The Manual Of Detection

“I was impressed, besotted, and transported by The Manual of Detection…. Surprising and completely satisfying, with mythic images and precise sentences. I wish I’d written it, but I’m almost as happy just to have read it.”
—Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves


Winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award
and the Dashiell Hammett Prize

Reminiscent of imaginative fiction from Jorge Luis Borges to Jasper Fforde yet dazzlingly original, The Manual of Detection marks the debut of a prodigious young talent. Charles Unwin toils as a clerk at a huge, imperious detective agency located in an unnamed city always slick with rain. When Travis Sivart, the agency’s most illustrious detective, goes missing, Unwin is suddenly promoted and must embark on an utterly bizarre quest for the missing investigator that leads him into the darkest corners of his soaking, somnolent city. What ensues is a noir fantasy of exquisite craftsmanship, as taut as it is mind-blowing, drawing readers into a dream world that will change what they think about how they think.

Praise & Reviews

“Inventive, atmospheric, and fiendishly delightful. If you’ve ever fallen under the spell of Borges, Ray Bradbury, or Angela Carter, I urge you to acquire your own copy of The Manual of Detection.”
—Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Pretty Monsters

“I feel like I found the thesis Encyclopedia Brown wrote after he grew up and went to Hogwarts. Except that in parts it’s like the movie Brazil. I don’t know whether there’s a plan for a sequel, but I want more.”
—Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh

“Jedediah Berry knows magic. The Manual of Detection combines the intricacy and thoughtfulness of Borges and Kafka with the page-turning excitement of a detective thriller… It made me laugh, thrill, think, and wonder.”
—Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

“In this richly imagined, genre-defying work, our hero’s search for truth is subverted by consciousness that can itself deceive, by perception that cannot be trusted. The Manual of Detection establishes Berry as a wholly original, brilliant new voice in fiction.”
—Sabina Murray, author of ForgeryThe Caprices, and Tales of the New World

“A tingling masterpiece of elegant noir and storytelling verve—full of sizzling oddballs, sparkling villains, and knock-out femme fatales. The story unfolds with a knife-thrower’s accuracy, and like the Manual says, ‘with a corpse around the next corner.’”
—Maria Flook, author of My Sister Life and Lux

“In The Manual of Detection, Jedediah Berry finds a clever, reflexive extreme for the film-inspired confluence of dreams and detection, all while gently skewering the familiar gangsters, femmes fatales, and acerbic dicks of Chandler or Hammett.”
The Believer

“Surreal, absurd, and cerebral, full of sly humor and winks, this novel is meticulously written and plotted. Fans of George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and Jasper Fforde, take notice.”
The Boston Globe

“Jedediah Berry has an ear well-tuned to the styles of the detective story from Holmes to Spade and can reproduce atmosphere with loving skill.”
—Michael Moorcock, The Guardian

“The plot’s bursting with as many twists and surprises as you could hope for…. It steams along the smooth rails of Berry’s neatly constructed sentences, barreling round each well-cambered turn with barely a judder.”
London Review of Books

“Berry sets up a neat literary game and plays it through to the end with a great deal of wit and aplomb…. A distinctively surreal whodunit.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[Berry] defies many mystery novel conventions, but adventurous readers who stay with his strange and fabulous debut work will be handsomely rewarded…. There is nothing mysterious about the appeal of this inventive, outrageous and often amusing dream-within-a-dream.”
The Wall Street Journal

Foreign Editions