The Better Mousetrap

The Better Mousetrap

4.0 2
by Tom Holt
     
 

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It touches all our lives-our triumphs and tragedies, our proudest achievements, our most traumatic disasters. Alloyed of love and fear, death and fire, and the inscrutable acts of the gods, insurance is indeed the force that binds the universe together. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Frank Carpenter, one of the foremost magical practitioners of our age, felt

Overview

It touches all our lives-our triumphs and tragedies, our proudest achievements, our most traumatic disasters. Alloyed of love and fear, death and fire, and the inscrutable acts of the gods, insurance is indeed the force that binds the universe together. Hardly surprising, therefore, that Frank Carpenter, one of the foremost magical practitioners of our age, felt himself irresistibly drawn to it. Until, that is, he met Jane, a high-flying corporate heroine with an annoying habit of falling out of trees and getting killed. Repeatedly. It's not long before Frank and Jane find themselves face to face with the greatest enigma of our times: When is a door not a door? When it's a mousetrap.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this witty, highly amusing tale, British comic fantasist Holt (Barking) describes a modern-day England where magical creatures and sorcerers are commonplace. Mild-mannered Frank Carpenter uses his Acme Portable Door to travel anywhere in time and space and reverse disasters for 10% of the recouped insurance payout. But when his latest assignment, mythological pest exterminator Emily Spitzer, keeps dying, Frank must figure out how to disable the titular device, which kills in "every possible alternative reality in the multiverse." Things only get more complicated when Frank becomes smitten with his well-armed damsel-in-distress. Eloquently snarky prose supports an otherwise clunky plot replete with fanciful coincidences and unnecessarily convoluted time travel, and Holt's quirky characters and whimsical voice successfully infuse life into this entertaining romantic comedy. (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
More humor with a British accent-from the prolific Holt, a sequel to The Portable Door (2004) and fourth in a series set in the same science-fantasy universe. A Portable Door is like a magical ace of trumps: Not only does it give the user access to anywhere, including past and future, but it also beats any other opposing magic. Young Frank Carpenter, despite a total lack of magical ability, inherited a Door from his parents (they're not dead, but hiding in a private universe). Frank did have the advanced mathematical knowhow necessary to use the Door effectively, however, so he approached insurance mogul George Sprague and proposed that when George was faced with paying a large claim, Frank-for a modest ten percent-would simply go back in time and make the event not happen. The arrangement proves hugely profitable to both parties. Meanwhile, loyal but harassed pest control operative Emily Spitzer visits a bank vault with orders to kill the dragon inconveniently slumbering there. Unfortunately, the dragon's already incinerated all the valuable paper, leaving only a small cardboard tube that Emily tucks absent-mindedly into her sleeve, before being ordered out again by her sarcastic and infuriating boss Colin Gomez to rescue an old lady's treed cat. Inexplicably, Emily falls off her magic ladder and dies. George, confronting another large payout (Emily's employers insured her heavily) hires Frank to reverse the event. But this time Frank fails. Repeatedly. Emily, it seems, is the victim of a Better Mousetrap, guaranteed lethal in all situations. But who would want to kill Emily and why? Frank decides to find out. Funny and intriguingly complex-a difficult juggling act that Holt carries offwith aplomb.
From the Publisher
Highly amusing ... Eloquently snarky prose—Publishers Weekly

Tom Holt's comic fantasy is a great, uplifting read, fit to grace any reader's book collection—Waterstone's Books Quarterly

Inventively entertaining ...make you both laugh out loud and stop and think—SFX

Holt's quirky characters and whimsical voice successfully infuse life into this entertaining romantic comedy—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316233064
Publisher:
Orbit
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
565,027
File size:
987 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Tom Holt was born in London in 1961. At Oxford he studied bar billiards, ancient Greek agriculture and the care and feeding of small, temperamental Japanese motorcycle engines; interests which led him, perhaps inevitably, to qualify as a solicitor and emigrate to Somerset, where he specialized in death and taxes for seven years before going straight in 1995. He lives in Chard, Somerset, with his wife and daughter.

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The Better Mousetrap 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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