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A Satanic rapist is on the loose The victims husbands Mortdecai, as Johanna isn t a target too many moving parts, or some such excuse set up a Satanic mass to warn the Satanist that they re in good with the devil, too Perhaps evenso because their ceremony involves bestiality between a defrocked priest and a chicken We re talking about a living, feathered and flapping, drunk on rum and raisins sacrifice, not a serving of Poulet Borsalino Though some foodie bloggers would probably dive at the chance to do so Look, they d blogI m suchan extreme foodie that I m quite literally fuckingenjoying the foodIt s s to s that the authorities don t take kindly to it But the Beast of Jersey as he s dubbed seems to take it in stride Not the desired effect, of course So things get dark Very dark indeed.Ears getting nailed to trees dark Drinking burgundy wine through a straw dark Two standout scenes The wickedest man in England who argues that he s actually the wickedest man in Europe shares his philosophy on the art of seduction And, in the other, the aforementioned priest demonstrates the hunting and capturing of ghostly voices with tape recorders only to have his sainted mother show up and, well, there you have it Because a mother always knows Whenever you feel like holding someone s hand, have a drink instead it s better for all concerned in the long run pg 101 A moral coward, you see, is simply someone who has read the fine print on the back of his birth certificate and seen the little clause which says You can t win He knows from then on that the smart thing to do is to run away from everything and he does so But he doesn t have to like it pgs 166 167 Note This is a revised version of my original 2008 review Revised for the sake of clarity, for the most part We ll see if the very odd attack on foodbloggers survives if this book gets reviewed sometime again down the line We re all in agreement that people who eat while typing are the worst The three likes are from that previous era, B.F., before foodbloggers Those likes were much appreciated if transparently charitable votes of confidence towards that manic bit of street preaching We all each have our history Poulet Borsalino, if anyone is curious, is breast of chicken rolled around gobs of Camembert cheese and deep fried pg 152 I checked this book out because a movie based on the recurring character is coming out soon Most likely the movie won t be as offensive as this book This is a humorous mystery series I haven t read the other books because I had the misfortune of opening this one first The others might be okay, I don t know.The problem is that the mystery in this book is the identity of a serial rapist So, you know, not a good subject to try to be humorous about.Just a few pages in, the protagonist and his friend discover the friend s wife a mere moment after she was raped She s still naked and this is described humorously This is a really bad time to be humorous The protagonist recognizes that her distress is real but thinks she s playing it up for effect I ve already gotten rid of my copy so I can t quote the line exactly, but it s something like, I thought she was acting, but that didn t mean she was acting , if you get my meaning Okay, it is true that sometimes people deliberately act out their own genuine emotions, but this is a really bad moment to point that out.As her husband runs off to attempt to catch the rapist, the protagonist tries to console the victim She s pulled a sheet over herself he pats what he thinks is her shoulder but it turns out to be her private parts, and this anatomically improbable error also is played for laughs.And that s where I stopped reading I recommend staying away from this book Try the others, they can hardly avoid being less offensive. . The title of this book should be How Not to Talk About Rape The Novel If you feel like women are humans and should be treated as such, and that rape is not so hilarious a topic as to be a great choice for a full length humorous novel in the vein of Jeeves and Wooster, then run as far as you can from this train wreck of a book There are many discussions of how rapeable various women are, comments like how the rapist shouldn t have bothered with Mrs So So because all he had to do was say please since, obviously, women who enjoy sex are sluts and will sleep with any man who asks , step by step instructions on how to trick women into bed, and a line about how there are lots of rapeable women in Jersey if you don t mind legs like jugs Sorry, I listened to the audiobook, can t get my hands on an ebook or print copy from the library