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I always find it hard to read a book when every character is a jerk, as is the case in this book. PARTICULARLY the main character. And yet! The prose is so clever, the author so witty, that I read it cover to cover quick as a wink. The book starts by pointing out that  “This is not an autobiographical novel: it is about some other portly, dissolute, immoral and middle-aged art dealer.” The Honorable Charlie Mortdecai is as disreputable a toad as you can imagine, and as for his thug of a manservant Jock Strapp, yikes. Fabulous paintings are stolen, violence ensues, men are killed. Somehow, none of it is very believable, but what can I say, it is very entertaining. I put some quotes here, and can only say, go ahead and try it. Despicable but never boring–a sort of Bertie Wooster from the dark side.

Kyril Bonfiglioli

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