Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess-Simon Brett

Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess

Simon Brett

Felony & Mayhem, Jan 16 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781934609927

The Dowager Duchess of Tawcester informs her two offspring (better known as Blotto and Twinks than Honourable or Lady) that the trio will attend a weekend gala at the estate of the Dowager Duchess of Melmont. Blotto tries to avoid Laetitia Melmont who seems to find him with uncanny skill. However, the house party gaiety ends abruptly when someone uses a pitchfork to murder the hostess in her kitchen garden.

While the Dowager Duchess of Tawcester accuses her rival the dead Melmont of doing anything to gain a societal edge, Snitterings the butler sends for Constable Trumbull and Sergeant Knatchbull. Guest amateur sleuth Troubadour Bligh accuses the Tawcester chauffeur Corky Froggett of murdering the Dead Dowager Duchess. Blotto and Twinks know Corky is innocent so they investigate the homicide that leads them to evil League of the Crimson Hand

This is a fun P. G. Wodehouse-light satire of the 1920s manners mysteries in which idle wealthy aristocrats solve cases while simpering moronic constables provide comic relief. As a case against in-breeding Blotto turns into a detractor as he proves IQs can be negative numbers with his incessant need for a zillion explanations mostly from his patient brilliant sibling. Still overall the second Blotto, Twinks aristocratic amateur sleuth (see Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter) is an amusing parody as a name by any other name is still a name.

Harriet Klausner

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