The book, according to reviewer David Twiston-Davies, whose own moniker is just one syllable short of Wodehousean, lays open Wodehouse's hard-edged realism (or is it naturalism?) The great humorist, Col. Murphy reveals, based his country-house settings and many of his characters not on fantasy but on experience. Volume two of the handbook, according to Twiston-Davies,
"explains for the new ignorant masses the references to the Bible and Shakespeare, translates arbiter elegantiarum and identifies Ouida and Death Valley Scotty. This may be a good idea, but it threatens the creation of a university course with the dread title 'Wodehouse Studies'."Why should this interest crime-fiction readers? First because Wodehouse was so brilliant a humorist, but also because he had a special affection for crime stories. In fact, I'll be eager to see if Col. Murphy tracks down a real-life model for the delightfully titled Strychnine in the Soup.
Two mystery bookstores where I have shopped also offer sizable selections of Wodehouse, so mystery readers appear to like Wodehouse as much as Wodehouse liked mysteries.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008