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Charlie Mortdecai is a louche art dealer with some distinctly dubious friends in the London underworld and some great connections to the British upper classes. He features in the three brilliant black-comedy thrillers originally published in the 70s and collected in this volume: "Don't Point That Thing At Me", "After You With The Pistol", and "Something Nasty In The Woodshed." 'A writer capable of a rare mixture of wit and imaginative unpleasantness' - Julian Barnes.
tall, airy, well-lit chamber of great beauty, hung with excellent pictures. Before us, in some majesty and under a splendid canopy, sat the arbiters of our fate. In the centre (Solly explained to me in a whisper) the Deputy Bailiff; to his right a lower throne – empty – where Her Majesty’s Lieutenant-Governor would have been sitting had he chosen to exercise his right to attend; on the other side a brace of Jurats, chosen from the flower of Jersey’s ancient aristocracy. They looked wise and
guide me out. The Rolls started up gently, gladly, like a well-goosed widow, and we drifted out of the Goods Area making about as much noise as a goldfish in a bowl. I could tell by the looks on their rough, untutored American faces that, had they been brought up in another culture, they would have been knuckling their foreheads. As a mark of respect, d’you see. At the exit we were met by the chap from the Embassy, still squeaking and now well-nigh self-strangled with rage and chagrin. Had he
nails. ‘Mine is Johanna. You know my married name.’ I got the impression that she pronounced it as infrequently as possible. She motioned me back into the sofa – all her gestures were beautiful – and stood there, legs astride. Looking up at her from the depths of that bloody sofa was awkward; lowering my gaze I found myself staring at her jean-gripped crotch, fourteen inches from my nose. (I use fourteen in the Borgesian sense of course.) ‘Those are beautiful pistols,’ I said, desperately. She
advisement at the time, you understand.) She squirmed ecstatically in my arms and, to my great relief, I felt the dozen and a half oysters getting down to their task in the dormant Mortdecai glands. (Wonderfully selfless little chaps, oysters, I always think; they let you swallow them alive without a murmur of protest and then, instead of wreaking revenge like the surly radish, they issue this splendid aphrodisiac dividend. What beautiful lives they must lead, to be sure.) ‘Well,’ I thought,
is extraordinarily like negotiating with a Soviet Trade Delegation. I fished out the flat half-bottle of whisky and tossed it to him. He drank from the bottle, dirty dog, and didn’t pass it back. He belched, thrust a hand into his underpants and scratched thoughtfully. ‘Got a Mannlicher,’ he grunted after another swig. I made a sympathetic face and suggested a course of penicillin. He ignored that. ‘Pre-war.’ ‘No.’ ‘Clip holds three.’ ‘Useless.’ ‘Belonged to a Count.’ ‘A what?’ ‘Count.