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Something Nasty in the Woodshed (Charlie Mortdecai #3)

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  415 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Something Nasty in the Woodshed finds Charlie, exiled from London due to his growing unpopularity caused by a few shady art deals, taking refuge in a country estate on the Channel Island of Jersey. What begins as a hedonistic interlude morphs into a macabre manhunt, as Charlie seeks to expose a local rapist whose modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to that of a war ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by The Overlook Press (first published January 1st 1972)
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Maria Sokolova "Cold Comfort Farm" was published right around the time Mr. Bonfiglioli was born. You must be thinking of the (relatively recent, and super-cute)…more"Cold Comfort Farm" was published right around the time Mr. Bonfiglioli was born. You must be thinking of the (relatively recent, and super-cute) movie. The book is a lot older though.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 986)
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Jul 11, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night, funny
Something in his heart told him to come clean
He was not who he claimed to be
Something in his genes told him to pretend
’twas something for the weekend

These lyrics from The Divine Comedy song have been stuck in my head for days thanks to the opening line of she said there’s something in the woodshed and the jaunty pop number with the dark undertones seemed perfect alongside the idea of a Charlie Mortdecai adventure. Until I read it.

I'm not exactly in the minority in thinking this is the least fun
Nov 18, 2015 R. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, best-of-2008, 2015
A Satanic rapist is on the loose. The victims' husbands (+Mortdecai, as Johanna isn't a target - too many moving parts, or some such excuse) set up a Satanic mass to warn the Satanist that they're in good with the devil, too. Perhaps even more so because their ceremony involves bestiality between a defrocked priest and a chicken. We're talking about a living, feathered and flapping, drunk on rum-and-raisins sacrifice, not a serving of Poulet Borsalino. Though some foodie bloggers would probably ...more
Shashi Martynova
May 23, 2016 Shashi Martynova rated it really liked it
Сдали издателю сегодня. Прекрасное продолжение дела Вудхауса, с поправкой на то, что главный герой, в отличие от Берти Вустера, не имеет на свой счет никаких иллюзий и совсем не невинный юноша со всеми вытекающими.
На о. Джерси захотелось ощутимо.
К коллизии характеров в книге у меня осталась пара вопросов, сугубо с поправкой на жанр и стиль, но примерно понимаю, в какую (не слишком причудливую) третью церебральную позицию нужно встать, чтобы принять правила авторской игры как они есть.
E.M. Taggart
Sep 08, 2014 E.M. Taggart rated it did not like it
I checked this book out because a movie based on the recurring character is coming out soon. Most likely the movie won't be as offensive as this book.

This is a humorous mystery series. I haven't read the other books because I had the misfortune of opening this one first. The others might be okay, I don't know.

The problem is that the mystery in this book is the identity of a serial rapist. So, you know, not a good subject to try to be humorous about.

Just a few pages in, the protagonist and his f
Jan 07, 2014 Rhys rated it liked it
Probably my favourite of the three 'Mortdecai' mysteries. The third and last in Bonfiglioli's magnificent trilogy is a little different from the preceding two novels: less absurd, less nasty, less grandiose, but the actual prose is as witty as ever. The main character contrives to be one of the most waspish and egocentric personalities in literature and yet he remains strangely engaging! Unlike the other two novels, *Something Nasty in the Woodshed* is set entirely in one location -- Jersey. The ...more
Ronald Koltnow
Jan 14, 2015 Ronald Koltnow rated it liked it
The third book in Bonfiglioli's trilogy about art-dealer/sociopath Charlie Mortdecai is dated and not a little offensive; It is also rather grim in spots. Having been misinformed, I read the third book out of sequence, but I don't think that matters. Checking any sensitivities at the door is the best way to read the Mortdecai novels. This one is a step up, stylistically, from the first novel, and it does have its mordant charm. Living of the island of Jersey while the heat dies down in London, M ...more
Jun 27, 2014 tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
review of
Kyril Bonfiglioli's Something Nasty in the Woodshed
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - June 26, 2014

