Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter by Simon Brett
An author has to be a master of the subject in order write a successful takeoff, and Simon Brett is definitely a master of the Golden Age mystery. Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter has so many elements of those mysteries set in England amongst the nobility, but Brett takes every character to the extreme in the first book in this comic series.
The Right Honourable Deveraux Lyminster (Blotto) is the second son of the family. Brett superbly describes Blotto's intelligence. "Blotto's thoughts rarely ran deep enough to dampen the soles of his handmade brougues." So, when Blotto found a dead body in the library, it's a good thing he had his sister, Twink, to help. The Lady Honoria Lyminster (Twink) was more than eager to play amateur detective. Twink understood that they would be forced to call in the police, but, as in every traditional mystery, it would be up to the amateur detective to actually solve the case. Since their mother, the Dowager Duchess, is hosting the ex-King of Mitteleuropia, and the deceased is part of his entourage, there are diplomatic issues. Then there is the fact that no one in the entourage will admit that the deceased is missing from their party.
While Twink is ready to solve the case, the Dowager Duchess does everything in her power, even calling the mother of one of the Chief Constable to insist the case be closed. But murder is only the prelude to another crime, the kidnapping of the ex-king's daughter. Since this is a disgrace to the family honor, the Dowager Duchess sends Blotto on a mission to Mitteleuropia to rescue her, warning poor Blotto he'll be expected to marry her if he succeeds, and he'll probably die or be captured if he doesn't. Thank heavens Blotto has Twink on his side. And, who would know one of Blotto's few skills, as a cricket player, would come in handy?
Brett has done a masterful job poking fun at mysteries with amateur sleuths of the British nobility. I'll have to admit, I've never been a fan of broad humor. I never cared for the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers. So, although I can appreciate what Brett did, the humor isn't my style. On the other hand, a young man at the library today saw my copy of the book, asked me about it, and he's ready to read it. Don't hesitate to pick up Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter because I don't appreciate the humor. I'm sure Simon Brett's fans will welcome his return to his humorous mysteries.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.