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  • Reviews for The Sound of One Hand Killing by Teresa Solana
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Reviews for The Sound of One Hand Killing by Teresa Solana
‘Early in Solana's haphazardly plotted third novel featuring twin Barcelona detectives Eduard Martínez and Borja Masdéu (after 2011's A Shortcut to Paradise), the pair find their office burglarized and decide to move a meeting with Teresa Solana, an author of noir novels, to an upstairs apartment where Borja is hiding an antique statue. Believing the apartment's tenant to be gone, they arrive to discover a grisly corpse in the kitchen—but the statue remains safe. After Solana commissions them to research “alternative therapies” for a novel she's writing (an inspector friend of Solana's has told her that Borja has useful contacts for such a venture), the two enroll in weekend classes at a homeopathy clinic and are quickly embroiled in a second murder—that of the clinic's director, Dr. Horaci Bou. The rest of the book whimsically switches between the two murder cases and intrigue surrounding the statue. The frequent political and social critiques of recession-torn Catalonia are of more interest than the crime solving.' - Publishers Weekly
‘Teresa Solana continues her humorous series of murder mysteries with the twin, financially challenged detectives—Borja and Eduard—in The Sound of One Hand Killing, translated from Catalan from Peter Bush. In this third mystery, Solana makes a brief appearance in the book as herself. She hires the brother detectives to conduct research for her in a posh meditation center. They are too poor to turn her down, even though in the course of a morning, the pair have had their office broken into and have discovered a body. One of Solana's future books will incorporate homeopathic and meditative healing. The first body is that of an American, who asked Borja to keep a spare key. Another body soon turns up in the healing center—along with cryptic graffiti—and the police reach out to the Borja and Eduard to help crack the case. After all, they had been in the locked center when the murder happened. But, it is questionable that the pair actually noticed anything and they have the other body to think about…and then there is kidnapping and the statue Borja is holding onto. What will happen next?' - City of San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review
'The Sound of One Hand Killing is Barcelona-based Teresa Solano’s third satirical crime novel to feature her twin brother detectives Borja and Eduard and once again people will be calling her 'the Queen of Catalan Noir’. If they are not, they should.' - Getting Away With Murder
'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND KILLING, the sequel to A SHORTCUT TO PARADISE, sees the return of Barcelona-based non-identical twins, Borja and Eduard who scrape by, by running an unlicensed PI firm. Their secretary is a whiff of perfume and they have fake doors in their office.
The credit crunch is hitting them hard and Eduard's wife's self-help business is struggling. Borja finds an illegal way of getting some extra funds by acting as a courier for what's probably stolen goods. Fortunately a more ethical way of earning money comes when author Teresa Solana hires the twins to do some research into "alternative" treatments.
The duo check into a weekend of treatments at 'Zen Moments' but they're soon involved in a murder which takes place in a closed community situation. In addition Borja's activities are catching up with him in the shape of some thugs, plus there's the matter of the dead body in the apartment above their office.
All three strands tangle together to make for an enjoyable, light-hearted read in which homeopathy gets a skewering along the way. The boys do do some detecting, mostly at the unexpected request of the police, all against the backdrop of Barcelona.
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND KILLING deliberately leaves some loose ends to be followed up in another book and I look forward to it.’ - Euro Crime
‘Teresa Solana is already known to us, as are her terrible twins, through two previous crime novels. Again translated by Peter Bush, The Sound of One Hand Killing is, however, the first in the series in which Solana and her twin Barcelona private eyes, Borja ("Pep") and Eduard Masdeu, actually meet on the page.The novelist appears early on, to solicit the detectives' somewhat unlikely collaboration in her research into the topic of alternative therapies. Cue two apparently coincidental murders: one in the apartment above the detective agency, and the other in the exclusive pseudo-oriental therapy centre on the smartest side of town.The first targets a CIA agent in possession of a unique memory stick whose contents are allegedly capable of undermining world capitalism. The second is of Horaci Bou, responsible for running a team of quacks ministering to the rich and gullible. In a multiplication of dualities, statues feature in both cases: a stone Buddha the murder weapon of choice in the latter instance, and the pursuit of a priceless Assyrian artefact – the "Lioness of Baghdad" – in the former. The cast is completed by the inhabitants of Barcelona, many afflicted by the financial crisis, particularly in places most frequented by the twins: the upmarket restaurants favoured by Borja, and the modest cafés that are Eduard's haunts. Their immediate circles involve a now familiar assortment of wives and partners, children and neighbours, none of whom gets in the way of the racing plot. As one improbability piles on the last, the finale falls into place as several houses of cards collapse together.There's no better way to find your way around both sides of the social Diagonal bisecting Barcelona than by pursuing the criminal habits of those who profiteer from even the most acute of recessions. While the digressions on culinary specialities are worthy of Catalan crime writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, those on Hippocrates and the Elamite Empire will delight readers who like their fictional rapids alternated with pools of Zen contemplation.' - Independent
