Consternation at Tawcester Towers! While giving a guided tour of the house’s Long Gallery Blotto is stunned to discover that two of the family portraits – a Gainsborough and a Reynolds – are missing.Tawcester Towers has been the victim of art thieves! Blotto is forced to summon his brilliantly intelligent sister Twinks who instantly deduces that the paintings have been stolen by a gang of international art thieves based in Paris. So Blotto and Twinks instantly set off in the former’s Lagonda for France!
Their investigations in Paris bring them into contact with the absinthe-soaked art community of the Rive Gauche, but after an attempt on his life at the Folies Bergere, Blotto is persuaded by Twinks that it is to Nice they must travel, as the criminal mastermind La Puce runs his evil empire from there, funded by the proceeds of many European art collections – including those from Tawcester Towers.
The French Riviera is a gay old place, and following various lead, Twinks makes contacts with many expatriates and Americans all leading the good life, including the famous silent movie star Mimsy La Pim, who Blotto finds himself curiously drawn to. But after a particularly decadent party it is discovered that Mimsy has been kidnapped by La Puce – and so it is up to Blotto and Twinks to save the starlet from many fates worse than death and restore the fortunes of Tawcester Towers to boot!
Praise for Simon Brett:
‘A new Simon Brett is an event for mystery fans’ P D James
‘Murder most enjoyable’ Colin Dexter
‘Simon Brett writes stunning detective stories. I would recommend them to anyone.’ Jilly Cooper
‘Few crime writers are so enchantingly gifted’ Sunday Times
‘One of British crime’s most assured craftsmen… Crime writing just like in the good old days, and perfect entertainment.’ Guardian