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The Mortdecai Trilogy

(Charlie Mortdecai #1-3)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  500 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Don't Point that Thing at Me finds Charlie momentarily distracted by a police charge accusing him of stealing a priceless Goya; a nuisance that he overcomes without passing up a single glass of fine wine or plate of foie gras. In After You with a Pistol Mortdecai is roped into a marriage with a beautiful Viennese heiress, who is willing to blissfully accompany him on his l ...more
Paperback, 519 pages
Published 2001 by Penguin Books (first published February 14th 1991)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  500 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Bill Kirton
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like and am grateful for books that make me laugh. The extremes of the early Tom Sharpe novels, Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure (much funnier than the Wilt novels for me), the glory that is Catch 22, the continuing inventiveness and wit of Carl Hiaasen, the over-the-top characters of Janet Evanovich – they’re uplifting, life affirming, even when (as in Hiaasen and Heller’s case) they’re frequently conveying a serious underlying message. The Mortdecai Trilogy, a hit when it first appeare ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Maybe I'm just an uptight, moralistic American, but I was never charmed or particularly entertained by the Hon. Charlie Mordtecai, described in the jacket copy as a degenerate aristocrat, amoral art dealer, seasoned epicurean, unwilling assassin, and knave about Picadilly. All that sounded very promising, but by halfway through the book I decided he was just a tiresome slime ball caught up in unbelievable shenanigans. The book is often very funny --actually I only read the first novel, Don't Poi ...more
Howard Warwick
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very funny moments with "larger than life" characters. From first book to last there is change in scene, some in style and to a degree in genre. Very believable and realistic situation at the start of the first book which gets increasingly disconnected from real life. Characters and situations move away from the mundane - which is very funny - and into more bizarre situations. The final book is different again and although the narrative does take you from 1 and 2 into 3 I found the change a bit ...more
Dan Schwent
Feb 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny
This book is what I expected The Gunseller by Hugh Laurie to be like. The ending was really dark but the journey getting there was very enjoyable. And isn't the journey more important than the destination most time?
Michael Bafford
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jared Mink
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
It has been said, "After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations", and so it is with Bonfiglioli: lots of smut; lots to be offended at; lots of unforgivables, but he talks about food and, for me, that covers over a multitude of politically-incorrect sins. He is funny and dances on the line between comedy and tragedy and it is really fun to read this kind of thing. I made sure I ate lots of food while reading the book, too, and that helped.

About food: Bonfiglioli writes,
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
If I had read only book one of the trilogy, the rating would be much higher. Book one is really funny and Mortdecai, a debauched art dealer with a sharp wit and a huge ability to get himself into trouble, really gets to you (like Hugh Laurie will do much later in the Gun Seller, Bonfiglioli mixes Wodehousian humour with a crime plot, and it does work) . But things get worse in book 2 and completely unbearable in book three, where the lack of sympathy of Mortdecai for the victims of a serial rape ...more
3 stars overall, with only a very grudging 2 stars for the dreadful second book, which brought down the trilogy's final rating.

I may come back later and provide an actual review, but just want to note here that, like many others, I was sorely tempted to give up on these novels and set the books aside permanently when book three opened with a crime that brought out the very worst, most callous and sexist side of the protagonist anti-hero, Mortdecai. I'm really glad I didn't, though, as this thir
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Full of chauvinism, racism, and annoying British upper class eccentricity-and not the charming kind. The plot was hard to follow and there was so much silly banter and superfluous descriptives (in the style mentioned above) that I couldn't got a clear picture of the story. A waste of time when there are so many other detective novels with charming British characters and locales.
Jan 10, 2015 marked it as to-read
After much "googling" and brain bashing - turns out I owned this book back in the 90's when I lived in London when it first came out...might be in my Mum's attic but can't remember much at all....will have to read again!
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get into this book at all... the author keeps drawing attention to the fact that I'm reading. Inserting comments nearly every paragraph that takes me out of the story and ruins the experience. Only rarely is the comment funny enough to excuse the interruption. There is a lot going on, but it's hard to follow. The author appears to have a general dislike of writing norms, including grammar and emphasis (not always, but enough to distract).

