlotta’s important relationships with the people that matter in life: her entourage that will be there with her till the very last book. There’s Mooney, the cop and ex-colleague, Gloria, the co-owner of a cab company G&W, where Carlotta works on and off; Paulina, her ‘adopted’ little sister; Roz, her eccentric artist tenant; and finally Sam, her on-and-off-again lover and heir apparent of the Gianelli mob-family. The other important character in this series is definitely the city of Boston. Now I’ve visited Boston a few times, but as soon as I read a Carlotta book, I want to go back to better explore and feel this unique city. I want be on the streets while Carlotta drives her cab, or drives her old red Toyota doing her PI work. Most of time I am enthralled by the gritty language, the down-and-dirty description of the Boston streets, the no-nonsense tone. As a first book goes, it's a solid one. No wonder that Linda Barnes won the Edgar Award back in 1987 for Best novel with this one. The plot kept me captivated and entertained. While investigating a missing persons case, Carlotta accidently stumbles upon a group of Irish-American cabbies, all over 50, who may be running money and guns for the now severely restricted IRA. Carlotta finds herself in very deep trouble indeed, the kind that can easily end in murder. Only because Carlotta is so extremely street-smart, resourceful and knows who she can rely on for assistance, is she able to resolve this more than messy situation, and unmasking the real culprit. This is a perfect book to devour one lazy afternoon while shutting the rest of the world out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    P. Kirby

    Pleasant, but so unmemorable that I'm having trouble even conjuring the interest to write a review. The sort of book that doesn't inspire enough glorious frustration to write a rant, nor the adoration to pen a slavering paean to its greatness. Carlotta Carlyle, the story's protagonist, is a former cab driver and former cop, now private investigator. She's single and has the requisite cat, T.C. And T.C., being a thoroughly modern cat, gets mail. When the story begins, Carlotta is eyeing a letter th Pleasant, but so unmemorable that I'm having trouble even conjuring the interest to write a review. The sort of book that doesn't inspire enough glorious frustration to write a rant, nor the adoration to pen a slavering paean to its greatness. Carlotta Carlyle, the story's protagonist, is a former cab driver and former cop, now private investigator. She's single and has the requisite cat, T.C. And T.C., being a thoroughly modern cat, gets mail. When the story begins, Carlotta is eyeing a letter that claims T.C. is the winner of 20-thousand dollars. Because the story details have already been replaced with details from another novel, I can't remember if the letter is from a condo company, and collecting the money requires listening to a sales pitch, or whether there are no strings attached at all. Either way, to claim the 20K, Carlotta and her "husband," T.C., need to collect the money in person. A problem since T.C. isn't precisely a person. Right off the bat, I'm wondering how smart woman could ever think this was legitimate. I mean, seriously? Anyway, Carlotta is on the hunt for a human stand-in for T.C. Meanwhile, an elderly lady, Margaret Devens, appears on her doorstep, wanting to hire Carlotta to find her missing brother, Eugene. Unfortunately, Granny is less than forthcoming with the truth about her brother, and pretty much expects Carlotta to located him out of thin air. I think I'm supposed to find Margaret endearing because she's old. Mostly, I found her prickly, like a cactus, but without the occasional burst of pretty flowers. Consequently, the fate of Margaret's brother didn't exactly keep me up nights worrying. Or reading this book. (A kind of stupid obstinacy kept me reading.) Eugene works for a cab company, the same outfit that once employed Carlotta. And pretty soon, Carlotta's back driving a cab, following Eugene's compatriots around the streets of Boston, seeking clues to Eugene's disappearance. Carlotta also reacquaints herself with Mooney, a police detective, and tries to enlist him to play the part of T.C. The obligatory (tepid) love interest is provided by Carlotta's ex-boyfriend, Sam, who owns the cab company. Stuff happens, and the above plot threads - cab company, local police department, T.C.'s prize money - are bound together reasonably well with an IRA money-making scheme (as in Irish Republican Army, not retirement - the novel was first published in the 80s). The pace was just too meandering, and Carlotta, despite the occasional witty insight, felt like just about every other young, single sleuth in the genre. I got sort of annoyed with her at the end when she goes all schmopey over the death of the antagonist. (She shows up at the funeral, with flowers.) The guy is a drug dealer, precisely the kind of person who endangers the life of Paulina, her little sister/surrogate daughter. Maybe the point was to show that Carlotta was kind-hearted, but honestly, all it did was make her look like an ass. Yeah, a boring review for an uninspiring book. This is the start of a series that spawned many more books, so evidently the character and setting works for other readers.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Betty

