Despite present times, we’ve every reason to view 2021 with optimism – with the global vaccine available now for this wretched virus, the world may start to open up again. I’m excited by the thought of moving more than five kilometres from my house and feel overwhelmed by the thought of returning to the office and seeing my lovely Crime Vault colleagues in the flesh again. Happy times!
So in this spirit of new-found optimism I don’t want to concentrate on dark and terrible deeds but would rather recommend a jolly good laugh instead. And what is there not to love about national treasure Simon Brett’s latest offering, Blotto, Twinks and the Maharajah’s Jewel, where the glamorous twins journey to India, one to play a few games of cricket and the other to bag herself a prince for a husband . . . yet both becoming embroiled in the theft of a very large diamond which adorns the turban of the Maharajah of Koorbleimee (say it out loud and you’ll get it!).
So – to kick-start the new year in good form, give Blotto and Twinks a go as frankly, after the year we have just had, we could all do with a damn good laugh!
'A new Simon Brett is an event for mystery fans' P. D. James
'Murder most enjoyable' Colin Dexter
Anyone for cricket - and a spot of burglary?
An idle conversation on the merits of the glorious game with an old Etonian chum is just the excuse Blotto needs to put himself forward for a cricket tour to foreign climes... and so begins the next adventure for our intrepid duo, where the action takes them to India where, as everyone knows, the finest cricket players hail from - as well as the world's most skilled jewel thieves...
The Dowager Duchess has no problems in letting her two children go to the subcontinent as having her beautiful daughter Twinks married off to a massively rich Maharaja offers the Dowager Duchess the prospect of a permanent solution to the cash-draining maintenance of the Tawcester Towers plumbing.
So Twinks joins Blotto on a steamer bound for India, one that is full of young woman desperate to marry well there - only once having encountered the dashing Blotto, a lot of them fancy the idea of getting married before they reach their destination. And, unbeknownst to the siblings, also on the ship is the international jewel thief Archie Montmorency, passing himself off as one of Blotto's cricketing entourage. His real mission though is to steal the diamond which adorns the turban the Maharajah of Koorbleimee . . .
Praise for Simon Brett
'One of British crime's most assured craftsmen . . . Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment' Guardian
'Few crime writers are so enchantingly gifted' Sunday Times
'Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories. I would recommend them to anyone' Jilly Cooper