Simon Brett,
Blotto, Twinks, & the Ex-King's Daughter
(Felony & Mayhem, 2011)

The fine tradition of committing crimes in style while residing in a grand British manor continues in Simon Brett's Blotto, Twinks, & the Ex-King's Daughter. When playing host to an exiled king and his entourage, the aristocratic family of Tawcester Towers become embroiled in foreign politics and, of course, murder. Both are highly inconvenient, but with his brilliant sister Twinks at his side, Blotto is good-natured enough to investigate. Through kidnappings, traitors and a lack of cricket playing, the aristocratic siblings work their way through the twists and dangers of the plot.

The plot of Blotto, Twinks, & the Ex-King's Daughter adheres severely to the tropes and necessary attributes of a British manor house mystery: dull policemen, significant details and elaborate unveiling of perpetrators. Brett cheerfully exploits them, with tongue firmly in cheek. The comedic tone is amplified by overly romantic declarations, foreign word substitution and a writing style reminiscent of Wodehouse.

While some might consider the mystery to be predictable, the humor of situation and tone makes up for it. Blotto, Twinks, & the Ex-King's Daughter might not exercise the "little grey cells" the way an Agatha Christie novel does, but it's a fairly quick read that does hit the funny bone, the wits and the British manor house comfort zone.

[ visit the author's website ]

book review by
Whitney Mallenby

2 July 2011

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