Don't Point That Thing At Me, Kyril Bonfiglioli

The last book I read left me an emotional wreck.  Seeking balm for my shattered nerves I headed to the unread book pile and selected the one with the appealing picture of a cat on the cover that I had bought Mr CW for Christmas.  Alarm bells began to ring when I read the blurb. “Is this a Cat snuff book?” I enquired. “Maybe” came the response.  Mr CW disappeared and came back brandishing “Don’t Point That Thing At Me” saying that it was funny and just the thing.

The Honourable Charlie Mortdecai is a shady art dealer and the cynical narrator of his own adventures, Jock is his trusty Man Friday and Martland is his old school nemesis now a senior policeman.  Stolen pictures, blackmail of Establishment figures, loving descriptions for men’s suitings and plush interior decoration swirl about the pages.  Stately Rolls Royces and powder blue American gas guzzlers roar in and out of the pages.

Funny, Mr CW promised me funny.  Even though I have no sense of humour, the edges of my mouth did twitch on occasion.  “Don’t Point That Thing At Me” was written in the 1970’s and contains lots of attitudes that are thankfully alien today, but then so does much of Trollope.  The book is a more knowing, yet still an appealing mix of Jeeves and Wooster and Richard Hannay: lots of characters meet with quite sticky ends but do so in a quietly amusing way which made the book to be a suitable antidote to the previous tear-jerker.

DON’T POINT THAT THING AT ME by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Published by Penguin
Price £7.99


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