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Black Butterfly: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 3) [Paperback]

Mark Gatiss
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
Price: 13.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Nov 2008 Lucifer Box 3
LUCIFER BOX. He's tall, he's dark and, like the shark, he looks for trouble. Or so he wishes. For, with Queen Elizabeth newly established on her throne, the now elderly secret agent is reaching the end of his scandalous career. Despite his fast-approaching retirement, queer events leave Box unable to resist investigating one last case...Why have pillars of the Establishment started dying in bizarrely reckless accidents? Who are the deadly pay-masters of enigmatic assassin Kingdom Kum? And who or what is the mysterious Black Butterfly? From the seedy streets of Soho to the souks of Istanbul and the sun-drenched shores of Jamaica, Box must use his artistic licence to kill and eventually confront an enemy with its roots in his own notorious past. Can Lucifer Box save the day before the dying of the light?

Frequently Bought Together

Black Butterfly: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 3) + The Devil in Amber: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 2) + The Vesuvius Club: A Lucifer Box Novel (Lucifer Box 1)
Price For All Three: 24.19

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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (3 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743257111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743257114
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 468,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Belongs to a lineage which stretches from Sherlock Holmes to the indestructible James Bond. Giddily inventive and packed with delirious incident." -- "The Times Literary Supplement" (London)

About the Author

Mark Gatiss is one of The League of Gentlemen from the multi-award winning television show, and the author of the hit novels The Vesuvius Club and its sequel The Devil in Amber. He has also written acclaimed radio and television scripts, including episodes of Doctor Who and Poirot. He has a thick comma of hair that will never stay in place and a rather cruel mouth.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Emanon
The third of Mark Gatiss's LUCIFER BOX novels is the usual enjoyable mix of preposterous names and ridiculous situations that were the meat and drink of THE VESUVIUS CLUB and THE DEVIL IN AMBER before it. Maybe it suffers slightly in comparison to the earlier works, or maybe we've just got a little bit used to the main character's little foibles, but it still manages to remain a lot of fun.

This time around the years have flown by once again and Lucifer is now on the brink of retirement in the early 1950s. We are in James Bond parody territory (right down to the cover of the hardback edition which mimic those early editions of Ian Fleming's work so accurately) and some of the language will be very familiar to anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the Fleming style. There are even one or two echoes of old style "Doctor Who" in the mix (I may mention that, mayn't I?)

The tale (of snooker, woggles, lost youth and diabolical masterminds) is briskly told and doesn't outstay its welcome. The elderly Box remains a charmer, but I can't help wondering whether maybe Mark Gatiss will revisit Box in some of his earlier incarnations in later volumes, but anyone who can create such breathtakingly silly character names and plots (and throw a healthy dose of mockery of some of our most sacred cows into the mix along the way) deserves to be more widely read. The opening lines of the final chapter alone make the read worthwhile. I don't think it's quite the best of Mark Gatiss, but it's still an entertaining yarn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully balanced 18 May 2012
By Hannah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having adored the two novels that preceded Black Butterfly, I was a little nervous that the final Lucifer Box adventure might fall flat. I needn't have worried. Extra pathos abound as our dashing, devilish hero comes to terms with his twilight years and all the adventure and innuendo a Box fan could hope for.

A delight, tinged with hope this isn't the end of Lucifer Box.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable 22 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the first book in this series, the 2nd wasn't quite as good, but still very good. This however was a bit of a letdown. Not nearly as sexy and charming as the other books, which I suppose is fair enough given that Lucifer is now a lot older.

Although some of the loss of charm and sexiness can be attributed to Lucifer aging, I feel that Gatiss' writing just isn't up to scratch in this one. It's not as exciting, and the story seems to pass far too quickly, with not much happening.

However, it is a good read and doesn't take long to finish. It is still pretty enjoyable, but no where near as good as the first (or second).

