Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter, by Simon Brett

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter
By Simon Brett

I don’t have a wide experience of humorous mystery fiction but something I've noticed about the ones I have read is that they often are not very funny. Of course, we all like what we like and my mileage may vary from yours but most of the allegedly humorous mysteries I read never seem to get past the mildly amusing stage.

Not so for Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter, by Simon Brett, who pulls out all the stops in the first installment of this series. The prolific Mr. Brett has been doing this for a while now and counts this particular book as his eightieth. Practice may not make perfect but it apparently makes you very funny.

The loopy story, such as it is, takes place between the world wars and deals primarily with the kidnapping of the daughter of the deposed king of Mitteleuropia (though there's also a murder), who has been visiting at Tawcester Towers. This just happens to be home base for Blotto and Twinks, a brother and sister team who, in the interest of saving the family's honor, spring into action to try to retrieve Princess Etheline.

Which is all just really a framework on which Brett can hang an endless string of gags. Much of the comedy is at Blotto's expense, since he, unlike his brainy sister Twinks, apparently fell from the family tree and hit his head on every branch on the way down.

If you're not inclined to take your mystery fiction too seriously be sure to add this one to your reading list.

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