After You With the Pistol

After You With the PistolAfter You With the Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli
Series: Charlie Mortdecai #2
Publisher: Secker and Warburg
Released: January 1, 1979
Pages: 198
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“Mr Mortdecai, why do you suppose I and my superiors have preserved you from death at very very great trouble and expense?” Charlie Mortdecai—degenerate aristocrat and victim of his own larceny and licentiousness—has no idea. Until it is made clear to him that he must marry the beautiful, sex-crazed and very, very rich Johanna Krampf. The fly in the ointment is that Johanna thinks nothing of involving poor Charlie in her life-threatening schemes such as monarch-assassination, heroin smuggling and—worst of all—survival training at a college for feminist spies. Perhaps, it's all in a good cause—if only Charlie can live long enough to find out.

After You With the Pistol is the second book in the Mortecai trilogy, and it is no worse than the first one. The story in this book is more coherent than in the first, and makes for a reasonably good genre-parody. Mortdecai has been spared his life in exchange for marrying a slightly crazy, very rich American woman. As part of the deal he also finds himself acting as a double (or triple, or maybe quadruple) agent. His wife then requests something very special from him on their wedding night…

The writing in this second instalment is a little more edgy than in the first book, adding to the general style and atmosphere. Most of the humour from the first book is preserved, though I was left with the impression that it has lost some of the playful light-heartedness. Fortunately there is still more than enough left to go around. Overall, a funny and highly satisfying read.

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