and I am not about to spend money on this trash to pull proper quotes Suffice it to say this book is a nightmare and is only fit for use as an example of how disgusting rape culture is. Probably my favourite of the three Mortdecai mysteries The third and last in Bonfiglioli s magnificent trilogy is a little different from the preceding two novels less absurd, less nasty, less grandiose, but the actual prose is as witty as ever The main character contrives to be one of the most waspish and egocentric personalities in literature and yet he remains strangely engaging Unlike the other two novels, Something Nasty in the Woodshed is set entirely in one location Jersey The archaic customs of that strange island inform part of the not entirely watertight plot.Black magic is the main backdrop to the action and the book reads like a sophisticated version of a Dennis Wheatley thriller There are some uncomfortable touches the xenophobia, the trivilisation of rape, etc that makes one wonder exactly why Mortdecai deserves his status in the reader s mind as a hero his main saving grace seems to be that he has better taste in food and art than the really evil people But the ending is one of the most downbeat I have ever read and it can certainly be said that Mortdecai doesn t get it all his own way. review of Kyril Bonfiglioli s Something Nasty in the Woodshed by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE June 26, 2014 I enjoy reading crime fiction but doing so is a pretty low priority for me I don t know enough about the authors to be able to pick out than a handful that I ve ever found very interesting I like to think that this handful represent la cr me de la cr me but there may be all sorts of obscure crime fiction writers out there whose work I unjustly neglect Judging the bk by its cover, Bonfiglioli seemed to have some potential to at least dangle from the edges of the handful that s where I place him now that I ve read this bk The bk s cover led me to expect the protagonist, Charlie Mortdecai, to be an anti hero of sorts a not particularly likable character who nonetheless sortof solves the crime or whatnot , yeah, that s what he was for me except that he wasn t quite as unlikable as I expected the bits meant to make him that way weren t that convincing Bonfiglioli s actually a pretty literary writer, he s no Mickey Spillane Each chapter begins w an epigraph The epigraphs are all by Swinburne, except one which is a palpable forgery p 6 The Swinburne forgery is, in a way, signed p 7 I don t really know anything about Swinburne, I may ve never read anything by him The only association I have w him is thru a song on The Fugs First Album called Swineburne Stomp attributed to A C Swineburne Ed Sanders I don t know whether the extra e in the Fugs version was something done as a joke to turn Swin into Swine or a mistake or a way to avoid copyright infringement or what I didn t try to figure out wch epigraph is the palpable forgery The novel takes place in Jersey Island, a place I know next to nothing about but that interests me b c it s an independent country that s under the protection of Great Britain but not part of it or a part of France even tho it s right off France s coast nor is it part of the European Union not that that wd ve mattered as of the time of this bk s writing Making things even politically tricky, I reckon it s accurate to say that it s right off Brittany s coast St Helier, Jersey being only an hr 20 minute ferry ride away from St Malo, Brittany Brittany being perhaps comparable to the Basque country insofar as its inclusion in France is similarly unpopular as the Basque country s inclusion in Spain is Jersey has its own language, J rriais Seyiz les beinv nus J rri translating into Welcome to Jersey looking somewhat like French A French version of the proceeding being something like Bienvenue Jersey w Jersey probably being something else Catalan, spoken by the Basque people, being like a mix of French Castilian what s generally known as Spanish Ah Independence or attempts thereat Much important outside St Helier are the Honorary Police, who are of course unpaid They do not wear uniforms you are supposed to know who they are Each of the twelve Parishes has a Conn table under him are the Centeniers, each of whom in theory, protects and disciplines a hundred families and leads five Vingteniers who guard twenty families each These are all elective posts but elections rarely afford any surprises, if you see what I mean, and in any case there is little competition for these honours No one is legally under arrest in Jersey until a Centenier has tapped him on the shoulder with his