Review: Black Butterfly by Mark Gatiss

With Queen Elizabeth newly established on her throne, the now elderly secret agent is reaching the end of his scandalous career. Despite his fast-approaching retirement, queer events leave Box unable to resist investigating one last case…Why have pillars of the Establishment started dying in bizarrely reckless accidents? Who are the deadly pay-masters of enigmatic assassin Kingdom Kum? And who or what is the mysterious Black Butterfly? From the seedy streets of Soho to the souks of Istanbul and the sun-drenched shores of Jamaica, Box must use his artistic licence to kill and eventually confront an enemy with its roots in his own notorious past. Can Lucifer Box save the day before the dying of the light?

I’m leaving Lucifer Box’s second installment (The Devil in Amber) on The List, but I’m not going to review it, because it’s rather too paranormal. However this is more spy-like with no paranormal aspects, so it fits the bill.

Like The Devil In Amber, this book jumps forward in time, and we meet Lucifer at the end of his career. He’s feeling a bit sorry for himself and mourning his lost youth (and he’s worked his way through quite a few of those in his life, let’s be honest)  and feeling a bit of an old crock. It doesn’t help when the equivalent of Miss Moneypenny, tells him that she prefers firm cock, when he tries to chat her up.

However, you don’t keep Lucifer Box down for long. Following a trip to his favourite sleazy watering hole he’s off on the trail of the beautiful and exotic Kingdom Kum (yes, really, the names are part of the enormous fun of this series of books). The trail leads him all the way around the world and back again, and pretty soon, despite his aging limbs and failing eyesight, Box is back on form, and I’m very happy to say that he ends the series on an “up” as it were and a jaw dropping moment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed all three books. Box is a thorough reprobate and you can’t help but love him to pieces, because an unrepentant anti-hero is such a delicious rarity.

If you love puns and silly humour, if you love James Bond but think that Bond definitely misses out on a lot of action by ignoring bell-hops, rent boys and the like, then you will love Lucifer Box.  Give him a go.  I’m only sorry that Gatiss has only done three. It’s a clever plot to do them in three different eras (Edwardian, 1920s and 1950s) but I hope that he’s tempted to go back and fill us in on some of the cases that Lucifer teases us with – because I for one want MORE please!

Lucifer’s website

Buy:  Amazon UK Amazon USA

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