Man vs Bookshelf

Man vs Bookshelf: Diamond Brothers

This entry is part 81 of 104 in the series Man vs Bookshelf

Another year has come and gone, which will always happen if you wait (and live) long enough.


I’m writing this on the 2nd January 2019, the first day back in the office after 11 days off, so that’s depressing. I’m sitting, writing this and watching the Christmas Day episode of Eastenders, so excuse me if my brain gets confused and I start writing something that doesn’t seem to make any Alfie Moon.

Last year started terribly concerning writing and productivity, and I don’t want this to be the same. I’ve been off on the blogging the last couple of months, but I’ve kept up with the reading and writing. I can’t let this year drag until April before I kick into gear.

So, let’s get on with the blog.

Oh, with a slight caveat. This is the second Anthony Horowitz blog I’ve done, and so I’ve already done my author and me bit for him.

If you want to check that out, see the very first blog I wrote – Horowitz Horror – then we can crack on with today’s review.

The Diamond Brothers

I can’t say for sure, but along with the early Harry Potter books (which I’ve had since the late nineties) these must be some of the longest standing books on my shelves. We’re talking a decade absolute minimum.

I’ve read them countless times, and will likely read them countless more. Soon as my kids are old enough, I’ll be forcing these books upon them.

I don’t know what’s so good about them. They are packed full of humour, but it’s children’s humour. Sometimes I chuckle but the jokes aren’t written for a twenty-six-year-old, so I’m not rolling around on the floor laughing.

If it’s not the humour, I think it must be the characters and mysteries.

The series is narrated by Nick Simple, younger brother of Herbert Simple, his hopeless detective brother who has taken on the moniker, Tim Diamond.

He – Nick – is the kind of person we all wished we could be at 12, and probably as an adult, too. Smart, confident, sarcastic, funny. He is surrounded by adults who are either idiotic or want to kill him.

Nick, with his first point narrative, becomes the sane character in a crazy world.

On the light side, his brother is an idiot, with all his successes coming from Nick’s hard work. The police, Snape and Boyle, are willing to hurt Nick and put him in danger again and again to achieve his aims.

On the dark, there is a large assortment of characters throughout the books each of whom are colourful and insane from the dangerously thin Fat Man to the master of disguise assassin. Each of these challenges Nick in either way and adds colour to those intriguing mysteries mentioned above.

I think the main point of these stories is for them to be fast-paced, easy reads. To make kids (mainly boys) laugh, and to get them into reading – something Anthony Horowitz has always been known for.

All of these aims are met. The stories aren’t long, and they whip along, making them incredibly easy reads, but the mysteries don’t suffer for the need for a fast-paced story.

As I said, I’ve read these books many times, but even rereading them now I found I couldn’t remember everything, nor did I guess everything.

Horowitz doesn’t talk down to children with these mysteries. They are a little more whimsical than more (after all, this is a comedy) but they involve murder, kidnap, and all sorts of nasty things. They are well thought out and well weaved.

The combination of all these items – strong mysteries, excellent characters, fast-paced narrative and humour – create stories that are perfect for anyone from younger readers to OAPs.

Most people, when thinking of Anthony Horowitz, think of his Alex Rider series, his continuations of the Sherlock Holmes and Bond cannon or his new works – The Word is Murder, and The Sentence is Death.

This is a shame. For me, his Diamond Brothers books are his finest works, and I would implore anyone who has not yet read them to give them a chance – however old you are.

Next Time

I will return in a few days time, but I haven’t yet decided what form the next blog will take. So, hey, guess it will be a surprise?

So exciting.

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International worst-selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). An author of mystery and suspense novels including the James Perry Series of mysteries.

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