I enjoy reading crime fiction but doing so is a pretty low priority for me & I don't know enough about the authors to be able to pick out more than a handful that I've ever found very interesting. I like to think that this handful represent la crème de la crème but there may be all sorts of obscure crime fiction writers out there whose work I unjustly neglect. Judging the bk by its cov
Michelle Palmer
Jun 03, 2015 Michelle Palmer rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
Trigger Warning: The entire book is a search for a local rapist. I did not enjoy this book. They treated rape quite a bit too lightly for me. The main character and 2 of his associates decide to try a to capture a local rapist. The subject wasn't treated very respectfully (don't try to tell me I cannot take a joke) and I did not enjoy it. There wasn't enough Joanna or Jock (the best parts of the previous 2 books) therefore the book feels a bit stale.
Feb 19, 2014 Greg rated it it was ok
Something Nasty in the Woodshed is the find instalment in the Mortdecai trilogy. Charlie and Johanna have decamped to the Isle of Jersey because certain authorities in London have suggested to Charlie that he not show his face in London for a long while.

The wife of one of Charlie's chums is assaulted and raped in her home. Soon after, another of the wives in their circle is also raped. Accounts indicate that the rapes may be linked to a practitioner of witchcraft. Charlie does the obvious thing
Apr 14, 2016 PannaMarysia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rotten-egg
Writing a spy-crime dark comedy of absurd is one thing, but flippant jokes regarding rape and a very brutal one at that?
It was disturbing to say the least.
I get it that 70's were a different time, but I still feel disgusted.
If you're curious about this book because of the movie - just read the first two volumes. This one has no link whatsoever to the previous stories anyway, no continuity, so I'd suggest omitting this one.
Mortdecai is a very peculiar kind of a protagonist, cowardly, sexist and
Dec 13, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-comedy
The final Mordecai book. I will miss him and all his horribleness though his misogynist rants in this one made it hard to find him even slightly endearing, though a surreal musing on how we should all keep an old person as a pet was unpleasantly entertaining. The nasty goings on of the plot whiz by in descriptions of meals, people and other non sequiturs and this book has an enigmatic ending.
Aug 13, 2008 Purple rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Probably not one for the ladies.
Shelves: crime-fiction, 4-star
Fantastically well written first person perspective of a chauvenistic pig. The end kind of peters out, as it does with all Mordecai mysteries, but this really is a case of it being the journey, not the destination.

Charlie's often morally corrupt inner-thoughts and notes to the reader make it an absolute joy to read.
Emmanuel Gustin
Feb 08, 2015 Emmanuel Gustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny but very dark, and possibly the best of the Mortdecai series. The crime in this story is rape, not murder, and some of the reviewers on GoodReads have objected against the humorous treatment of such a subject. I think Bonfigliolis mysogynism frequently shines through somewhat tiresome jokes and his treatment of female personages, but no fun is being made of the victims in this story, whose fate is a tragic part of a sad ending.

As usual, the author does not so much provide a plot a series
Oct 29, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libreria
Terzo dei quattro libri sul celebre Mortdecai, bisogna sottolineare che qui Bonfiglioli fa un cambio repentino nello stile di narrazione dei fatti, che stavolta non hanno proprio nulla a che fare con la professioni di Mortdecai cioè quella di mercante d'arte. Da sottolineare c'è una nuova vena altruistica da parte del protagonista, accompagnata dalla consapevolezza di sentimenti coniugali via a via sempre più sentiti e veri nei confronti di johanna (il loro matrimonio rispetto all'inizio è molto ...more
Dec 06, 2015 Evolots rated it liked it
I don't know how to begin... I love Mortdecai, his ability to laugh at himself in a very clever way with a great deal of dignity is brilliant. His rather positive and well meaning outlook on life and attitude are what keeps you laughing and smiling even when the story goes dark.

The story line with some tiny spoilers...(only this paragraph)
I didn't enjoy the third book that much, for one, there was this witch hunting of a rapist who's supposed to be engaging in some sort of ancient folk rituals.
Jan 05, 2016 David rated it really liked it
Possibly the most politically incorrect book I have ever read, since my last Clive Cussler (and I think he's just nasty). Needless to say it's also one of the funniest books I have ever read. There's also a good deal of genuine tragedy.

Health warning: not every problem can be solved by having another alcoholic drink.

Despite the snobbery shown at many turns, this actually ends up lampooning the over-privileged classes and their ghastly sense of entitlement.