absurd, tiny truncheon of office you can imagine how the Paid Police like that rule p 13 The Honorary Police of Jersey are used to being teased all those whom I have had the pleasure of meeting are just, honorable, intelligent and can take a joke p 7 The only thing I can remember reading about Jersey prior to reading this novel was The Beast of Jersey, a true crime bk about Edward Paisnel by his wife Joan Paisnel as the bk cover has it who according to the bk s back cover was a Jekyll and Hyde figure who terrorized the island for eleven years, who in 1971 was convicted of thirteen sex offenses against young children Paisnel was obsessed with the powers of evil In his Hyde moments he wore a hideous rubber mask and nail studded bracelets And at home he had a secret room filled with the ritual tools of Black Magic SO, I was further engrossed in Something Nasty in the Woodshed when, after the 1st of series of rapes that constitute the central crimes of the story, the similarity of the crime to those of The Beast are introduced by the character Sam The Beast of Jersey, Sam explained You know, the chap who terrorized the Island for a dozen years used to creep into children s rooms, carry them out the window, do odd things to them in the fields not always very nasty then pop them back into their little beds The police think that there may have been than a hundred such assaults but naturally most of them were not reported, for reasons which you will, um, appreciate He used to wear a rubber mask, most of the victims said that he had an odd smell and he wore bizarre clothes, studded with nails Just before you moved here they caught a chap called Paisnel, who is now serving thirty years, rightly or wrongly p 27 What the not always very nasty instances were, if any, I don t know Looking thru Joan Paisnel s bk again all the assaults seem nasty enuf to be permanently traumatizing What was interesting, Sam went on as I chewed my spleen, was that Paisnel kept on saying that it was all part of something but he wouldn t say what and he said that when he was arrested he was on his way to meet certain people but he wouldn t say whom Perfectly obvious, said George the beggar was one of these witches or witchmasters It all comes back to me now The plumber told me all about it when he came in drunk just after Christmas Seems it wasn t this Paisnel fellow at all, all the locals know who it was, including most of the Honorary Police or did he say Paisnel was just part of it That strain again, murmured Sam, it hath a dying fall Quite right And this Paisnel had a secret room, hadn t he, with a pottery frog or toad in it and that was supposed to be part of it too And there was one of those Papist Palm Sunday crosses in the car he was nabbed in and they say he screamed when they asked him to touch it pp 27 28 According to the Wikipedia entry on him, Edward Paisnel returned to Jersey briefly following his release from prison but moved away due to the strength of local feeling against him He died in the Isle of Wight in 1994 ttp en.wikipedia.org wiki EdwardPaisnel Something Nasty in the Woodshed being copyrighted in 1972, Paisnel must ve been a fresh topic at the time Bonfiglioli s choosing Jersey as a location working The Beast into the plot were intriguing factors in my engagement w the bk But if this had been only a rip off of a disturbing true crime story I might not ve liked it at all in the long run Instead, Bonfiglioli manages to write a fairly rich tale He sets the tome by beginning w this Seven thousand years ago give or take a few months a great deal of water left the North Sea for good reasons of its own, which I cannot recall off hand, and poured over the lower parts of on North West Europe, forming the English Channel and effectively separating England from France, to the mutual gratification of both parties for if it had not happened, you see, we English would have been foreigners and the French would have had to eat bread sauce p 9 So Bonfiglioli works in some scholarliness has a pretty good sense of humor He s also pretty damned flippant considering some of the horrors of his plot After George s wife gets raped, George is sitting in an armchair ruminating Bloody swine, he growled Raped my wife Ruined my wistaria I ll send me man round first thing in the morning to have a look at it, said Sam The wistaraia I mean They re very tenacious things soon recover Wistaria, he added gratuitously, it seemed to me p 25 A cold coming I had of it, I don t mind telling you, just the worst time of the year for a vigilante patrol I believe I ve already given you my views about the month of May in the British Isles This May night, as