    This is the first of this series. I found it hard to get into the first part of the book. Too much of Carlotta thoughts and not enough actions. Part way through this changed and I found the Carlotta I knew. Carlotta is focus on a guy passing drugs near Paolina's school. She has received a letter for TC Carlyle. TC is Tom Cat, her cat. She is hired to find a cabbie missing for two weeks. You don't need to read this book to understand the rest of the series; but it adds depth. I give the series a This is the first of this series. I found it hard to get into the first part of the book. Too much of Carlotta thoughts and not enough actions. Part way through this changed and I found the Carlotta I knew. Carlotta is focus on a guy passing drugs near Paolina's school. She has received a letter for TC Carlyle. TC is Tom Cat, her cat. She is hired to find a cabbie missing for two weeks. You don't need to read this book to understand the rest of the series; but it adds depth. I give the series a 5.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tony Hisgett

    The book started quite well and I liked Carlotta right from the start, but the problem for all this type of mystery/thrillers is that there has to be something that sets them apart for the hundreds of very similar books already out there. This could be that the plot is very clever and well written or the main character has something special about them or there is a relationship that provides an interesting sub-plot. The problem with this book it turned out it didn’t really have any of these. The s The book started quite well and I liked Carlotta right from the start, but the problem for all this type of mystery/thrillers is that there has to be something that sets them apart for the hundreds of very similar books already out there. This could be that the plot is very clever and well written or the main character has something special about them or there is a relationship that provides an interesting sub-plot. The problem with this book it turned out it didn’t really have any of these. The story was OK, but nothing special and the middle of the book was a bit of a drag with very little happening. It did improve in the last quarter, although there were some aspects that were a bit unbelievable, like an unarmed handcuffed drug runner escaping from dozens of Police and FBI agents in the middle of a bus station. I liked Carlotta, but instead of becoming more enamoured with her as the story progressed I found myself caring less and less, especially when she decided to get involved with Sam. In the end the thing that kept me reading was the relationship between Carlotta and Paulina and unfortunately this was a very minor storyline.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fuzzy Gerdes

    A Trouble of Fools is a pretty solid entry in the "quirky private investigator" genre. My biggest quibble would be that Carlotta Carlyle, the aforementioned quirky PI, seems like her character might have been assembled by some sort of MadLibs process -- ex-cop, ex-cabbie, six-foot, redhead private eye who lives in Boston with a cat, her late aunt's parakeet and a crazy artist roommate. I guess others don't mind, because Linda Barnes has gone on to write 11 more novels about Carlyle. I don't thi A Trouble of Fools is a pretty solid entry in the "quirky private investigator" genre. My biggest quibble would be that Carlotta Carlyle, the aforementioned quirky PI, seems like her character might have been assembled by some sort of MadLibs process -- ex-cop, ex-cabbie, six-foot, redhead private eye who lives in Boston with a cat, her late aunt's parakeet and a crazy artist roommate. I guess others don't mind, because Linda Barnes has gone on to write 11 more novels about Carlyle. I don't think I'll be joining the throngs, however.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I think I read this book about 20 years ago(?) and wanted to revisit the series. I think I'll continue with it. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but I like Carlotta's sense of humor and I like her Tomcat! :D So I'll try one more and see how that one goes before deciding whether to go all in or throw in the towel. C. J. Critt does a great job with the audio performance. It was a little slow, so it was nice to have the Audible, where I could speed up the pace. I think I read this book about 20 years ago(?) and wanted to revisit the series. I think I'll continue with it. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but I like Carlotta's sense of humor and I like her Tomcat! :D So I'll try one more and see how that one goes before deciding whether to go all in or throw in the towel. C. J. Critt does a great job with the audio performance. It was a little slow, so it was nice to have the Audible, where I could speed up the pace.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    I've read other books in this series and basically all revolve around drugs or the mafia of which I have no interest. This one added the Irish Republican Army to the fun. I grabbed this one because I needed a book with Fools in the title and it fit. I kept waiting for something to happen but it just plodded along with it's drug, IRA and mafia connections. So not my type of book. This will be the last book I'll read in this series as I don't particularly like Carlotta or anyone else for that matt I've read other books in this series and basically all revolve around drugs or the mafia of which I have no interest. This one added the Irish Republican Army to the fun. I grabbed this one because I needed a book with Fools in the title and it fit. I kept waiting for something to happen but it just plodded along with it's drug, IRA and mafia connections. So not my type of book. This will be the last book I'll read in this series as I don't particularly like Carlotta or anyone else for that matter.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book reminded me a bit of the Janet Evanovich books. A quirky woman detective, Carlotta Carlye muddles through mysteries and men. There is a cast of "characters", too. Roz, her artistic tenant, Mooney (the Morelli of this book), Sam and Gloria...all bigger than life. In place of Grandma Mazur, we get Yiddish quotes from Carlotta's grandmother like, " All is not butter that comes from a cow." I guess there are more Carlotta Carlyle books and I'm eager to read another. This book reminded me a bit of the Janet Evanovich books. A quirky woman detective, Carlotta Carlye muddles through mysteries and men. There is a cast of "characters", too. Roz, her artistic tenant, Mooney (the Morelli of this book), Sam and Gloria...all bigger than life. In place of Grandma Mazur, we get Yiddish quotes from Carlotta's grandmother like, " All is not butter that comes from a cow." I guess there are more Carlotta Carlyle books and I'm eager to read another.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I read a book from the middle of the series and liked it so much that I started back at the beginning of the series. I got it as an audio book and listened while I readied my apartment for a family visit. It was the most fun I've ever had cleaning. Just got the 2nd book in the series too. I'm hooked. Carlotta is a great character. Roz is so much fun too. Love Mooney. Can't wait to continue the series. I read a book from the middle of the series and liked it so much that I started back at the beginning of the series. I got it as an audio book and listened while I readied my apartment for a family visit. It was the most fun I've ever had cleaning. Just got the 2nd book in the series too. I'm hooked. Carlotta is a great character. Roz is so much fun too. Love Mooney. Can't wait to continue the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dagny

