Friday, January 01, 2010

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

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter written and narrated by Simon Brett (September 2009, ISIS Audio Books (mp3), ISBN: 0753143666)

This is the first in a new series by Simon Brett and features aristocratic brother and sister team, Blotto and Twinks. Blotto is handsome and not terribly bright but a good sport (especially at cricket) and Twinks is beautiful with a knowledge to rival Sherlock Holmes.

The family seat is Tawcester (Taster) Towers and the ex-king of Mitteleuropia is currently staying there with his entourage, including his daughter, ex-princess Ethelinde. The books opens with Blotto discovering a body in the library. Not trusting the local police, Blotto and Twinks decide to investigate:

"I will summon the estimable Chief Inspector Trumbull. I like to do these things honourably - level playing field and all that. I must allow the police to have a fair wallop at the investigation ... before I run circles round them and tell them who really committed the murder."

Along the way they discover a plot to kidnap ex-princess Ethelinde by the usurping King Vlatislav which they are unable to foil and so the action moves to Mitteleuropia and Blotto, his chauffeur and a translator "Klaus" are sent to rescue the ex-princess.

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King's Daughter and reads as if Agatha Christie collaborated with P G Wodehouse. It's absolutely delightful and very, very funny. The plot is a romp and Blotto and Twinks make a fun pair of sleuths. The language Blotto in particular uses may leave you saying "broken biscuits" and "me old gumdrop" for some time after.

Simon Brett's narration adds another level of enjoyment as I feel you get to hear what the author intended you to hear when the author themselves does the narration and Simon Brett is very good at it indeed.

The sequel, Blotto, Twinks and the Dead Dowager Duchess, is due out in July.

1 comment:

Uriah Robinson said...

Simon Brett is a scream, and listening to him I am always taken back in time to 1950s England.

We were at Dulwich at around the same time 1955-1962, and while that English Public School education turned me into a nervous wreck it helped make Simon the fascinating raconteur he is today.