But I love the cheeky little ending. It put a big smile on my face! It's worth reading just for that!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Opening the last Box?" 11 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many moons ago Colonel Sun author Kingsley Amis had an idea for a Bond short story that would be the last adventure for the character. In his 70's retired Commander Bond would receive a message that a master spy was at the Hotel he was staying in for a skiing holiday. Bond would tackle the man and in true Reichenbach Falls style, the pair would go over a cliff together.
He duly contacted Glidrose(who looked after the rights) and they not only refused permission but insisted he promise to never write anythnig with an elderly 007!
Fortunately Mark Gatiss is rather less precious about his creation and has given us a story of a spy who's really a bit too old physically for the game but compensates with a youthful energy. As with Devil in Amber there is more of a bisexual 007 feel than the Avengers style of Vesuvius Club. The older Lucifer has been made Head of the service, taking the Joshua Reynolds title. On the eve of retirement he is living on past glories a little, having his advances blunty rebuffed by a young fan and he spends evenings in a disreputable drinking den run by his ex-domestic Delihla.
Then of course he gets sucked into a new adventure involving curious deaths, a Turkish Geordie, a lady Snooker Demon, and even some scouts thrown in for good measure.
Lucifer has a son Christmas Box but for some time Gatiss keeps us guessing what if any, part he will play.
There's all the humours and roller coaster pacing of Devil in Amber (still my favourite) and in an especially nice touch as Box and Delilha run after someone Box remarks on their hips clicking like "knitting needles!"
There are hints of missing stories, the best of which is a zombie Captain Scott attacking from his ship the Terra Nova.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Box is back.... 6 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The name's Box, Lucifer Box...

Yes, Gatiss's improbable spoof spy hero is back. Introduced in his youth ("The Vesuvius Club") in the decadent '90s (the 1890s, that is) appearing again middle aged in the 20s ("The Devil in Amber") and now facing retirement at the end of a hectic career, Box has to save the world one last time. His adventures take him to Istanbul and Jamaica, pursuing (in every sense) the enigmatic Kingdom Kum and the sinister Black Butterfly.

Each of these books is a take on a different action/ thriller genre. Box, now head of Her Majesty's Most Secret Service (cover name: The Royal Academy: head, Joshua Reynolds) takes on villains of the deepest dye, saved from certain death only by his native courage and agility.

Inevitably, perhaps, sooner or later Box would take on a Bond-like persona. While he carries this off with some aplomb, I'm not sure that the story rattles along with quite the same assurance as the earlier ones, hence 3 stars. But that is (I hope) only a minor quibble, this is still very good. Dare I hope for more Lucifer Box stories, to fill in the missing years?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gatiss does it again
Great fun, as usual with Lucifer box. If you enjoyed the first two books you will enjoy this, if you have not read them then I would recommend you read them first.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. K. L. Burchill
3.0 out of 5 stars I was a little disappointed but it is still a good read
Having already read the two preceding Lucifer Box novels, I had high hopes for the third one. The story follows the actions of a now aged Lucifer Box as he takes on his "last"... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ant
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow-up
Read the second of these novels first, then tracked back to the first one. Loved them both and was really looking forward to this one coming out. Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Wistow
5.0 out of 5 stars good purchase
The book arrived on time. It was well packaged and reasonably priced. It was a good buy and I would use this company again.
Published 15 months ago by Ms. S. H. Pether
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Gatiss at his best
I love the Lucifer Box novels. This one is excellent. I enjoyed the story more than the first two, although, it was sad to think of Lucifer getting old.
Published 15 months ago by Miss Karen F Cork
4.0 out of 5 stars Lucifer Box growing old disgracefully
It is 1952 and an ageing Lucifer Box is still hanging on, still shocking the prim sensibilities of the age and still entertaining. Read more
Published 20 months ago by James Adamson
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent pulp novel that never reaches the genre bending excellence of...
Like many reviewers of this book, I find myself conflicted over the latest adventure of Lucifer Box. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Thomas Blount
3.0 out of 5 stars Last Lucifer
None of the Lucifer Box novels are particularly long and this, the final instalment, is the shortest. It can probably be read without haste in the space of an afternoon. Read more
Published on 5 Aug 2010 by D. J. H. Thorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely wraps up the trilogy
I might even go as far as saying its the best of the three.

Good to see the years have been unkind to dear old LB.
Published on 11 Jan 2010 by Tight-fisted
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak Bond Spoof
The brilliant Mark Gatiss introduced Lucifer Box in the wickedly delicious 'The Vesuvius Club'; a sort of Victorian bisexual James Bond. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2009 by Mr. J. Moorhouse
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