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The Grim Joker by Peter O'Donnell
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Three stories (as usual); A Present for the Princess, Black Queen's Pawn, and The Grim Joker. The best is first - Present is Willie hunting for emeralds to give Modesty. Stupid villains, in several places and groups, and Willie ends up without his memory (I'm a sucker for amnesia stories, anyway!). Modesty feels something is wrong and tracks him down - but he still doesn't know her. Then things get interesting. I do like Mary Foster, though the way Modesty and Willie keep being surprised when a woman in a bad place _doesn't_ break down is a trifle annoying. And a lovely happy-ever-after, for everyone (especially Rima). Black Queen's Pawn is less good - heavy coincidence to start things, very limited action (though some lovely psychological manipulation from Modesty), and a rather silly McGuffin. The fan service is fun, though - lovely art. And Father Brienne is great. I don't like The Grim Joker at all - purely nasty, partly because we spend a lot of time with the villains. I thought their uncle was playing a part as well, before he admitted it. Prue is pretty foul; the brothers are equally nasty in a completely different way, utterly coldblooded. The cat-and-mouse game on the island is mildly amusing, except that each turn is accompanied by something foul. Actually, the best part of the story is Willie's rant - I agree with him entirely. And the most amusing part is his reaction to having slept through most of the action... Enjoyable, but not (the book overall) a favorite. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Aug 6, 2015 |
A trio of Modesty Blaise stories, with the best being the first, "A Present For The Princess". Willie Garvin is in a small and lawless Central American country trying to dig up a couple of nice emeralds to make earrings for Modesty, when an attack by brigands leaves him in an amnesiac state. He is taken in by a young Mestizo woman, who eventually falls in love with the strange Inglese man who only knows that he must somehow travel to England to find his Talisman, who will make everything right. This is a moving and unusual story that shows the depths of Willie's character even when he believes himself to be a brutal and violent man, and the strength of the bond between him and Modesty. The other two are fairly standard Modesty Blaise stories, but the final one, "The Grim Joker", is an unusual one in that it finds Modesty taking it upon herself to take down a murderous trio whose brutality offends her. ( )
  burnit99 | Dec 8, 2014 |
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In the depths of Central America, Modesty and Willie are embroiled in a case of amnesia, sex-trafficking and priceless jewels, all because of 'A present for the Princess'. Good and bad are pitted against one another in 'Black Queen's Pawn', as both sides search for a treasure that could mean life - or death! When out heroine encounters 'The Grim Joker' she faces one of her strangest and most disturbed foes. Will she survive this macabre comedy?… (more)

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