THE COMPANY OF KNAVES by Simon Shaw

THE COMPANY OF KNAVES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Stung by a hated rival's knighthood, accomplished actor/criminal Philip Fletcher vows he'll be on next year's Honors List, no matter what it takes to get there. Then the death of Philip's gossipy old friend Seymour Loseby on the way home from Bosie Butterflys, a notorious drag club, provides him a heaven-sent opportunity. Seymour's straitlaced son, a rising Tory M.P., comes to Philip puling that his papa's diary, crammed to bursting with the well-spied indiscretions of Seymour's illustrious intimates, has been stolen and held for a ú150,000 ransom. Is there anything Philip can do to help? Of course there is: Philip will recover the incriminating diary in return for a simple ``Sir.'' The resulting bargain, which takes Philip back to Bosie Butterflys again and again, will tax his thespian abilities to the limit, place him in harm's way at the hands of audiences perhaps too uncritically appreciative of his performances, and require him to break several laws besides those of good taste. It'll also give him some anxious moments about what Seymour might have confided as to the felonies Philip himself perpetrated in Dead for a Ducat (1996) and elsewhere. But all of it, except for Philip's tired 11th-hour maneuverings in the trunk of the car carrying him to his presumed death, is tart and effortlessly amusing. Fans of Philip's earlier five adventures, of course, will read on breathlessly wondering if this time he'll escape without committing or concealing a murder.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18069-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998




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