Thursday, May 26, 2016

Augustus Mandrell is coming back

Top news from Mike Ripley (left), my table mate at Crimefest 2016's gala dinner: Frank McAuliffe's great international fixer Augustus Mandrell is coming back, courtesy of Ostara Publishing.

Here's part of what I've written about McAuliffe and Mandrell:

I've mentioned the bracing mix of British manners and American sensibilities in Frank McAuliffe's books about Augustus Mandrell. McAuliffe, an American, made Mandrell a kind of outsider, apparently British. This gave him the luxury of observing American ways with amused detachment. Here are some examples from Shoot the President, Are You Mad?:
"There was certain to be some grumbling regarding the issue of `conspiracy' since the American people, despite their impressive history of individual action, appear rather keen on attributing dramatic events, particularly those of an anti-social nature, to shadowy groups."
"[A]s the days passed with still no apprehension of the despicable manufacturer of air conditioners, the president, now enjoying the role of spiritual leader to the electorate ... " 
"`But no class, Man, no class,' the Doctor objected. `They underbid each other. "If Tony will do-a da job for 300 bucks, I'll tell-a you wot. I'll do it for 250, if you buy da bullets." How you going to get class when you're shopping around for the lowest bidder?'

"`My dear Doctor, are you questioning the "free enterprise" system? The very cornerstone of America's greatness?"
McAuliffe also pokes delicious fun at insecure Americans' worship of culinary luxury, having Mandrell issue elaborate instructions to a chef that include "a quarter pound of lean Argentine beef. You chop it into an even consistency and form into into a patty. Fry, over a natural gas flame for eleven seconds per side ... A folded leaf of California lettuce ... place just under the top bun a slice of Bermuda onion, one sliced within the past 12 hours."
"`Clifford,' says Mandrell's puzzled companion, `that concoction you ordered, do you know what it sounded like? One of those dreadful hamburgers the Americans are always eating in their backyards.'

"`Of course, my dear,' I smiled. `I've been dying for one all day. I was but attempting to spare the man the embarrassment of writing `hamburger, with the trimmings' on his pad. He'd have been the laughing stock of the kitchen.'"
Here are all my posts about Mandrell and McAuliffe.

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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Blogger mybillcrider said...

This is great news. Anybody who hasn't read these books is missing a treat.

May 26, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mike mentioned your name in our chat. This rerelease is indeed exciting news, and I will happily evangelize for the books.

May 26, 2016  

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