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Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess
Blotto and Twinks series, No. 2

By Simon Brett

As anybody who read Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter last year will realize, sleuthing duo Blotto and Twinks, (or Devereux and Honoria Lyminster to give them their real names) are back for a second adventure. This pair is now playing host and hostess at a weekend house party, to which the Dowager Duchess of Melmont has been invited. So, unfortunately for Blotto, has her unattractive daughter Laetitia, a match whom Blotto’s own mother thinks would be made in heaven. But the duchess is murdered, and one of the other guests is the famous amateur detective Troubador Bligh, who naturally is sure he knows whodunit. The twins disagree and set off on their travels to solve the mystery.

If you enjoyed the novels of P G Wodehouse and enjoy humorous detective stories, then this new series might well fit the bill. As with the first novel, this is a comedy first and a detective novel second, filled with plenty of satirical references to all the clichés of classic detective fiction. What holds up the plot (and the chuckles, come to think of it) a lot of the time is the overly frequent reminders that Blotto is very stupid and his sister Twinks is very clever. This is very obvious to readers, unless they are in the same category as Blotto, so as we are being shown we do not need to be repeatedly told. Again, if you like your detective stories to be filled with surprising twists and turns, then maybe this is not for you, although it does have its moments. These include visits to a Cornish tin mine, an opium den in Limehouse, a Scottish castle and the headquarters of the obligatory sinister criminal gang. If you enjoyed the first in the series, you will love this one, as there is more of it (though not in length) and chances are, more to come.

The Book

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
29 August 2010
1849013179 /9781849013178
Historical Mystery / 1920s South East England
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010