Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: "The Case of the Great Train Robbery" by Carl Brookins

Minnesota based private detective Sean NMI (No Middle Initial) Sean returns in The Case of the Great Train Robbery. Featuring far less comedic moments than the earlier books in the series this latest read provides both an interesting mystery and a history lesson on crime in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area.

It began as a simple home repair project according to Mr. Kent Kava. The garage was a mess and cleaning it out of the accumulated junk took awhile. Getting all the junk out exposed some structural issues with the garage that had to be addressed. Like a home renovation project gone bad, every point Mr. Kava looked at, he uncovered bigger and bigger issues with the garage. Once word spread among the locals in White Bear, Minnesota that he was going to have to tear down the structure, more and more folks took an inordinate interest. Not just because his house and detached garage were located in the local historic district. The interest is intense from neighbors as well as two strangers in the neighborhood who passed themselves off as amateur historians.

Who the mysterious two guys that came poking around Mr. Kava swears he has no idea. He didn't report that visit to the police or the other visit by someone else around two a.m. All of that happened the previous week before Mr. Kava's young son, Alex, and his puppy found the old gun in a box buried in a hole next to the garage. Mr. Kava wants Sean NMI Sean to find out about the gun, what else might be buried nearby, and why so many folks seem to have an interest in his garage project. Why Mr. Kent didn't just go to the police with the gun along with several other questions come to mind for the detective, but the case is interesting so he takes it.

An interesting and difficult case that will feature the occasional act of violence along with plenty of history and family legacy. The past is often a theme of many books and such is the case here where (as noted in the title) an old train robbery plays a major role. Yet, despite the fact that a major segment of the book is given away by the title as well as the Amazon Kindle product description, the many details of the case are what drive this increasingly complex novel forward. While humor once again plays a backseat role as it did in the preceding novel, The Case of the Deceiving Don, this latest cozy style installment is another good book in the series featuring main characters that are old friends, plenty of history and romance, and plenty of bad guys along the way.

Those unfamiliar with earlier novels in the series, while encouraged to read them starting with The Case of the Greedy Lawyers, can safely read his book as a stand alone mystery. Those familiar with the series will enjoy this latest adventure featuring Sean Sean and his red keds.

Currently this novel is only available through Amazon’s Kindle device. The author provided me a print copy of the book for my objective review as I do not have a Kindle, iPad, etc. As such, I am unable to address the format or other aspects of the experience reading on an e-book device.

The Case of the Great Train Robbery: A Sean Sean Detective Story

Carl Brookins

Amazon Kindle

Kevin R. Tipple © 2010


Joe Prentis said...


I am not the type of reader who always reads the same kind of book. This one sounds like an interesting change of pace. I am always looking for new authors. Great review. Sounds like an interesting read.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

It is a good one, Joe. Hope you like it. I like variety as well.