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The hidden keys / André Alexis.

By: Alexis, André, 1957-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookLondon, England : Serpent's Tail, 2017 ©2016Description: 230 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1781258422; 9781781258422.Subject(s): Inheritance and succession -- Fiction | Heroin abuse -- Fiction | Treasure hunt (Game) -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction.DDC classification: 813.6 Summary: "Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes,meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and solve the puzzle. As Tancred tracks down the treasure, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, esteemed copyist,and fend off Willow's heroin dealers, a young albino named "Nigger" Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund "Freud" Luxemburg, a club-footed psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their paws on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend."--- Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A thief, a junkie and an albino walk into a bar: one comes out dead, one in handcuffs, and the other with millions of dollars ...
A slick, sophisticated mystery from the author of the Giller Prize-winning Fifteen Dogs - questioning what it means to be honourable and faithful in the face of desire.

"Tancred Palmieri, a thief with elegant and erudite tastes,meets Willow Azarian, an aging heroin addict. She reveals to Tancred that her very wealthy father has recently passed away, leaving each of his five children a mysterious object that provides one clue to the whereabouts of a large inheritance. Willow enlists Tancred to steal these objects from her siblings and solve the puzzle. As Tancred tracks down the treasure, he must enlist the help of Alexander von Wurfel, esteemed copyist,and fend off Willow's heroin dealers, a young albino named "Nigger" Colby and his sidekick, Sigismund "Freud" Luxemburg, a club-footed psychopath, both of whom are eager to get their paws on this supposed pot of gold. And he must mislead Detective Daniel Mandelshtam, his most adored friend."--- Provided by publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Alexis, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fifteen Dogs, follows up with this witty, punchy, loquacious novel featuring an unexpected treasure hunt-and in fact inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. It opens with aging heiress Willow Azarian approaching suave and surprisingly sophisticated thief Tancred Palmieri in a dodgy bar called the Green Dolphin and befriending him so that she can persuade him to steal the memento mori (e.g., a framed poem, a painting of Nero) willed to her and her siblings by their outrageously wealthy father. She herself received a Japanese screen, and she's convinced that together these items will offer clues to something big their father has tucked away for them to find. Not that she expects or wants more money-they're all filthy rich-but as she explains, "I want to know what's hidden and I want to know why." A heroin addict, Willow is soon dead, but Tancred takes up the challenge-and the reader will, too. VERDICT Fun, propulsive reading that really is about the hunt, not the treasure. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Giller Prize-winner Alexis (Fifteen Dogs, Childhood) brings sharp observation and emotional depth to the traditional quest narrative in this fine novel. Tancred Palmieri is a thief in present day Toronto with a chivalric code whose life is thrown out of whack when he meets rich, drug-addicted Willow Azarian. Willow quickly reveals the story of her father's fortune and a secret puzzle left to his children. She then asks Tancred to help her steal the clues that her father bequeathed to each of her siblings so that they might find the treasure he has left behind. Tancred soon learns that not all quests are as simple as they seem at first. During his journey, he comes into contact with an assortment of strange but never unbelievable characters, including and an English taxidermist who's adopted a German persona. In helping Willow, however, Tancred might just find himself coming up against the person who is closest to him-his best friend, Det. Daniel Mandelstahm. This gorgeously written, funny adventure tale will keep readers up finishing it while also quietly breaking their hearts with Alexis's keen observations of people, kindness, and cruelty. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

A smooth criminal is persuaded to investigate a complex riddle left as a strange inheritance to a junkie in Toronto.Prizewinning Canadian novelist Alexis (Fifteen Dogs, 2015, etc.) offers up a wry and intriguing adventure in this caper novel loosely inspired by Treasure Island. The books dashing young protagonist is an old soul at heartTancred Palmieri is an unabashed thief we first meet musing over the fate of a purloined diamond as he imbibes in The Green Dolphin, your traditional hive of villainy. At the bar, hes approached by 50-something drug addict Willow Azarian, who spins a family fable. Her wealthy father, besides leaving millions in inheritance, left Willow and each of her siblings an iconic memento. These included a framed poem, a painting of the Emperor Nero, a bottle of liqueur, a reproduction of a famous Japanese silkscreen, and a model of Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater, a home in rural Pennsylvania. Willow asks the dashing thief to steal and investigate the mementos to see where they lead. Spoiler alert: Willow dies of her addictions, but Tancred decides to carry out her mission anyway: he may be a thief but his code wont allow him to break promises. Its a wonderfully strange premise and one that plays out well on the page. With the help of his Sancho Panza, Ollie, and a geriatric taxidermist named Alexander von Wurfel, Palmieri begins stealing and deciphering the clues left by the deceased tycoon. Complications arise when gang lord John Armberg muscles in on Palmieris quest, sending an albino thug named Error Colby and his clubfooted sidekick, Sigismund Freud Luxemburg, to track his progress. Hot on everyones tail is police detective Daniel Mandelshtam, a friend of Palmieris since childhood. Even though the book is an old-fashioned quest yarn, Alexis immense talent gives it an archetypal patina, glossing characters with shades of honor and subtlety that might have been missed in lesser hands.A wry and reflective literary puzzle about family, love, honor, and adventure. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.