The latest and best "Aberystwyth" book yet shows Malcolm Pryce's imagination is growing wilder and his writing ever more confident: this is the first episode in which Louie and Calamity's case takes them out of Wales - with a trip on the Orient Express to the closed Soviet city of Hughesovka - the only Welsh speaking city in the Eastern hemisphere.
Pryce has gives us his fifth vision of Aberystwyth as a slightly out of kilter town existing somewhere between the 1950s and 1980s, with Louie Knight a detective from a slightly mis-shapen Sam Spade school of hard-boiled loner.
For those not familiar with the series, Pryce has written about Louie Knight, Aberystwyth's only Private Eye. He works the mean streets of Aber, where organised crime, violence, corruption and vice all live side by side with the ice-cream stands, tourists, University and Welsh National Library.
_With Love_ keeps the hilarious absurdity that's the series trademark and deepens many of the character relationships.
This was the 5th book in the Aberystwyth Noir series following the exploits of Louie Knight, the town's only Private Detective.
To figure out the case, Louie must travel to Russia and meet all sorts of characters along the way! Because of the style, it is a very wordy book and sometimes I couldn't figure out or remember who was talking.
Id heard of the work and the writer before but at the time of purchase did not realise that it was the fifth book in the series. The man claims to be a Museum Creator from Hugheskova, the quirky English town in the Ukraine (today called Donetsk, one of the hot points of the present Ukraine Crisis). In this world, Hugheskova is the only place outside of Wales where Welsh is the official language. That seems odd, a long time has passed but it also seems that this disappeared girl has been appearing to his daughter, someone they believe is an imaginary friend.
Pryce writes in the style of Raymond Chandler, but his novels are incongruously set on the rainswept streets of an alternate universe version of the Welsh seaside resort and university town of Aberystwyth.