I picked my glum way down to Belle Etoile Bay, was cold and black as a schoolgirl s heart and the moon in its last quarter and now quite devoid of the spirit of public service reminded me only of a Maria Teresa silver dollar which I had once seen clenched between the buttocks of a Somali lady who was, I fancy, no better than she should be But enough of that p 159 These are apparently intended to reinforce the narrator s depiction as sexist In one scene, Mortdecai s inner monologue runs like this You see, we anti feminists don t dislike women in the least we prize cherish, and pity them We are compassionate Goodness, to think of the poor wretches having to waddle through life with all those absurd fatty appendages sticking out of them to have all the useful part of their lives made miserable by the triple plague of constipation, menstruation and parturition worst of all, to have to cope with those handicaps with only a kind of fuzzy half brain a pretty head randomly filled, like a tiddly winks cup, with brightly colored scraps of rubbish why, it wrings the very heart with pity You know how your dog sometimes gazes anguishedly at you, its almost human eyes yearning to understand, longing to communicate You remember how often you have felt that it was on the very brink of breaking through the barrier and joining you I think that s why you and I are so kind to women, bless em Moreover, you scarcely ever see them chasing cats or fouling the footpaths p 59 Contrarily, in the author s prelude of sorts he says The fictional narrator is a nasty, waspish man pray do not confuse him with the author, who is gentle and kind p 7 It s not too hard to interpret that as a bit tongue in cheek In general, the perspective as presented thru the narrator is also pretty tongue in cheek Nothing really had happened in the newspapers that day, either, except that some Arabs had murdered some Jews, some Jews had retaliated on some Arabs, some Indians had perfected an atomic bomb for dropping on Pakistanis and various assorted Irishmen had murdered each other in unpleasant ways You really have to hand it to God, you know, he has terrific staying power Jehovah against Mohammed, Brahma against Allah, Catholic against Protestant religion really keeps the fun going, doesn t it If God didn t exist the professional soldiers would have to invent him, wouldn t they pp 44 45 Maybe they did The author s, Bonfiglioli s, literateness commingles w his dubiously separated narrator s Nerciat rubbed shoulders with D H Lawrence, the Large Paper set of de Sade Illustrated by Austin Osman Spare p 84 fits in well enuf as a description of the occultist Earl s library complete w the Spare detail but I found the narrator s quoting Borges a bit far fetched Borges remarks that we have chosen our own misfortunes Thus, he explains, every negligence is deliberate every humiliation is penitence every death a suicide p 101 , then This is the last and greatest treason To do the wrong thing for the right reason sings Alfred Prufrock, if that s the right way round And if it matters p 103 Bonfiglioli s being sly here by having his narrator s ignorance twist the quote around The last temptation is the greatest treason to do the right deed for the wrong reason T S Eliot, from his play Murder in the Cathedral Ok, I reckon it s realistic enuf to have the educated narrator quote arguably the most famous poet in Britain, someone whose works he was probably forced to read somewhere along the line A part of what makes Something Nasty in the Woodshed as entertaining as it was for me is the way he does manage to squeeze in a variety of topics in a sufficiently plot consistent way EG He has the defrocked priest who s come to conduct a black mass to scare the hypothetically occultist rapist bring up this Well, two years ago I read a book by a man called Konstantin Raudive It s a perfectly respectable book and endorsed by respectable scientists Raudive claims, indeed proves, that he heard gentle chattering and muttering coming from the unused intervals of tape from his recorder I had had the same experience but had put it down to the random wirless reception er, radiop 111 It s amazing to me the ways in wch Raudive s theories crop up now again in my life thru my own experimenting w them in the 70s probably thanks to Chas Brohawn to conversation between myself, Alan Lord, Istvan Kantor Monty Cantsin about them in an igloo in Montr al in February, 1983, as part of the 6th International Neoist Apartment festival to incorporating Raudive recordings into my movie about Franz Kamin DEPOT wherein resides the UNDEAD of Franz Kamin in 2010 I also found it interesting the way