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May Contain Traces of Magic (2009)

de Tom Holt

Séries: J.W. Wells (6)

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20311102,305 (3.64)6
There are all kinds of products. The good ones. The bad ones. The ones that stay in the garage mouldering for years until your garden gnome makes a home out of them. Most are harmless if handled properly, even if they do contain traces of peanuts. But some are not. Not the ones that contain traces of magic. Chris Popham wasn't paying enough attention when he talked to his SatNav. Sure, she gave him directions, never backtalked him, and always led him to his next spot on the map with perfect accuracy. She was the best thing in his life. So was it really his fault that he didn't start paying attention when she talked to him? In his defence, that was her job. But when 'Take the next right' turned into 'Excuse me,' that was when the real trouble started. Because sometimes a SatNav isn't a SatNav. Sometimes it's an imprisoned soul trapped inside a metal box that will do anything it can to get free. And some products you just can't return.… (mais)
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Until I entered this onto Librarything I didn't realise that it was part of a series.
Chris Popham is a salesman and takes his satnav for granted. Until she starts talking back, and his life starts to unravel. His products are magical and the demand is going down. His marriage is in trouble and things start to get worse.

It's a whacky ride and I found it a great fun read. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Dec 29, 2020 |
Fun read, pretty much like other Holt novels, he builds a fun world that doesn't necessarily make complete logical sense and then he has low-key British humor (humour) with it. This might be part of series but it really stands alone just fine. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Agatha Christie at her worst. ( )
  Fiddleback_ | Dec 17, 2018 |
Better than the last couple of his that I have read. Lot of characters talking to themselves though. He used to be one of my favourites, but I think I'll stop now. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Aug 13, 2016 |
'Bloody Hell, Jill,' Chris growled. 'You make it sound like birdwatching.'
She laughed. 'Some of them are bit like that,' she sort-of-whispered back, 'they've got copies of the Observer Book of British Demons that they carry with them wherever they go, and whenever they come across a grade or subspecies they haven't seen before, they tick them off the list and boast about it for days in the canteen. All a bit sad, really, but I guess it's their way of keeping motivated. At least they don't have the dead ones stuffed and mounted any more, like they used to when I joined the department.'


There is a link to "The Portable Door" and its sequels, as the protagonist of this book works for J. Wellington Wells, but Chris is a salesman who spends his time driving round the West Midlands selling magical goods such as dried water and portable folding parking to shopkeepers, and sees himself as being on the periphery of the magical world, although his girlfriend Karen works as a scryer and their old school-friend Jill is a senior member of staff in the government's demon control department.

Although Chris resents his boss asking him to take a work placement student called Angela with him on his rounds, he isn't expecting to come across a demon killing on Angela's first day. From then on things go from bad to worse, since as well as being targeted by demons, Chris is falling under the spell of his magical SatNav, which could have fatal results if he isn't careful.

I liked this almost as much as "The Portable Door", with only the rushed ending letting it down slightly. ( )
  isabelx | Jul 1, 2013 |
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There are all kinds of products. The good ones. The bad ones. The ones that stay in the garage mouldering for years until your garden gnome makes a home out of them. Most are harmless if handled properly, even if they do contain traces of peanuts. But some are not. Not the ones that contain traces of magic. Chris Popham wasn't paying enough attention when he talked to his SatNav. Sure, she gave him directions, never backtalked him, and always led him to his next spot on the map with perfect accuracy. She was the best thing in his life. So was it really his fault that he didn't start paying attention when she talked to him? In his defence, that was her job. But when 'Take the next right' turned into 'Excuse me,' that was when the real trouble started. Because sometimes a SatNav isn't a SatNav. Sometimes it's an imprisoned soul trapped inside a metal box that will do anything it can to get free. And some products you just can't return.

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