Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Of all the Bloody Cheek -- Frank McAuliffe
The other day I thought it was time to re-read Frank McAuliffe's Of all the Bloody Cheek. When I read it the first time, something like forty years ago, I knew I'd never read anything quite like it. All these years later, I still haven't, except for the sequels: Rather a Vicious Gentleman and For Murder I Charge More. The books aren't exactly novels, more like collections of novellas, but the novellas in each volume are interconnected, and in fact the novellas in all three volumes are interconnected in a marvel of plotting seldom, if ever, equalled. The stories are very funny, thanks the the narrative voice of Augustus Mandrell, killer for hire, and I've been recommending this series for a long, long time. The trouble was that nobody could find the books. Soon, I hope, that won't be a problem. PointBlank is supposedly going to reprint all three volumes, not to mention (and here's the really good news) print a fourth as-yet-unpublished book. I've read a version of the manuscript, and it's a fine addition to the previous three. Buy them all as soon as you get a chance. You won't regret it.