I couldn't tell what era the book was supposed
As a trilogy, this is remarkably inconsistent.

The first book, in my opinion, is the strongest, both in terms of plot and character. So much so, in fact, that it reminded me of the writing of Rex Stout, in that our eponymous Mr Mortdecai seemed to combine the culinary and cultural expertise of Nero Wolfe with the whimsy and humour of Archie Goodwin, and I loved it. One also gets the most marked sense of who Mr Mortdecai is: art dealer with a side of intrigue and disrepute. By the third book, the
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uk
Tittered all the way through this. The adventures of a reprobate who remains sober enough to narrate his escapades.
Chourouk Souid
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nippy Katz
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
In reading a review of the recent monstrously horrible movie I discovered that it was based on a series of books. Apparently the movie turned Charlie Mortdecai into a cousin of Inspector Clouseau. The Mortedecai of the books is a bit different. He's an unprincipled art dealer who is happy to admit that "unprincipled art dealer" is redundant. Mortdecai is also vain, conceited, and a snob. He fancies himself a gourmet and wine expert.

The stories of the three books are backdrops for Mortdecai's fi
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. I came upon the Mortdecai Trilogy quite by mistake and saw a review that said it was a cross between P.G. Wodehouse and Ian Fleming! Amazingly that proved to be a fairly accurate assessment. Bonfiglioli is clearly a Wodehouse fan, the three books are littered with sly references to P.G's works and the main character, Charlie Mortdecai, even has his own butler - Jock. Jock's problem solving methods are a little more direct than those of Jeeves but they're every bit as effective. ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I bought the book right after the first trailer of the movie came out, but decided not to read it until having seen the movie, in order to avoid the "the book was better" effect.
Well, the movie was horrid, a very very, very bad movie: at this point the book could only be good. Turns out is was a GREAT book and I rushed to complete the series. It's an absolute page-turner.
All characters are vivid, so alive, they are heady but in a gentlemanly way, without the senseless vulgarity of the movie. I
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
Kind of difficult to review this one. The first book in the trilogy was perfect and I loved everything about it. This trilogy was set to become one if my favourite books. The writing style is just my kind of thing and I found it very funny. Loved the characters and the crazy situations they got into. But then the next two books happened and I fell out of love somewhat. Although the other two books had some comedy gems, I didn't enjoy them as much. The second book vaguely annoyed and confused me ...more
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderfully twisted trio of comic thrillers featuring the anti Jeeves and Wooster, Jock and Charlie Mortdecai.
Charlie is a thoroughly despicable art dealer and Jock is his manservant. Jock doesn't sort out trouble with Aunts though, he hits people with a cosh. And Charlie might be upper class but he doesn't dribble like a buffoon, he gets in to awkward and dangerous situations and finds a way of getting out of them with style, panache and just a touch of grovelling on the floor like a
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
The first two books are great fun to read, with lots of great chracters, especially the witty Charlie Mortdecai himself. The plots border on the ridiculous (James Bond-style secret agent training camps etc.), but Bonfiglioli's wit carries the books.
The third book is different in setting and the tone is much darker. The witticisms take a backseat and are replaced with excess violence and Satanism, This does not combine very well with Bobfiglioli's light narrating style, but it still contains some
Sonia Almeida Dias
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a witty book, full of humour, and very well written. Even though it is a book written in the 70's, I didn't find it dated at all, and I had a good laughs when comuting to work every morning.
It is actually 3 books in one, but the stories are all connected, so it makes a good and continuous reading. You always have to be on your toes, as the language is rather elaborate at times, and we might miss out on some jokes.
Enjoyed it and recommend it to all those who like a good thriller, comedy bo
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by Hugh Laurie. I've just read the first of the trilogy, "Don't Point That Thing At Me." The hero of this super fantastic series is Charlie Mortdecai who is to Basil Seal as Basil Seal is to Bertie Wooster. Mr. Charlie describes his manservant thus: "Jock is a sort of anti-Jeeves: silent, resourceful, respectful even, when the mood takes him, but sort of drunk all the time, really, and fond of smashing peoples faces in." Have some.
