Vesuvius Club (Lucifer Box #1)
Meet Lucifer Box: Equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a twist of Monty Python and a dash of Austin Powers, Lucifer has a charming countenance and rapier wit that make him the guest all hostesses must have. And most do.
But few of his conquests know that Lucifer is also His Majesty's most daring secret agent, at home in both London's Imperial grandeur and in it...more
Actually I must immediately qualify that remark, as what lay behind the door appeared to be a monkey."
Lucifer Box, "the feted artist, the dashing dandy ... but by night -- philanderer, sodomite, and assassin!" is quite simpl...more
"What a mantra", Tony thought. It was vague enough to apply to so many things. Its frame for time appearing, at first, grim for the thought of death. Yet optimism could break through; through brevity, through apathy. If we only get so many days, why not make each one great? Just as easily, if we only get so many days, why bother doing anything at all?
And just like that, Tony had one less.
From that day forward Tony programmed his robot, HS-11, to record all the things h...more
If you live in the UK then the chances are that you're familiar with, or have at least heard of, the work of Mark Gatiss. He is an accomplished writer and actor for the stage and television and a look at his IMDB page will porbably make you say 'oh yeah, I remember that!' In the last couple of years he has written for and appeared in the new incarnation of Doctor Who, as well as last years romcom Starter for Ten. He...more
We meet Lucifer Box (prepare for Puns Ahead), secret agent to His Majesty's Government (HMG) in Edwardian England. Once the time period is established, it makes much more sense; I kept thinking it was Victorian London, but it's later.
Lucifer's cover is painting portraits, and it is doing...more
The plot and the execution are gorgeous, a little bit ostentatious and entirely frivolous, so I think I might save the second one for an end of term train ride home - it strikes me as exactly the sort of thing I might need at the end of a term reading law textbooks. The characters are a bit tw...more
The solution to the overarching mystery is deeply silly, which came as quite the disappointment. I think Gatiss lost his grip on the plot near the end, devolving into depicting cackling villains who engage in the hoary old trope of explaining all to the captured but not yet dead hero, as well as all-consuming love affairs and dastardly revenge. Yes, those are the tr...more
His game this time involves the murder of a fellow spy / diplomat in Naples and the mysterious but seemingly natural deaths of two scientists w...more
But few of his connections or conquests know that Lucifer Box is also His Majesty's most daring secret agent, at home in both London's imperial grandeur and the underworld of crazed vice that seethes beneath.
And so of course when Britain's most prominent scientists begin turning up dead, there is only one man his country can turn to.
Lucifer Box ruthless...more
The Vesuvius Club sees Box embroiled in a mystery surrounding the death and disappearance of a number of noted geologists. Investigations soon lead him to Naples and the discovery of the eponymous club which, at first sight, seems to be...more
“The Vesuvius Club” is the first book in the Lucifer Box trilogy.
The book itself is hard to describe. It is a thriller. It is a spy novel. It is an historical novel. It is a boy’s own ripper of an adventure yarn. It is deliciously wicked and the hero, Lucifer Bo...more
Lucifer Box is a socialite and a portraitist with dashing good looks, but he’s also one of Britain’s most witty secret agents working for His Majesty’s Government. The Vesuvius Club is a first-person narrative...more
There’s a distinct, 60’s feel to it all; something to do with the cleverly-copied Aubrey Beardsley, Yellow Book look of the thing and the outrageousness of the rather-hard-to-follow plot. If this book were a film it would look like The Wrong Box or Casino Royale (the Peter Sellers movie, not the latest, hard-core version, obviously) and Peter Cook would be playing Lucifer Box....more
Once again, I think the reason this book somehow works is just because...more
A lot of people liken it to an Oscar Wilde take on a spy novel, and they're not wrong. Lucifer Box is a dandy and a gentleman, but the gentleman part is optional it seems. He knows his way around high society but can navigate the underworld with ease - all in a day's work for an agent of His Majesty's Government.
Several strange events occur to attra...more
Full of nods to the genre and full detail of the period underworld it...more
I don't regret the choice. I only wish the narrative had developed into a more complex mystery. (view spoiler)[For example, I found the villain's motivations for revenge/m...more
It's funny, satirical and as a bonus also a decent thriller. There's no high literature here and some of the characters are very underdeveloped but t...more
Lucifer Box is His Majesty's most daring secret agent, using painter as his cover job.
Following a dinnertime assassination in London, Lucifer is dispatched to find the missing agent Jocelyn Poop. On the way he's giving art lessons, nearly gets attacked by a poisonous centipede, meets a lot of interesting (and with interesting names) characters, and has to go to Naples for both business and...more
This book is written by one of the people behind “The League of Gentlemen”, which was that simultaneously macabre, wicked, camp and occasionally disturbing show that was on the ABC a few years ago. So that should give you a bit of an idea about the style of this novel, although disappointingly there was no local s...more
I've always liked Mark Gatiss, so it's very nice to see him branch out from League of Gentlemen and into fiction.
Lucifer Box is a Wildean debonair, fop and spy for the British Crown.
Cue whodunnit, flashy characters, luxurious promiscuity and crisp linen suits.
None of this is, though very well written, decently paced and witty, high flying literature per se.
Original? Not really.
Entertaining? Hell, yes!
You can tell Gatiss is having lots of fun whilst writing and I was deliciously wron...more
To begin with a mediocre plot and two-dimensional, not-very-likeable main character, were brightened up by a laugh-out-loud funny joke or two on each page. These peter out as the plot builds up. And then the plot gets ridiculous.
This adventure is in the tradition of Boy's Own...more
"Meet Lucifer Box: Equal parts James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, with a twist of Monty Python and a dash of Austin Powers, Lucifer has a charming countenance and rapier wit that make him the guest all hostesses must have. And mos...more
I liked this a lot. It was a less surreal, more comprehensible, more fun Jerry Cornelius The Final Programme with the funk replaced by victorian sensiblity. It was extremely 'readable' and I finished it fairly quickly (partially because I've been down sick).
I really liked the zombies and the writing. I don't read a lot of stuff like this and that may have been...more
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Gatiss has written three episodes for the 2005-revived BBC television series Doctor Who. His first, "The Unquiet Dead", aired on 9 April 20...more