The Prisoner of Brenda

  • by Colin Bateman
  • Narrated by Stephen Armstrong
  • 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When notorious gangster "Fat Sam" Mahood is murdered, the chief suspect is arrested nearby. But he seems to have suffered a breakdown. Incarcerated in a mental institution, he's known only as the Man in the White Suit. The suspect remains an enigma until Nurse Brenda calls on Mystery Man, Belfast's finest mystery bookshop owner, to bring his powers of investigation to bear....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not as good as the other Mystery Bookseller books

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

These books were my first foray into Crime Fiction, and there's so much more to them than just the detective story; they're very quirky. So if you're not a fan of the genre, give these a go.


What was most disappointing about Colin Bateman’s story?

The writing was a bit of a let down in this one; it wasn't as funny, and actually giving Mystery Man reasons for his odd personality takes away from, rather than gives to, what I liked so much about him.


What about Stephen Armstrong’s performance did you like?

Stephen Armstrong brings the character to life beautifully. I actually think the audio books will be better than reading them.


Do you think The Prisoner of Brenda needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It seemed like it was the last one. Given that it wasn't as good as the others, the Mystery Man is probably best put to rest regardless. It's a shame though, I liked this series much better than Bateman's other works.


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- Alison

Laugh out loud. I did, several times.

Another very enjoyable outing for the Mystery Man, the owner of No Alibis, the finest crime fiction bookstore in the whole of Belfast (according to the Mystery Man himself). Those of you who have read previous Mystery Man (MM) books will need no introduction - for the rest of you, the narrator of the story is a bookshop owner and part-time detective who takes on cases brought to him by people who have nowhere else to go (or in some instances, cases that simply intrigue our MM). Given that he is borderline autistic, a massive hypochondriac, and an imbiber of huge quantities of pills and medicines of dubious efficacy, it is a wonder that he is able to hold his own in the big bad world outside his book store.



The main premise of this story is that MM, a former mental patient himself, is "employed" by a mental home nurse, the Brenda of the title, to find out the identity of one of her patients, the Man in the White Suit, who she is convinced could not be responsible for the murder he has been incarcerated for. The problem is that the Man in the White Suit never utters a word, and as a result he is a mystery wrapped in an enigma that no-one can solve. Except perhaps the Mystery Man!



The book was very ably narrated by Stephen Armstrong (it had to be an Irish person reading this, no other accent would have worked as well), and his dry delivery really has had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions.



Thoroughly recommended.
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- Pete

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks Ltd