Something about this series has proven to be a perfect little in-betweener, amusing reads that go down smoothly without late nights or missed appointments. The third in a series about Inspector Hobbes and the hapless Andy, Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers details the adventures of the two as they go on holiday and investigate a bank robbery. For those who have yet to read the series, this installment can stand alone. However, there is background mystery to a couple of characters revealed here, as well as interesting character growth from the first, all the more satisfying with the build.
Can I confess? I was on the lookout for the puns. This one had me giggling, probably because it was so unexpected:
“‘Hardly, old boy, I’ve slowed down with age.’
‘Age?’ said Hobbes, looking severe. ‘More like your drunken life style.’
‘Drunken? I haven’t touched a drop since 1950.’
‘Since it’s only ten-past eight, now,’ said Hobbes, ‘you’ve lasted all of twenty minutes.’”
There’s an extended one based on Shakespeare that had me chuckling–and groaning. But don’t worry; it’s not all puns. There’s some straight-forward humor as well:
“‘I banged my head on the windscreen, but I’ll be alright in a moment.’
‘Yes,’ said Hobbes, ‘I saw that. What have I told you about seatbelts?’
‘Umm… seatbelts are for wimps?’
‘No… well, I may have said it once, but I also said that you should wear one.’”
In all seriousness though, Martin did a nice job of keeping within the structure of his world and character set-up and still managing to surprise me. Hobbes and Andy follow the Hobbes-Watson dynamic, with Inspector Hobbes is similar to his namesake; clever, observant and multi-talented, although with a penchant for cracking marrow bones over taking cocaine. Like Watson, Andy is usually two steps behind, frequently distracted by good food and a pretty face. As usual, Hobbes–and the reader–solve the mystery before Andy, so part of the enjoyment is seeing how it all unfolds. I also appreciate the development of Andy’s character. Although Andy plays the role of fool, the laughter around him is more from fondness than mocking, and that Andy is learning to appreciate the humor in it as well.
All in all, this installment tied up a number of interesting background threads as well as a lovely sunset montage that would be a satisfying series ending.
“It was worth hanging in there because I’d seen so many things I wouldn’t have otherwise. It was true some of them gave me nightmares, but it was great to have a life and to be building up a store of memories.”