    Carlotta Carlyle, a very tall redhead, is a struggling P.I. who moonlights as a cab driver in Boston. Although each mystery plot stands on its own, the series will be much more enjoyable if read in chronological order because of character development.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Ellis

    Good beginning to this series, a new one for me but one which I will continue reading. Carlotta Carlyle is a 6'1" former Boston cop with flaming red hair now working as a private investigator and also as a part-time taxi driver. She is hired by Margaret Devens, a sweet old lady, to find her missing brother, Eugene Devens. Gene and his fellow Irish-American cabbies long for the "good old days" when they collected money for the IRA, so they are susceptible to a new man who claims to be restarting Good beginning to this series, a new one for me but one which I will continue reading. Carlotta Carlyle is a 6'1" former Boston cop with flaming red hair now working as a private investigator and also as a part-time taxi driver. She is hired by Margaret Devens, a sweet old lady, to find her missing brother, Eugene Devens. Gene and his fellow Irish-American cabbies long for the "good old days" when they collected money for the IRA, so they are susceptible to a new man who claims to be restarting the mission to raise money for guns for the IRA. Carlotta begins the search and soon enlists the aid of her cop friend Mooney as the investigation expands into something much bigger than she could handle alone. The plot and subplots are serious but at the same time lots of fun, as are the characters, making this a thoroughly enjoyable story. I'm looking forward to getting to know them better in the books following this first entry.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    For some reason this book didn't resonate with me. I'm not really into books about the mafia and drugs, at all, so I think that's mainly why I wasn't too into this one. It was too slow-paced for me as well. Carlotta Carlyle is the MC who is a former taxi drive and cop turned PI. The story line/plot was just OK but nothing special or unique. I wasn't into the relationship between Carlotta and Sam. What I did enjoy reading about was relationship between Paulina and Carlotta, but there wasn't enough For some reason this book didn't resonate with me. I'm not really into books about the mafia and drugs, at all, so I think that's mainly why I wasn't too into this one. It was too slow-paced for me as well. Carlotta Carlyle is the MC who is a former taxi drive and cop turned PI. The story line/plot was just OK but nothing special or unique. I wasn't into the relationship between Carlotta and Sam. What I did enjoy reading about was relationship between Paulina and Carlotta, but there wasn't enough to really delve into that. Thus my 2-star rating.

