After the recent deluge of "grimlit" it is so refreshing to read a new book that channels the joy and humour of a Wodehouse, Coward and early wits while also enjoying its own pleasure as a rather naughty gay romance ~ do Mills & Boon have such a category? I rather think not.
Mr Clary is certainly getting into his stride with this new novel that runs parallel stories about a single, and very significant house that has initiations rites for any new tenants. The earlier tenant none other than Sir Noel Coward, though then an aspiring young playwright, still haunts the walls and gardens though Julian Clary ~ the nerve of the gent writing himself into his own novel ~ lives just down the road and makes several walk on cameos as the novel progresses.
The current occupant Richard Stent, thespian and lover is not only haunted by spirits past and present but is wickedly punished for his lascivious misdemeanours by his author taking revenge, or so it would appear, on his good looks and fortune.
The book has everything ~ romance, intrigue, mysterious death, more romance and should satisfy any reader with its wit, charm, romance, more romance and carefully hand-picked innuendo and double entendres that we have grown to know and love from this bastion of gay and camp culture.
Clary is almost single-handedly (pun intended) sustaining the brittle wit and skilful observation of the Master he so duly honours here. The only other contender is one Mr S. Fry may they both live and prosper