Book Review: Kyril Bonfiglioli ~ Mortdecai (1973)

Kyril is heavily influenced by P G Wodehouse, which doesn’t mean that this novel is anything The Master would have written. But influenced yes. And so already in positive territory.

His man Jeeves is a thug ready and willing to commit acts of extreme violence. That apart he makes wonderful tea, cooks and cares for, art dealer and crook, Mortdecai. The novel features sadistic British police with secret houses used for torture; sadistic American police who ‘don’t know better’. A very slippery cast of characters from the shady/criminal edge of the art world. A world that the author knows intimately but there are hasty disavowals of quasi-autobiography in case….. well you know what I mean.

The denouement centres on the area adjacent to Morecambe Bay. Although well written it’s out of character with the principal themes of the book and seemed gratuitous. I enjoyed this book once I got past the P G Wodehouse affectations and read it for what it is: a jokey thriller/romp.

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