  13. 5 out of 5

    benebean

    meh... put it this way I fell asleep through a long chunk of the middle of the book and felt no desire to rewind and listen to the part I missed.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    If you like PI novels you'll probably enjoy this. It's not my favorite sort of mystery, but this wasn't too bad ... though there were a LOT of commas in weird places. The book was written in 1987 so the first thing is to not expect current technology. The PI is an ex-cop who also used to drive a cab -- which is convenient for this story. It's completely 1st person which, for me, does get old after a while. I don't plan to continue the series, however. If you like PI novels you'll probably enjoy this. It's not my favorite sort of mystery, but this wasn't too bad ... though there were a LOT of commas in weird places. The book was written in 1987 so the first thing is to not expect current technology. The PI is an ex-cop who also used to drive a cab -- which is convenient for this story. It's completely 1st person which, for me, does get old after a while. I don't plan to continue the series, however.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Total cliche private-eye mystery. Nothing special or intriguing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    A fast engaging read. Tis book sucjed me in right away.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Good, solid comfort read in the series that I missed first-time around.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Turner

    Well written, interesting characters, good story line, but I struggled to stay interested.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    More of a 2.5 I suppose, but it came off as mediocre Sue Grafton.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cymiki

    author recommended by melissa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelvin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a 1987 book by the American mystery writer Linda Barnes and is the first book in the Boston private investigator Carlotta Carlyle series. Carlotta is a 6”1’ redhead who is an ex-Boston cop. She is a hard-boiled female PI like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski, all characters that were created in the 1980s. Barnes’ writing is crisp and witty and the story moves at a pretty good pace. There are quite a few twists and turns in the book and the plot is quite This is a 1987 book by the American mystery writer Linda Barnes and is the first book in the Boston private investigator Carlotta Carlyle series. Carlotta is a 6”1’ redhead who is an ex-Boston cop. She is a hard-boiled female PI like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone and Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski, all characters that were created in the 1980s. Barnes’ writing is crisp and witty and the story moves at a pretty good pace. There are quite a few twists and turns in the book and the plot is quite interesting. The story is about Carlotta got hired by a new client, an old lady called Margaret Devens, to find her missing brother Eugene who has disappeared for 10 days. Eugune is in his mid-fifties and is a cab driver for Green & White Cab in Boston. Many cab drivers for that company are elderly Bostonians of Irish heritage and are members of an old Irish social club called Gaelic Brotherhood Association and has provided financial supports for the Irish Republican Army in the 1970s. Soon after Carlotta started looking into the disappearance, Margaret Devens was attacked in her home and her house ransacked. It turns out what happened was there were a bunch of old Irish cab drivers at Green & White Cab who are sympathetic to the IRA and want to raise money for them. A drug pusher called Jackie Flaherty falsely presented himself as an IRA organizer in Boston and convinced the group of elderly drivers to help him secretly move money and guns purportedly for the IRA by using their radio dispatch system and the cab network. What really were in those sealed packages were drugs and drug monies and Jackie were using the cab drivers as mules. When Eugene Devens got curious about the packages, opened one up, and figured out the plot, he was murdered. Carlotta ultimately figured out the drug distribution system herself through some pretty good detective work. She then worked with her friend Mooney at the Boston police department to organize a spectacular takedown of Jackie Flaherty and his gang without getting the cab drivers in trouble. In the end, a black masked IRA gunman showed up and shot Jackie Flaherty dead.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian Campbell

    The story and character development were well organized and written. In my current mood, I prefer something less dark. Oh, there was some almost comical irony, but it didn’t compensate for the scamming and murder of gullible old Boston cab drivers. I notice the structure of the environment where the main character, Carlotta Carlyle, lives is similar to the one created by Sara Paretsky for her character V.I. Warshawski. Both are women detectives with law enforcement backgrounds in large cities. B The story and character development were well organized and written. In my current mood, I prefer something less dark. Oh, there was some almost comical irony, but it didn’t compensate for the scamming and murder of gullible old Boston cab drivers. I notice the structure of the environment where the main character, Carlotta Carlyle, lives is similar to the one created by Sara Paretsky for her character V.I. Warshawski. Both are women detectives with law enforcement backgrounds in large cities. Both have memories of ethnic families and neighborhoods of their childhoods. Both share a building with an artist, rely on someone sharing a building to be companions for clients and rely on colleagues from past law enforcement. Both authors describe roads and traffic when their characters drive. What makes V.I. easier for me to read is that she is in Chicago where I grew up. I can more easily visualize the roads and destinations in Paretsky’s titles than in Barnes’. V.I. was a public defender and practices law to supplement her income from investigations. Carlotta’s various income sources are more limited. V.I. has at least 2 mother hen type advisors who are interesting characters on their own while Carlotta’s possible mother hen was more a strong victim and more remote. Carlotta’s protectors are 2 men who weren’t presented as very reliable. Hope these comparisons don’t spoil Barnes’ writing for you. I imagine trying Barnes’ work again and enjoying the more gritty, more financially fragile, more romantically unsettled version of a woman investigator.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nawfal

