The Pequod Review:
Kyril Bonfiglioli's Don't Point That Thing at Me is a witty and entertaining riff on Jeeves and Wooster. The book centers on Charlie Mortdecai, a snobbish art dealer who occasionally dabbles in crime, and his quiet but deadly servant Jock. The “crime” plot is unimportant and forgettable, but the book is great fun if you enjoy digressive lines like these:
Bed is the only place for protracted telephoning. It is also excellently 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.
Mrs Spon flounced over to the window. I know lots of men who can flounce but Mrs Spon is the last woman who can do it. There was a sticky sort of silence of the sort which I relish. Finally Martland whispered, "Perhaps you should ask the old doxy to leave" in just too loud a whisper.
Mrs Spon rounded on him and Told Him Off. I had heard of her talents in that direction but had never before been privileged to hear her unlock the word bag. It was a literary and emotional feast: Martland withered visibly. There is no one like your gently nurtured triple-divorcee for really putting the verbal leather in. "Wart on the tax-payer’s arse," "traffic-warden’s catamite," and "poor man’s Colonel Wigg" are just a few of the good things she served up but there was more – much more. She swept out at last, in a cloud of "Ragazza" and lovely epithets. She was wearing a suede knickerbocker suit but you’d have sworn she twitched a twelve-foot train of brocade away from Martland as she passed him.
Destroying the painting was out of the question: my soul is all stained and shagged with sin like a cigarette smoker’s mustache but I am quite incapable of destroying works of art. Steal them, yes, cheerfully, it is a mark of respect and love, but destroy them, never.
This is the first book in Kyril Bonfiglioli's Mortdecai Trilogy; it would be followed by Something Nasty in the Woodshed (1976) and After You With the Pistol (1979).