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I tried, Dan, I truly did. 'Don't point that thing at me' kept me entertained while camping, but I got bogged down on 'After you with the pistol.' Not enough Jock, too much Johanna (and a seemingly completely different Johanna from the first story). ILL only let me have it for two weeks & time ran out, and . . . there you have it. Didn't finish. Much much darker than I anticipated, too. Although I guess that's not a bad thing.
Neha Shaji
Mar 17, 2016 rated it liked it
The first book - fantastic. Wodehouse-level shenanigans, plenty of classic British humour references, tidbits for art lovers and caricatures of characters that you just love. The second - somewhat crude and unfunny, whilst the third caps it off by beginning strong and finishing like weak ale. The film was the cherry on this very wobbly mound of whipped cream, however - the undoubted American-ness of Johnny Depp ruined it all.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Bonfiglioli is a very funny writer. The first two books are great. Don't worry about the plots, and just enjoy the Mortdecai character himself. Having some knowledge of the Jeeves and Wooster stories before reading these books helps, as they function at times as a parody of Wodehouse, but is not necessary. The trilogy loses a star in my review because of the last book. Even Bonfiglio's witty style can't make a comic novel about rape funny. I'd recommend skipping the third book entirely.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Three books back to back that tell a continuing story. The first is the best and we slide gently downhill from there. I did like them all, but the stories kind of ran out of steam by the end. Once again, I like the humor of an upperclass Englishman with his clothes, food and alcohol. This time he is a sort of private investigator/adventurer with a real occupation as art dealer. Definitely oddball stuff, not for everyone.
Allan Kemp
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow. They made a Johnny Depp movie out of this? The book had a ton of wit that was totally missed in the seriously crappy movie. Mortdecai is a real piece of work but in the P.G. Wodehouse vein and unique because you actually root for him. I don't post critiques often but I hope the movie doesn't deter people from reading this book. To quote my South Bronx cum northeastern England grandmother, "It's a pisser, it is!"
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly entertaining. Sometimes ridiculously funny. Sometimes, 'What the...' Sometimes I had no clue what he was on about because I do not speak French. However, it grew on me and then I could not put it down.
Btw, I did only read book one - Mortdecai - but I cannot seem to find a picture of just book one on Goodreads.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I quite liked these three linked short novels although I suspect many people wouldn't. An odd mixture of perverse and sometimes hilarious characters and some pretty horrific action. The dissipated anti-Wooster and the thuggish anti-Jeeves are very funny indeed. Had some difficulty following the plot, especially the ending of the middle story. All in all, an eccentric and perhaps acquired taste.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Extremely witty writing but in my opinion it lacks some substance. Bonfiglioli's black humour is okay, often hilariously funny, however, occassionaly it becomes a tad disagreeable, unfortunately more so towards the end of this trilogy. This book is not for everybody but, I guess, it can absolutely satisfy about as many readers as it can dissapoint.
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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)
  • Something Nasty in the Woodshed
  • After You with the Pistol
  • The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery
  • The Mortdecai ABC: A Bonfiglioli Reader
“Bed is the only place for protracted telephoning. It is also execellently suited to reading, sleeping and listening to canaries. It is not a good place for sex: sex should take place in armchairs, or in bathrooms, or on lawns which have been brushed but not too recently mown, or on sandy beaches if you happen to have been circumcised. If you are too tired to have intercourse except in bed you are probably too tired anyway and should be husbanding your strength.” 18 likes
“It was still only nine o'clock when I set off on the last leg of my journey, feeling old and dirty and incapable. You probably know the feeling if you are over eighteen. ” 14 likes
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