‘Twin brothers Borja and Eduard are private detectives, although you would never be able to guess that from their private lives. Between smuggling, shop lifting, cheating and becoming embroiled with the CIA they somehow manage to find the time to take on an assignment from a Catalan author; Teresa Solana. She wants the twins to investigate the shady goings-on in the world of alternative medicine. This seemingly straight forward job becomes almost more than the brothers can handle when the Director of the Zen meditation centre they are staying at is murdered while they sleep. Forced to investigate, the duo discover that deep, dark secrets are hiding behind the serene façade of flower remedies and yoga classes. Teresa Solana's third instalment of the twin detective series introduces us to a recession hit Barcelona where the rich throw their money around and everyone else struggles to make it to payday. Her scathing look at the 'science' behind herbal medicine is an interesting take on this alternative life style choice. Intriguingly, Solana establishes herself as a character in the book, giving the story an element of meta-fiction, a fantastic technique that further draws the reader in. Her protagonists are likable rogues and despite their many flaws you can't help but root for them as they wriggle out of the many ridiculous situations they get themselves into.' - Booktrust
‘Third of the Barcelona Murder Mystery series, this delightful romp finds twin brothers Borja and Eduard hired to research health clubs for a popular author. Things went hilariously wrong from their first meeting with the author when they discover their office had been broken into and trashed, then there was the little matter of a dead body in the kitchen of their backup meeting place. As the brothers struggle to make a living during the dismal economy, they get a peek at the rich and privileged seeking treatment at an exclusive New Age center. Conducting research for the book takes a back seat when Borja and Eduard begin investigating the death of the center's director. In between trying to distance themselves from the body discovered in the kitchen, a man the twins learned during a police interview was working for the CIA and finding the culprit responsible for the New Age center's director, there is the little matter of a smuggled statue. Of course, Borja and Eduard's biggest challenge may be staying alive and out of prison. Darkly funny and fast moving, this mystery has plenty of suspense and suitably twisted conclusion. Borja and Eduard may be twins but their different personalities add depth as they play off each other's strengths. If you haven't yet discovered this series, don't hesitate to dive right in and enjoy Barcelona's back streets.' - Monsters and Critics
‘If you are ready to LOL try this mystery! “The Pink Panther” x two as Inspector Clouseau has met his match with twin detectives Borja and Eduard. The setting is Barcelona. Their false front office has been broken into, exposing false doors much like a stage set. That is really too bad as they also staged having a secretary by spraying the room with perfume, draping a sweater over the steno chair and setting out a small bottle of nail polish. They are expecting a new client and are forced to use a borrowed office upstairs. Unfortunately, there is a CIA agent dead and stinking in the kitchen. They are quite clever in the explanation for the stench and their new client has a head cold. The new client writes novels and wants the guys to research holistic centers in and near Barcelona. Pseudo science and meditation treatments have no chance as our fearless duo agree to spend a weekend eating tofu and learning yoga while sneaking cigarettes and a drink or two. The first day it becomes evident someone is playing tricks on the clients and that night the Spiritual leader is murdered. The Chief Inspector is no stranger to Borja and Eduard, thus it is a big surprise to all when he asks for their help. There is a quirky mystery woven into the plot and the characters are truly characters. While it is billed as an international mystery, the closest they get to China, or anywhere else, is a screen set they think is the Great Wall of China. This book is a scream.' - I Love a Mystery
‘Teresa Solana's third Barcelona murder mystery, The Sound of One Hand Killing, featuring twin detectives Borja and Eduard, is at turns harrowing and hilarious, gruesome and glorious. Solana is an absolutely fearless writer, letting nothing interfere with her storytelling. Thus, this book, which features what amounts to a locked-room mystery, also displays attributes of a spy thriller as well as caper novel. It also flirts with metafiction (a writer named Teresa Solana hires the twins to investigate the health spa industry in Barcelona), while skillfully using such tried-and-true tropes of thriller and spy fiction as a disk containing top-secret information (the office one floor up from the twins is occupied by an unlucky CIA agent), and a MacGuffin (in the form of a statue which Borja is asked to smuggle into Spain). Borja and Eduard's relationship is convincing and fascinating, and their domestic lives provide as much entertainment as the more lurid goings on. Mix all that in with a colorful cast of supporting characters and Solana's wicked sense of humor and you get a winning novel, sure to satisfy a broad audience.' - Mystery Scene Mag
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