Title: Black Butterfly
Author: Mark Gatiss
Series: the Lucifer Box novels
Summary: Lucifer Box, a daring and scandalous secret agent, is about to retire, but first, he wants to settle the mysterious “suicides” of prominent people. The adventure leads him across the world, even while he considers his own mortality.
As I discussed last time, the uniqueness of the narrator– who actually reminds me a bit of the narrator of the Tudor Mystery series penned by Michael Clynes– kept me reading at a fair clip. Yes, it is Bond-esque, but no one would accuse Lucifer Box of fitting a stereotype. Like Conan Doyle before him, Gatiss drops titles and descriptions of Box’s previous cases– we can live in hope that they, too, will one day be chonicled. In the meantime, “Black Butterfly” has tons of twists and turns to keep you on your toes. Also, his character’s names and behaviors are positively Dickensian in their grotesqueness– no, I mean that in a good way!
My two complaints are that I would have liked a “Who’s Who” at the beginning of the book, as characters disappear and then reappear later, making me have to rifle back to remember who he/ she was. Also, as I read this one in paperback, I missed the “vintage” adverts from the first novel. I’m not sure if this hardback version had them or not, but it would have been neat to compare the 3 books & 3 styles of adverts, as these books move from the 1890’s, to the 1920’s and now, the 1950’s.
Overall: Great read– but start at the beginning of the series, and “Be Prepared.”
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