Pax Britannia: Human Nature Mass Market Paperback – 11 Dec 2008
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Mass Market Paperback
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The Sherlock Holmes aspects are a deadly hound & a Holmesesque detective who is a rival for Quicksilver in the solving of a mystery. The mystery that Quicksilver takes an interest in is the theft of an apparently fake mermaid which is nonetheless washed up on a beach. Why would anyone want to steal a fake mermaid from from a museum of curiosities?
Quicksilver's childish glee at using his position to view the exhibits is a lovely touch, as is his insatiable curiosity in taking the mystery on.
The story itself is quite simple but well structured (things in the prologue that seem irrelevant are revisited later) and the good pulpy style of Green makes for a well paced roller coaster. Though he gets carried away just a little in descriptions sometimes.
If you are worried that Quicksilver is too infallible, then rest assured in one way he loses rather badly this time.
As with the previous novel, there is a bonus story Christmas Past set not long after the main one. here on Christmas Eve, Quicksliver must unmask a serial killer and unravel the secrets of an old college fraternity. Again he's a more fallible figure here, arguably being too slow off the mark to prevent some of the deaths.
I enjoy this series very much and have started the next already.
This book follows on from the (equally amusing) "Unnatural History" and "Leviathan Rising", and observes the adventures of our hero - Ulysses Quicksilver - dandy and secret agent... in a "Hound of the Baskervilles" in Whitby adventure - with the occassional Fagin character, and some great names - "Molesworth" the butler scores 10/10, and another character (who only appears for a moment) is called Mycroft, in a nod to Mr. Holmes.
This is NOT great literature and the prose does sometimes hiccup in its enthusiasm - but read fast enough you don't notice it. Definitely recommended for that long flight / train journey / weekend with Great Aunt Gloria.
I really like this series, good old gripping yarns but this time round it may not amount to much more than the sum of its parts.
Cute bonus novelette at the end pays homage to the universe of much loved TV detective.