    I did not care for the start, much. Felt I couldn't really get my footing, which is somewhat silly in a little pulpy detective thing. But the main character grows on you. She seems to be a really good balance between messy and disorganized and functional and efficient. If she was too one way or the other, I think she would have been a lot less likeable. The main character owns a cat. And a bird. These are always story enhancements. The story takes place in Boston in the 1980s. Naturally, oh so na I did not care for the start, much. Felt I couldn't really get my footing, which is somewhat silly in a little pulpy detective thing. But the main character grows on you. She seems to be a really good balance between messy and disorganized and functional and efficient. If she was too one way or the other, I think she would have been a lot less likeable. The main character owns a cat. And a bird. These are always story enhancements. The story takes place in Boston in the 1980s. Naturally, oh so naturally, I enjoyed this. I miss the northeast. And I miss the northeast in the 80s. A lot. But some of the most amusing elements are when the characters have to use phones! Hey - landlines, PAY PHONES. Remember all that stuff? Heh! The storyline was sufficient - the author actually surprised me with her skill in tying the threads into one cogent and reasonable plot. I also am going to give an extra star of appreciation to the climactic scene wherein a surprise "player" is actually the one to deal with the bad guy. I am impressed because I did not see that coming and it is both fitting and interesting. I think the author knew when to wrap this story up; it doesn't go on needlessly and it ends when it needs to. Good for those who are looking for a female detective/cop character. Good for those who remember and understand the 80s. A quick read, a quick-TARDIS ride back to the 80s.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Carlyle has set up shop as a private investigator ready to deal with anything from lost pets to substantially grander larcenies. Though Carlotta, a six-foot-tall, redheaded ex cop, part-time cabbie, and neophyte private eye, works out of her home, it's rare that clients stop by unannounced. Especially clients like the genteel, reserved, elderly spinster Miss Margaret Devens. ALWAYS COMES… W TROUBLE… Since being bounced from the Boston police for insubordination after six years of service, Carlotta Carlyle has set up shop as a private investigator ready to deal with anything from lost pets to substantially grander larcenies. Though Carlotta, a six-foot-tall, redheaded ex cop, part-time cabbie, and neophyte private eye, works out of her home, it's rare that clients stop by unannounced. Especially clients like the genteel, reserved, elderly spinster Miss Margaret Devens. ALWAYS COMES… With cash flow problems and a caseload so light that she's taken to reading her cat's mail, Carlotta accepts the case of Miss Devens's missing brother Eugene. Oddly enough, Carlotta knew Eugene when they worked together back at Green and White Cab. As far as Carlotta sees it, this case should be a pinch--until two thugs looking for money send her client to the hospital. WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT… The old lady's missing brother seems to have been involved in something much more dangerous than simply driving a cab. Carlotta is determined to do whatever it takes?work the cops, pose as a hooker, and even drive a cab again--to find Eugene before it's too late. Good.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret L.

    I lived in Cambridge during the time period when these books take place, and now that they're available for Kindle, I'm finding them a wonderful trip down memory lane. (Though I never went myself, my best friend frequented the Rat. So I heard stories and I'm pretty sure the references in the books are accurate.) I think I'm enjoying them more now than I did at the time, just because of the nostalgia factor. I never read the entire series, but I plan to now--I think I've bought about half of them I lived in Cambridge during the time period when these books take place, and now that they're available for Kindle, I'm finding them a wonderful trip down memory lane. (Though I never went myself, my best friend frequented the Rat. So I heard stories and I'm pretty sure the references in the books are accurate.) I think I'm enjoying them more now than I did at the time, just because of the nostalgia factor. I never read the entire series, but I plan to now--I think I've bought about half of them so far. I also enjoyed the references to the Bonnie Raitt album, it being the only one of hers I own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    It's always a good day when you find a new detective series to love, and Carlotta Carlyle is someone I would like to spend more time with. I like her quirks, her approach, and I like that Linda Barnes populates her world with people and things that both differ from my own experience (cab driving in Boston?) without forcing too much horror down my throat. With mysteries, we all have our lines in the sand, and mine is I want something that feels true to the kind of work a detective in an urban are It's always a good day when you find a new detective series to love, and Carlotta Carlyle is someone I would like to spend more time with. I like her quirks, her approach, and I like that Linda Barnes populates her world with people and things that both differ from my own experience (cab driving in Boston?) without forcing too much horror down my throat. With mysteries, we all have our lines in the sand, and mine is I want something that feels true to the kind of work a detective in an urban area would do yet doesn't fill my head with squalor and hideousness I'll can never un-read. So I'll definitely read another...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Lewis

