Sunday, September 12, 2004

hot sept

Who was Kyril Bonfiglio? He was an English art guy--involved in art but participating only from the outside. He died in 1986, leaving a brief crime novel called Don't Point That Thing at Me, which Overlook, one of my favorite publishers, has brought back to life. The English critics seem to enjoy comparing him to Chandler, but this is only if Sam Spade was gay and somewhat over-cultured. His hero is Charlie Mortdecai a very witty denizen of London's high end criminal world. His strengths seem to be repartee, art theft, and playing practical jokes on the hard edge of Scotland Yard. The book is delicious, fun to read when melancholy prevents you from reading stronger fair. Overlook doesn't mention other titles by Mr. Bonfiglio, so we may have to satisfy ourselves with this gem.

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