THE VESUVIUS CLUB (Satirical Mystery-Edwardian England/Italy-early 1900s) – G+ Gatiss, Mark – Standalone
Simon & Schuster, 2004- UK Hardcover

Lucifer Box is an elegant, bi-sexual rake and a secret service agent who lives at Number Nine Downing Street. When two leading scientists are murdered it’s up to Lucifer to find who and why. His investigation takes him to Naples. With a beautiful woman on his arm and a young lover, Charlie, who introduces him to the debauched delights of the Vesuvius Club, Lucifer continually finds his life in peril.

The subtitle of this book is “A Bit of Fluff,” and it certainly is that. With characters such as Everard Supple, Jocelyn Poop, Christopher Miracle, Bella Pok and others one can’t take this too seriously. It’s light, it’s fun and it’s clever, although not in the realm of Jasper Fforde’s work. For me, one of the best things is the UK hardcover book itself. With end papers of period advertisements and Beardsley-style illuminations, the book is a treasure. As for the content, it’s enjoyable but definitely not for everyone.

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