    A first came across Linda Barnes novels back in the late 1980s and became a firm fan up until I the pain in my body stopped me reading. Despite one of my favourite she seems not to be well known enough in Britain to be made available on Audible. After a year searching I found a copy on Audiobooks. Was Carlotta Carlisle going to be as good as I remembered and the answer was yes. A terrific tale as Carlotta searches for a missing Boston cabbie behind a background of the IRA and a drug pusher who w A first came across Linda Barnes novels back in the late 1980s and became a firm fan up until I the pain in my body stopped me reading. Despite one of my favourite she seems not to be well known enough in Britain to be made available on Audible. After a year searching I found a copy on Audiobooks. Was Carlotta Carlisle going to be as good as I remembered and the answer was yes. A terrific tale as Carlotta searches for a missing Boston cabbie behind a background of the IRA and a drug pusher who was selling crack outside her 'little sister' Paulina's school. Now I have a source for the audiobooks I will do catching up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    rebecca O. webber

    Trouble of Fools is the debut novel in the Carlotta Carlyle series. I am always looking for a new series featuring a strong female. My problem with this book and at least two other mystery series is they resemble each other too much. Female detective with a small pet and wacky friend, torn between two men and one is always Italian with ties to crime! I think that’s why I love Ver Stanhope so much, the creation of Ann Cleeves! Top notch! Linda Barnes, LynDee Williams and Cheryl Bradshaw: I’m havin Trouble of Fools is the debut novel in the Carlotta Carlyle series. I am always looking for a new series featuring a strong female. My problem with this book and at least two other mystery series is they resemble each other too much. Female detective with a small pet and wacky friend, torn between two men and one is always Italian with ties to crime! I think that’s why I love Ver Stanhope so much, the creation of Ann Cleeves! Top notch! Linda Barnes, LynDee Williams and Cheryl Bradshaw: I’m having trouble keeping everyone straight.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Mccarthy

    My first Carlotta Carlyle mystery, and I enjoyed it. True facts: I’m a big fan of Sara Paretsky and mderTsly fond of Sue Grafton. I picked this up free from Amazon as a Kindle promotion, in part because I was looking for an easy read featuring a female PI. It didn’t disappoint. Carlotta is a solid character with a sense of humor. The plot was a wee bit convoluted, but considering it’s the first of a series, the story was quite good. The name is a bit insipid, but at least it’s [email protected] Bottom l My first Carlotta Carlyle mystery, and I enjoyed it. True facts: I’m a big fan of Sara Paretsky and mderTsly fond of Sue Grafton. I picked this up free from Amazon as a Kindle promotion, in part because I was looking for an easy read featuring a female PI. It didn’t disappoint. Carlotta is a solid character with a sense of humor. The plot was a wee bit convoluted, but considering it’s the first of a series, the story was quite good. The name is a bit insipid, but at least it’s [email protected] Bottom line: I’ll look for another by this author.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Barnes has created a fascinating 6 ft redheaded female private eye that is like no other. Carlotta Carlyle, formerly a cop, doesn't stop until she gets the crime solved. Along the way, the reader meets a quirky, smart, strong, and capable woman. The plot of this first-in-series mystery is serious and suspenseful, yet there's plenty of humor to Barnes' characterizations and dialogues. Add this one to your list of favorite female sleuths series alongside private eyes like Kinsey Millhone, Tess Mon Barnes has created a fascinating 6 ft redheaded female private eye that is like no other. Carlotta Carlyle, formerly a cop, doesn't stop until she gets the crime solved. Along the way, the reader meets a quirky, smart, strong, and capable woman. The plot of this first-in-series mystery is serious and suspenseful, yet there's plenty of humor to Barnes' characterizations and dialogues. Add this one to your list of favorite female sleuths series alongside private eyes like Kinsey Millhone, Tess Monaghan, and V.I. Warshawski. You won't be disappointed.

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