L C Tyler

"THE HERRING SELLER'S APPRENTICE is a wonderful book. It is one of those books that transcends the genre of crime fiction and speaks to all readers."

EUROCRIME (February 2009)

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The Herring Seller's Apprentice

Shortlisted for "The Edgars" USA 2010

and "The Last Laugh Award" Crimefest, Bristol 2008


The Herring Seller's Apprentice; read more


EDGAR NOMINATION. The Mystery Writers of America. www.theedgars.com

PEACHYBOOKS (January 2010)

I just want to start by saying I loved this book! ........It was self-referential. It was written as a detective story, using all the conventions of detective fiction, including red herrings, multiple suspects, and an ending that could be worked out (I did, just about) but at times refers to itself as a story. .......and there is more in this series so I am looking forward to reading those too! Read whole review.


DJS Krimiblog (28th August 2009 (Denmark))

If you like cozy mysteries with a delicious British atmosphere, this one is a must!

From Booklist (US)
*Starred Review* "Between the cartoon-like cover and the strange title (a subtle allusion to red herrings), you might not realize that this is a cozy mystery..... Tyler is a stylish writer, and his humor is both subtle and sly. Elsie tells Ethelred not to bother developing character, describing atmosphere, or using clever literary allusions, but Tyler does all those things superbly. Readers may wonder after finishing this romp whether a series is in the offing—the conclusion seems to suggest it’s not—but Ten Little Herrings has already been published in England and will be appearing in the U.S. soon." --Judy Coon

IT’S A CRIME! (Or a mystery...) (May 2009)

"I also like to have a laugh occasionally.  This is the only novel where I have found myself reading out parts of the first chapter to friends over the phone.  Tyler’s literary agent creation, Elsie, comes across to me as an amalgam of two agents I have encountered, making her all the more real.  Great satire on the world of publishing."

FLEUR FISHER (April 2009)

"This is a wonderful tale – cleverly constructed and well executed, with great warmth and wit. Some developments are guessable, but it spoils the journey not one bit.

That’s largely because Ethelred and Elsie are such marvellous creations. Their conversations are a joy and it was a delight to spend time with them

A wonderful traditional mystery!"


"the lively characters and amusing banter will bring most readers back for more."


"THE HERRING SELLER'S APPRENTICE is a wonderful book. It is one of those books that transcends the genre of crime fiction and speaks to all readers. I was completely absorbed in it, totally enjoying my sojourn in its multilayered, trippingly written, disciplined, and astutely observed world. Bravissimo!" Read on here

DO YOU WRITE UNDER YOUR OWN NAME? Martin Edwards'crime writing blog. (February 2009)

"It’s a long time since I’ve been amused by a detective story as much as I have been by L.C. Tyler’s debut novel......This is a clever story, and even though I spotted the main plot twist at an early stage, this did not detract from the pleasure that Tyler’s witty and intelligent writing gave me. I can thoroughly recommend this book." Read the whole review


"This is well-written, genuine fun. A parody that manages to avoid tipping into absurdity by always staying on just the right side of the line."


"It sets out to be the sort of book you want to curl up with on a snowy evening in front of a log fire with a glass of wine to hand. It succeeds admirably."




"I picked this one up for a quick look and found I couldn’t put it down. Tyler has a really strong inter-play between his two main characters, jobbing writer, Ethelred Tressider, and his abrasive literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle. The dialogue throughout is very funny, but whenever these two get into a verbal sparring match, things crank up a notch....... The novel moves at an addictive pace and is constantly inventive."


CRIMEFEST (June 2008)

Shortlisted for the "Last Laugh Award" for the most humourous crime novel published in the British Isles in 2007.



This is a classic detective story...lots of clues, and a solution that will delight Christie and Sayers fans.'




It's an unusually accomplished, engaging debut. The story whizzes along, the writing is sharply observed, stylish and witty.



Very stylish; very English; amusing, dry, clever, tricksy, draws on the best of the detective novel’s past, and is clearly the work of a man who has read widely in the genre.  He also has that old-fashioned virtue, much overlooked these days, namely a command of the language.  ….  In tone this reminds me of the great and much missed Colin Watson; and ditto Joyce Porter and her Inspector Dover.  I have to confess (or boast) that I saw the Big Surprise coming; but then  am a deviously minded sod, with some experience of writing these things myself.  And the ending of the book, like much else in it, is capable of more than one interpretation.   So, as I said at the beginning, tricksy stuff.  Keep your wits about you while you smile.


IT’S A CRIME! (22 October 2007)

The Herring Seller’s Apprentice is comic crime fiction and, for this reader, comic crime at its best.  It bounds into being with a cracking pace and cutting humour, both of which can be hard to maintain all the way through a novel, but LC Tyler keeps both going with the energy of a Duracell battery.  ….  There is plenty in this novel to make you laugh out loud and bring a smile to your face.  It also has a very clever plot to keep you guessing.  I so quickly found myself reading a few paragraphs of the first chapters to friends over the phone as I thought they would appreciate the thoughts and humour – and that’s a first!  We both laughed, both times.  This is a very accomplished first novel; it’s hard to believe it is indeed a first novel.  Great entertainment for those dark nights in and seriously one of a kind.


FINANCIAL TIMES (20 October 2007)

Thirkettle has some deliciously tart one-liners about authors and Tressider’s deliberations about plot devices take a comic twist when Tyler uses them later in his novel.  The Herring Seller’s Apprentice is a jolly intrigue whose perky characters sustain the game playing without burdening the story with metafictional cleverness.  Tressider’s guileful situation yields two possible endings – his own and his agent’s – which Tyler wraps up with masterful ease.

Maxim Jakubowski

“ A wacky and subversive take on the crime novel…
shades of Monty Python.”


The book, part of Macmillan's New Writing series, is one of the cleverest parodies I've ever read. I don't know where Tyler goes next, but if you can write prose and dialogue like he does, it's bound to be worth reading.  Sharon Wheeler


'A quick and funny read'

Writers News
'a classic detective story with a welcome layer of comedy added'

'A belting read full of fun and black humour'

Birmingham Post
'An impressive but gentle spoof on the whole business of writing crime fiction'



It is consistently humorous, has some excellent characters and L C Tyler has a refreshing writing style that draws you in.



This light, amusing debut is a murder mystery that also satirises the genre


TANGLED WEB (October 2007)

The charm of the book is in the wry wit of the writer ….  An unusual, whimsical book with a clever style of writing.



As for year two of MNW, the firm have issued (to the trade) a paperback containing extracts from the next 12 months' output. This includes some intriguing stuff. Fuchs's second book has a good start; the opening chapter from MNW's first American signing, David Isaak, is also interesting; but the best bet, to me, looks like L.C. Tyler's The Herring Seller's Apprentice.


It’s a deviously plotted black comedy of a novel and I was thoroughly bamboozled by the plot but enjoyed the journey.



Somewhere between Agatha Raisin and the Aberystwyth novels is the Herring Seller’s Apprentice by L C Tyler, which is full of eccentric characters, and a fine comic novel that cleverly subverts the English crime novel.



 Goldsboro Books  for signed copies

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