By: Simon Brett
Publisher: Felony & Mayhem
Publishing Date: January 2012
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: December 27, 2011
This is the second novel that stars the absolutely hysterical twins, Blotto (The Honorable Devereux Lyminster) and, Twinks, (Lady Honoria Lyminster).
For their second adventure, this incredible duo has been invited, along with their mother, the Dowager Duchess of Tawcester, to spend a fun-filled weekend at Snitterings. This oddly-named location is the ancestral family home of the Melmonts, which is also run by a Dowager Duchess who happens to have a daughter, Laetitia, who is ripe for marriage.
The two Duchesses have something in mind for the weekend; they are actually teaming up to marry Blotto off to the aforementioned marriageable daughter. Blotto is certainly not looking forward to this visit, as he has been trying to dodge Laetitia for ages and knows that he will not have a speck of fun.
When the three first arrive, the older women approach each other like a pair of mastodons with pearl necklaces and territorial ambitions. Not only that, but this incredibly hysterical and creative author lets us know that the Dowager Duchess of Melmont is clutching her adored Pekinese, Clutterbuck, whose poppy eyes and squashed-in face perfectly matched in miniature the features of his mistress. (Lines as good as these just have to be mentioned.)
The Dowagers go on to insult each other as they enter the house. Following behind them are Blotto who, although handsome and honorable, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer; and, Twinks, who is just a bit brainier than a lowly-girl should be.
Taking place in 1920’s, this Agatha Christie-type house party filled with incredibly humorous characters, soon plays witness to a murder. The victim is the Pekinese-loving Lady of the House, and one of the guests has the audacity to suggest that Corky, who is the twin’s chauffeur, is the murderer. Thus, Blotto and Twinks go into overdrive to rescue their friend from the chopping block. Subjected to the headquarters of the evil, “League of the Crimson Hand,” the twins have to uncover and survive many things, including a smorgasbord of opium, in order to make sure that the murder is solved and they get to keep their precious chauffer.
Although a very traditional English mystery, the characters are as entertaining, charismatic and all out fantastic as they were in the first.
Quill Says: Mystery readers will want the adventures of Blotto and Twinks to continue for a very long time to come.