The Vesuvius Club

4 Jun

Just finished “The Vesuvius Club” by Mark Gatiss last night.  It was recommended to me by a good friend.  I have to say I’m going to listen to her recommendations more often.  “The Vesuvius Club” is one of the best books I have read in ages.

“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 Box, is, in the words of my friend, an exquisite brute.

Lucifer Box is an artist, a bisexual playboy, and one of His Majesty’s most secret agents.  But don’t expect James Bond in Edwardian frills.  Lucifer Box is more amoral and immoral than Mr Bond is capable of on his worst days.  Though Mark Gatiss’ devotion to the immortal Bond shines through the story.

“The Vesuvius Club” supplies thrills, danger and excitement, leavened with a generous dash of wit and humor.  Many times I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard I was in danger of dropping the book.

The plot of “The Vesuvius Club” revolves around British scientists mysteriously dieing in Italy, and a murdered secret agent.  Lucifer is also wooing a beautiful woman, AND a handsome youth, all while someone is trying to kill him!

Any sharp eyed Sherlock fans may spot a line that was subsequently stolen by Steve Moffat for “A Scandal in Belgravia”.  Not telling you what it is.  Have fun finding it.  I couldn’t help laughing out loud when I came across it.

I hadn’t been aware that Mark Gatiss had written original novels until my friend drew my attention to the book last week.  The book was originally published in 2004, but I think “The Vesuvius Club” is still in print, as another friend just purchased a copy in London.

Track down a copy for yourself if you can.  It will be well worth the effort.  Lucifer Box is a brilliant addition to the world of print heroes.

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