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on 20 January 2014
The randy dandy finishes off in fine style. And hurray for a proper Geordie sidekick! Mr Gatiss proves himself once again, and my wife would quite happily leave me for him. If he didn't bat for the second 11 of course... (that's a reference from the book, not derogatory)
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on 18 February 2013
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. Lucifer is getting on a bit now and has a son. This is probably the best of the three in terms of action and is more like the traditional spy novels it gets inspiration from. Really worth a read, thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 18 May 2012
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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on 22 May 2010
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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on 14 August 2012
It is 1952 and an ageing Lucifer Box is still hanging on, still shocking the prim sensibilities of the age and still entertaining. We are in the era of Ian Fleming's Bond now, and Gatiss does a terrific job of emulating Fleming's taut, economical prose for a time. Mostly though, we are in a more elegaic mood, with Box doing one last job, feeling the effects of age and time.

As always the story and settings are colourful and preposterous, and the characters are a sexually ambivalent, joyously outrageous mix of rogues and dangerous perverts. And that's just the good guys. Often in stories like this the hero has to play it straight (pun intended) while the villains have all the fun pushing the moral envelope. Mark Gatiss's world is much more interesting than that, and the story rattles on as entertainingly as before.

It's not quite as fun or as thrilling as previous instalments though, as Lucifer Box the dirty old man trying to stave off arthritis to save the world one last time doesn't quite measure up to the younger, more vigorous version. There's still loads to enjoy for anyone with a fondness for classic adventure stories and a taste for characters who are, well, a bit pervy.

Great fun, and highly recommended.
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on 26 March 2013
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" mission to uncover the secrets of the Black Butterfly.

I must admit I was a little disappointed that Gatiss has already traded in my favourite rascal for an older, arguably less adventurous version. The best things, in my opinion, about the young Lucifer Box (his confident charm, his massive sex drive, and his overall jamminess) have been toned down in this book. The adventure itself is also a toned down version of the ones in the other books. It seems as if Lucifer just sort of falls into it at the last moment and nothing is really cleared up (i.e. the main villain is the son of a dead character that the reader knows close to nothing about. It is very hard to relate and feel a part of the story.

Overall, the book is my least favourite of the Lucifer Box series so far but it is still a very good read and I would recommend it to most people. My advice is just not to get your hopes up and you just might enjoy it.
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on 5 July 2015
Mark Gatiss' Lucifer Box novels are great little reads - silly and tongue in cheek spoofs, but very entertaining if you want something light to read. I wish there were more.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2010
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. It's a fairly entertaining read, though the idea that a now elderly Lucifer Box can summon up as much energy as he does here is stretching it. Still, these novels are on a fantasy level in other ways, so it barely matters. The punning names are as bad as ever (Kingdom Kum? oh no) although the Geordie Turk, Whitley Bey, is a marvellous character. The plot winds up being as ludicrous as those in the other novels, but Gatiss does spring the kind of surprises that Agatha Christie would have been proud of. Much of the story touches on Box's failing allure to the opposite sex, but the mix of farce and adventure is as usual the dominant aspect. A decent read, better than 'The Vesuvius Club', but not as good as 'The Devil In Amber'. For maximum effect, the novels should be read in sequence.
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on 10 February 2014
I chose this book because it was recently broadcast on R4Ex and read by the author. I had missed a couple of episodes. The book was OK but is a bit dated, however, it is quite entertaining.
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on 23 August 2009
A great series of books: some sleuthing, some humour, some silliness, some scholariness, plenty of fruitiness, an overall great read. The third and final book does not disappoint.
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