On the weekend I finished reading 'The Vesuvius Club' by Mark Gatiss after having it recommended to my by one of my mates from Dymocks. Gatiss, as you may already know, is part of tv's The League of Gentlemen and has also done some of the writing for the new Dr Who (ya!!!).
So what do you get? A pretty much light spy romp set at the start of the 20th century where our hero (?) Lucifer Box prances around making James Bond look chaise and modest. Box is a secret agent in His Majesty's service and looks extremely fine and dandy as he does so.
The story is told in 1st person by our friendly Mister Box esq and is nothing really all high brow with most of the plot twists reasonably easy to spot and the chapters nice and bite sized small and to the point.
What does make it enjoyable is the guilty pleasure of Box's completely immoral, damm good buggering, dandyness. He is, in the words of one of the other characters, a "philanderer, sodomite and assassin" and as long as it doesn't damage his tailoring, proud of it. It is not high brow or even politically correct but a reasonably fun read as long as you don't mind sexually ill-moral (and open) heros.