Book review: Two Wheels by Greg Moody

Published by Lyn on 1 July 2014

Julia Stagg writes fondly about Greg Moody's cycling murder mystery, Two Wheels – and urges you to pick up a copy.

Two WheelsIt’s almost time; the Tour de France is around the corner. So to celebrate, what better way than to reach for a book that manages to combine the thrill of the greatest bike race on the planet with fiction? In Two Wheels, Greg Moody does just that.

I first came across Moody’s books when living in the USA in 2001. I was in a bike shop mooching around and picked up a copy of Two Wheels. Intrigued by the blurb – a tongue-in-cheek murder-mystery set around the Tour – I started reading, waiting for my husband to break free from the grip a golden Cannondale was exerting on him on the far side of the store. Within seconds I was smiling, then laughing, and when my husband walked over, eyes pleading, and said he wanted to buy the beautiful Cannondale, I agreed. But only if I could buy the book.

Thirteen years on, that bike is now a winter bike, rolled out for those days when its replacement – a carbon fibre beauty with gorgeous lines and sexy colours – is deemed too good to ride. (In North Yorkshire, that can be often!) And I still have my copy of Two Wheels. It’s a bit battered, having moved around the world with us and having spent six years on the communal bookshelf of our cyclist-friendly auberge. It’s been read by so many people – fans of bicycles and fans of fiction. And it’s been enjoyed by all.

Given the time of year and the appropriateness of the topic, I thought I’d write a review, but first I dipped into it again, to see if it was as good as I remembered. To see how dated it is. Happily, it still shines. An amusing, insightful novel charting a washed-up professional cyclist’s attempt to cope with being thrust back into a top team. All of that with a bit of murder and mayhem thrown in.

It’s light-hearted. It’s funny. And yes, some of the cycling references are from the mid-nineties when it was first published, but if anything, that merely adds to the flavour. So if you want to treat yourself to a bit of Le Tour fiction, you can do worse than buy a copy of Two Wheels. Hopefully you won’t have to buy a Cannondale as well!

Two Wheels: A Cycling Murder Mystery by Greg Moody is published by VeloPress.

Julia Stagg writes fiction set in the Ariège region of the French Pyrenees, an area she discovered through her passion for cycling. Her latest novel, A Fête to Remember (UK, US) is available now, published by Hodder and Stoughton. You can say hello to Julia on Facebook.

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