The extremely aristocratic but extremely thick Blotto and his extremely brainy sister Twinks are attending a weekend house party when the inevitable happens. Their hostess, the Dowager Duchess of Melmont, is murdered. An amateur detective, conveniently staying for the weekend, deduces that the Lyminster family chauffeur Corky Froggett must have done it. For Blotto and Twinks, the only way to prove Corky's innocence is by finding the real perpetrator.
So begins the second investigation for the daring duo... one which takes them via an opium den in Limehouse, a Scottish castle and a disused Cornish tin mine, to a thrilling final confrontation at the nerve-centre of the evil League of the Crimson Hand. Yes, Blotto and Twinks are back!
Praise for Simon Brett:
'A new Simon Brett is an event for mystery fans' P D James
'Murder most enjoyable' Colin Dexter
'Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories. I would recommend them to anyone.' Jilly Cooper
'Few crime writers are so enchantingly gifted' Sunday Times
'One of British crime's most assured craftsmen... Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment.' Guardian
Brett's second mystery set in 1920s England (after 2011's Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter) starts off as a passable Wodehouse imitation, but soon grows tiresome with its relentless wordplay, banter, and speech mannerisms evocative of Bertie Wooster (e.g., "Oh, trucky-trockle. Well, me old poached egg, tell me what your notion is zappity-ping"). The over-the-top plot finds the dim Honourable Devereux Lyminster (aka Blotto) and his brainy sister, Honoria (aka Twinks), investigating a murder that leads them to a sinister gang straight from the pulps, the League of the Crimson Hand. Wodehouse's genius lay in pairing memorably goofy characters with complex, rigorously constructed plots that maximized the farcical potential of misunderstandings and missteps. Brett's inability to do so renders this a slight diversion rather than a genuinely memorable comic mystery.