There are another three of these to go a
Oct 06, 2015 Stig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this, my first thought was "Whew!" There were some rather grim things I hadn't expected, but I'll leave the spoilers out.

Just as funny as the two first volumes in the series, but with some much darker moments. I found myself wondering if Bonfiglioli had come to dislike his main character?

Looking forward to the fourth and final volume, finished by another author after Bonfiglioli's death.

Dec 10, 2010 Eva rated it it was ok
In Something Nasty in the Woodshed, Charlie Mortdecai rents a house on the Isle of Jersey. He is accompanied by his wife and the faithful Jock Strapp. He treats us to his wry impressions of his two nearest neighbors, lampoons the incomprehensible vocalizings of the locals, and disparages the tourists. The peace of the neighborhood is shattered by a serial rapist dressed as though performing an ancient devil worship. Charlie is dragooned by his neighbors to help search for and stop the madman. As ...more
Emily Richards
Another enjoyably wild and eccentric adventure. Charlie and Joanna move to Jersey to lead a more tranquil existence in the seemingly quiet island of Jersey, but this is a short-lived fantasy. A wild goose chase leads Charlie to embark on a fiasco as he teams up with the local gentlemen to protect their wives, and if anything this sweetly demonstrates how fond he has become towards Joanna. Charlie is not a wholly likeable or detestable man but he is completely selfish, is nothing without his wife ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Marie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, funny, caper
This was another great entry in the Charlie Mordecai series. The subject of the mysteries, a series of rapes, is dealt with in a slapdash way, though. It was written in the 70s and I wonder if that had anything to do with it. Still, the book was funny.
Ada Iaboni
Apr 24, 2016 Ada Iaboni rated it it was ok
I attempted to read this, but could not. I had to stop about 4 chapters in.
I had no real idea what was going on, or like any of the characters, or cared for any of them!
It attempted to be humorous, but I guess I'm not savvy enough to get "English" humor.
Jennifer Ranger
Jun 06, 2015 Jennifer Ranger rated it liked it
I am not sure whether or not I like this book. Most of the story is light and funny, but the climax takes such an unexpectedly dark turn and the end is so abrupt that I an not sure how to feel about the story other than bewildered.
Feb 16, 2015 Fiona rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. Not surprising a character who thinks old ladies would be more useful pets than cats or dogs would consider rape a good topic for a witty detective story. Dated white man humour.
Kris MacNaughton
Jul 03, 2015 Kris MacNaughton rated it did not like it
Doesn't suffer from the lack of plot that the other two novels do, but HOLY CRAP is it ever so much more offensive. Also, what's the point of killing the canary? Like really?
Marica Lesznik
Sep 02, 2015 Marica Lesznik rated it did not like it
Unbelievably offensive. The bits with the witchcraft were interesting, but the rest was disgusting and sexist and awful.
Jul 02, 2015 Carfig rated it liked it
I liked this one better than the first book in the series, "Don't Point That Thing at Me," but it has too much egoism in it for my tastes. Charlie is both self-deprecating and egotistical, which makes for an odd combination.
Jared Mink
Apr 13, 2016 Jared Mink rated it it was ok
This story is not comedy; it is melodrama with some peppering of wit. I found this book distasteful and the redemptive elements of the other two books were not enough to overcome the ugliness.
Ashish Sharma
Well written but the Mortedecai books are better when dealing with intrigue as opposed to WhoDunits...
May 12, 2014 Jackie rated it did not like it
Shelves: offensive, horror, 2014, sexist
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison Coffin
Jan 27, 2015 Allison Coffin rated it liked it
Shelves: nonsense-but-fun
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Kyril Bonfiglioli was variously an art dealer, editor, and writer.

He wrote four books featuring Charlie Mortdecai, three of which were published in his lifetime, and one posthumously as completed by the satirist Craig Brown. Charlie Mortdecai is the fictional art dealer anti-hero of the series. His character resembles, among other things, an amoral Bertie Wooster with occasional psychopathic tende
More about Kyril Bonfiglioli...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Mortdecai (4 books)
  • Don't Point that Thing at Me
  • After You with the Pistol
  • The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery

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