Stumped by Rob Kitchin (published by 280 Steps, 2014)

A Screwball Noir

It is election time in Ireland and a lot more is about to change for Grant, a new arrival from England, and his wheelchair-bound friend Mary, than their political representatives.

Their friend, Sinead, has been kidnapped, and her brother, Pat, has disappeared. Charged with tracking them down, Grant and Mary are soon caught between a vicious Dublin gangster seeking the return of a valuable package and an ambitious politician determined to protect a secret that might harm his re-election prospects. To make matters worse, when someone they confront is found floating face down in the River Liffey, Inspector McGerrity Black, Dublin’s finest rockabilly cop, is soon hot on their trail.

With election day looming and Sinead’s fingers turning up on a regular basis they race through County Kildare suburbia, Dublin’s saunas, Manchester’s gay village and rural Mayo, crossing paths with drag queen farmers, corrupt property developers, and sadistic criminal gang members, as they desperately seek a way to save themselves and their friends while all the time staying ahead of the law. 

A paperback: Amazon US and Amazon UK


"...a unique combination of comedy, both gentle and black, and Grand Guignol murder and mayhem. The story is full of clever and convincing twists at every turn and is packed with characters, especially villains, drawn with an almost Dickensian colour and intensity. Funny, engaging, fast-paced and hugely enjoyable. And the style is all Rob Kitchin’s. Thoroughly recommended."
— Michael Russell, author of The City of Strangers

"Rob Kitchin joins the ranks of top-notch Irish crime writers: Hughes, Glynn, Bruen, French, and Burke. Intricate, terrifying, and thrillingly propulsive, STUMPED offers readers a vivid portrait of Irish politicians, the media, and the police as they clash with the incomparably villainous Doherty."
— Patti Abbott, author of Home Invasion

"As far as Irish crime fiction goes, Kitchin delivers all the major ingredients: mystery, psychos and a dash of drag queen farmers. This novel is frantic, fierce and fabulous. Skip the manicure before reading. Stumped is a head-scratching nail-biter that'll leave your fingers chewed down to the nub.”
— Gerard Brennan, author of Wee Rockets and The Point

"Prose as tight as a corkscrew and a gripping plot full of sharp twists and turns, multiple POVs and larger than life characters.”
--Paul D. Brazill, author of A Case of Noir and Guns of Brixton

"If Seinfeld were updated as a murder mystery novel cast in Ireland, it could spontaneously combust into Rob Kitchin's Stumped. Easy laughter, embarrassing situations that befall bumbling but loveable characters (who dither and botch things at every turn) characterize this "screwball noir." Kitchin pokes gentle fun while painting portraiture in prose of the modern Irish landscape peopled with gangsters, cross-dressing farmers and a rockabilly cop."
--Anonymous-9, author of Hard Bite

"Friendship, disability, family, romance, loyalty, homosexuality, politics, elections, gangsters, police, kidnapping, amputated digits, investigative journalism, Dublin, Manchester, secrets, blackmail, murder, River Liffey, airports, saunas, dodgy builders, corruption and cross-dressing gay farmers – all feature to a greater or lesser extent in this novel with distinctly humorous undertones. Decent plot, great characters, fast paced with a satisfying ending."
--Col's Criminal Library

"This is a tale of unlikely friendships growing stronger in the face of adversity. The comedy comes from character and situation rather than one-liners, and there is real warmth underneath the set-pieces, which of course makes them more effective. Much recommended if you enjoy Bateman or, further afield, Carl Hiaasen."
--Richard Westwood, Eurocrime

"Stumped is very well written, the story well constructed and connected and told from several perspectives. There isn’t a single uninteresting character within and most have a part to play. The pace is high, the plot fairly skipping along, moving from Dublin to Manchester and back again. There’s plenty of black comedy within."
--Crime Fiction Lover

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