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Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Dutchess, by Simon Brett

When the Winds Blow Cold, It’s Time to Get Blotto!

Ah, November, how utterly divine! Any moment now we’ll start attending holiday parties, all whiskey and punchbowls and everyone getting completely blotto. Come January, darling, I shall be Virtue Personified, but if I’m terribly terribly lucky, I will still get blotto – and Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess, and all of it the sequel, of course, to Blotto, Twinks, and the Ex-King’s Daughter. NO! You missed the first Blotto? But darling, Booklist called it “a complete wow.” They said….hang on, I’ve got this somewhere, and how I wish I weren’t so killingly disorganized….ahHA! Yes, here it is! They said it was like “Cleopatra rolling out of a carpet before an astonished Caesar,” and that it offered “a breakneck plot in the Restoration Comedy mold.” And OH!, they said it was “absolutely bullet-riddled with Wodehouseian wit.” I mean, really, darling, one doesn’t get reviews much better than that.

At any rate, people are saying that the new one might be even better. Blotto’s there, of course, all handsome and noble and thick as two planks, and his gorgeously clever sister Twinks, and this time, unless they find the baddies, their adorable chauffeur Corky will hang for a crime that he positively did not commit. Now, I’m not giving away any secrets; that’s all in the catalog. And it all winds up with Blotto and Twinks confronting – oh this is simply too terrifying – the League of the Crimson Hand. January is going to be ghastly, you know, between the wretched weather and the need to give one’s liver a rest. The only thing that can possibly get me through it is a riveting, amusing book. The Guardian called this one “perfect entertainment,” and that sounds just about good enough for me.

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