the narrator s the defrocked priest s description of the state of mind necessary for paranormal experiences jives w my own personal experiences I could have told him, had he the wit to ask, that the necessary conditions were that we should have been playing a real game for several hours, that I should have ingested perhaps a third of a bottle of brandy, that I should have been slightly ahead of my table stakes by virtue of the ordinary run of cards and that, in short, I should have been in that sort of drowsy euphoria where I was effectively asleep in all bodily departments except my card sense You couldn t have put it any better cried Eric All the conditions were there, you see mild fatigue, mild euphoria, mild depression from the brandy I ll bet your alpha waves were at something very like ten cycles per second p 114 Further, my own experiences w excessively drinking Pernod jive wonderfully w the following For years I had believed that these lines Shot So quick, so clean an ending Oh that was right, lad, that was brave Yours was not an ill for mending, Twas best to take it to the grave were about a horrified young Edwardian who had discovered that he was homosexual I am in a position to correct literary history in this matter The lines are about a horrified chap in early middle age who has discovered one morning, that he has not head for Pastis This, you see, was not the common hangover of commerce, it was a Plague of Egypt with a top dressing of the Black death p 119 Ok, my really bad hangovers have been w whiskey but my excess of Pernod mixed w water is the only instance of my drinking that I know of that resulted in an almost immediate outbreak of herpes 2 I ve never drunk it since Is it largely peculiar to mysteries that the main character is obsessed w food Or does such obsessiveness constitute a subgenre across all literature How you deal with the tongue of an ox is as follows you bid the butcher keep it in his pickle tub for a fortnight, brushing aside his fanciful pleas that it should be taken out after eight days Then you rinse it lovingly and thrust it into the very smallest casserole that will contain it, packing the interstices with many an onion, carrot and other pot herb Cover it with heel taps of wine, beer, cider and, if your cook will let you, the ripe, rich jelly from the bottom of the dripping pot Let it ruminate in the back of your oven until you can bear it no longer whip it out, transfix it to a chopping board with a brace of forks and offer up grateful prayers to Whomever gave tongues to the speechless ox pp 127 128 All in all, a good read in the category of fun to read distracting not very important In other words, I was, once again, distracted from the loneliness of daily life. Trigger Warning The entire book is a search for a local rapist I did not enjoy this book They treated rape quite a bit too lightly for me The main character and 2 of his associates decide to try a to capture a local rapist The subject wasn t treated very respectfully don t try to tell me I cannot take a joke and I did not enjoy it There wasn t enough Joanna or Jock the best parts of the previous 2 books therefore the book feels a bit stale. *FREE EPUB ↹ Something Nasty in the Woodshed ⇨ Something Nasty In The Woodshed Finds Charlie, Exiled From London Due To His Growing Unpopularity Caused By A Few Shady Art Deals, Taking Refuge In A Country Estate On The Channel Island Of Jersey What Begins As A Hedonistic Interlude Morphs Into A Macabre Manhunt, As Charlie Seeks To Expose A Local Rapist Whose Modus Operandi Bears A Striking Resemblance To That Of A Warlock From Ancient British Mythology Known As The Beast Of Jersey A Cult Classic Since Its First Publication In The UK In The S The Mortdecai Trilogy Is A Series Of Dark Hud And Atmospheric Crime Thrillers Featuring Charlie Mortdecai Degenerate Aristocrat, Amoral Art Dealer, Seasoned Epicurean, Unwilling Assassin, And Experienced Self Avowed Coward The final Mordecai book I will miss him and all his horribleness though his misogynist rants in this one made it hard to find him even slightly endearing, though a surreal musing on how we should all keep an old person as a pet was unpleasantly entertaining The nasty goings on of the plot whiz by in descriptions of meals, people and other non sequiturs and this book has an enigmatic ending. Fantastically well written first person perspective of a chauvenistic pig The end kind of peters out, as it does with all Mordecai mysteries, but this really is a case of it being the journey, not the destination.Charlie s often morally corrupt inner thoughts and notes to the reader make it an absolute joy to read.