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Something Nasty in the Woodshed

(Charlie Mortdecai #2)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  672 ratings  ·  80 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 Harry N. Abrams (first published 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) movi…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)

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Average rating 3.52  · 
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Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
“It all started — or at any rate the narrative I have to offer all started — at Easter last year: that season when we remind each other of the judicial murder of a Jewish revolutionary two thousand years ago by distributing chocolate eggs to the children of people we dislike.” I’ve read the first three of the Charlie Mortdecai mysteries. Charlie is a shady art dealer who frequently finds himself involved in violent crimes. He has his own butler/thug. My favorite book was the first, “Don’t Point ...more
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, 2015, best-of-2008
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
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, black-as-night
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 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
The title of this book should be "How Not to Talk About Rape: The Novel." If you feel like women are humans and should be treated as such, and that rape is not so hilarious a topic as to be a great choice for a full-length "humorous" novel in the vein of Jeeves and Wooster, then run as far as you can from this train wreck of a book. There are many discussions of how "rapeable" various women are, comments like how the rapist shouldn't have bothered with Mrs. So & So because all he had to do was s ...more
E.M. Taggart
Sep 07, 2014 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
Jun 26, 2014 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 cover,
Jul 10, 2008 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
Michelle Palmer
Jan 29, 2015 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.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Probably not one for the ladies.
Shelves: 4-star, crime-fiction
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.
Nov 28, 2008 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.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hennie la Grange
Yes, it's satire.
Yes, it is wittily written.
And I came away feeling decidedly uncomfortable.
I know the relationship with the character of Charlie is intended to be love-hate, and to court controversy and be offensive is precisely what "Something nasty..." is all about. Rape and the occult are subjects that, for me, are a step too far for the funnies.
But I cannot help sensing there's more to it.
The male characters are, all of them, bumbling idiots bent on revenge, and not much concerned for
Timm Shingler
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Don't start with this book if you are just jumping in to the Mordecai pond...

I enjoyed the 1st and 2nd book even though the plot of the second was a little hard to follow at times. I can forgive that because Mordecai is such an engaging anti-hero. Johanna and Jock are great characters and in the last book become counter points to Charlie's worst tendencies. The plot is not what drives these books (which is a strange sentence to write about a book). For me it is the descriptions that spring from
Kristine Berzina
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was the first Charlie Mortdecai novel I picked up and it will also be the last one. Although the author's writing style is brilliant, the story itself is ridiculous; an unknown, masked perpetrator of Satanic nature roams the island and rapes local women. The rape no matter how you turn it, is not a funny subject, and accompanied with the continuous insults to women ("quite frigid", "transcendentally stupid", "frailer sex", "rapable women"), about every third page, it truly makes this book hig ...more
Esther King
Feb 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
It is a rule of thumb that if one tries to emulate P.G Wodehouse, one will fail. This is one such example of this theory in action. A similarly paced dollar-store version of the dearly loved characters seems to present itself in this book, talking about the endlessly hilarious and stomachachingly funny crime of rape. And when I say ‘endless hilarious’ and ‘stomachachingly funny’ I actually mean ‘endlessly messed up with a dumpster fire of misogyny on the side’. This books is absolutely a despera ...more
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars or five? I thought the second Mortdecai novel, After You with the Pistol, was a bit lacklustre compared to the first, but this one's really on top form again. Really very funny and enjoyable. I was thinking I wouldn't bother with the fourth and fifth books, since the fourth one was finished posthumously by a 'literary mimic' and the fifth is about a *different* Mortdecai, but after finishing this one I'm not sure I'm quite ready to say goodbye.
William Stafford
Kyril Bonfigilioli was a kind of debauched P G Wodehouse. His Mortdecai stories crackle with wicked wit to make you laugh out loud. This one has a very dark and sinister tone too, with a serial rapist at large in Jersey, with black magic undertones. Mortdecai, our narrator, remains hilarious, although the ending leaves a bitter aftertaste, like the most gorgeous mouthful of the darkest chocolate. Great stuff.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the third instalment in the Charlie Mortdecai trilogy - another entertaining crime mystery: on this occasion Charlie is living in Jersey, Channel Islands when a series of rapes occur in the community and Charlie and his friends set out to investigate. Amusing, even though very non-PC - 8.5/10.
Martin Such
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I feel this book is trying hard to make a coward a hero. It much more entertaining then that johnny depp mortdecai. At least we did not have listen to heard that voice Johnny depp did that film. I would recommend this book to any one who have to look for the humor in the story.
Patrick Book
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Not sure this is the character to focus a serial rapist plot line around. Not a terrifically funny topic...
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Great narration.
Plot based on casual acceptance of rape.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Muddled. And I'm not quite sure how funny rape is. To be avoided.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is quite the sadest Mortdecai I've read so far. Main characters keep on loosing body parts...
Ace McGee
A little gloomier that the first two but if you enjoyed those you’ll enjoy this one.
Sara Gordons
Feb 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Offensively misogynistic. Can't finish it.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
The 70s were a different time. Much of this book is far beyond the pale today.
Jul 03, 2015 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.
Tim Hicks
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, humour
I enjoyed books 1 and 2; this one, not so much.

The mildly outdated attitudes of the 70s, mostly toward women, weren't as visibly present in the first two books. This one casually presents rape as a source of humour. I tried to convince myself that Bonfiglioli is giving as a character whose beliefs are unpleasant, and I'm sure that to some extent he is. But I concluded that under it all he might feel that same way anyway.

In the previous books, too, bad things seemed to happen only to people wh
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
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
Ronald Koltnow
Jan 14, 2015 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
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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

Other books in the series

Charlie Mortdecai (6 books)
  • Don't Point that Thing at Me (Charlie Mortdecai #1)
  • After You with the Pistol
  • The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery
  • The Mortdecai Trilogy (Charlie Mortdecai #1-3)
  • The Mortdecai ABC: A Bonfiglioli Reader

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