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MURDER MOST FAB
by Julian Clary
Ebury Press, August 2007
416 pages
10.00 GBP
ISBN: 0091914493


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Anyone who has ever seen Julian Clary on television is not likely to expect restraint. Just as well, since they are unlikely to find it in his debut novel MURDER MOST FAB. From its pink and lemon yellow cover, through all the high camp adventures of Johnny Debonair to its inevitable ending, Julian Clary is unlikely to banish impressions gleaned by his admirers and others.

In Chapter One, Johnny Debonair discloses what is, to me, the most surprising dollop of knowledge of the book. The prostitute has a business card! I wonder how much use such advertising would be. He enrolls in the Lewisham School of Musical Theatre, expecting to be the next Michael Crawford, but his life wanders into unexpected by-ways after he meets nurse Catherine in the place where he boards. It turns out that Catherine, in her off hours, supplements her nursing award as a bawd. An invitation from her to give her some help in dealing with a lustful duo sees Johnny's launch into an unexpected but profitable career.

Part time prostitution seems an unlikely platform from which to launch a television presenter but so it happens. It takes only minimal time, too, to begin Johnny's career as a serial killer. Strangely, it's not so much because he's bad that Johnny becomes a murderer, it's all because he is kind-hearted and obliging. After that, it becomes a matter of self-preservation.

This is an entertaining and amusing piece that paints an illuminating picture of a professional of various careers. I was quite impressed with Clary's ability, both in plotting and use of language. The deepest characterisation was, naturally enough, bestowed upon the extroverted Johnny but I felt Clary made a pretty good fist, so to speak, of Catherine, as well. She seemed, to me, to project a subtle air of evil. Johnny's fate may have been far more innocuous had he not met her. For that matter, so might his victims'.

Julian Clary has proven himself an accomplished (from the point of view of some) entertainer in one medium. It will be interesting to see if he can continue entertaining as an author.

Reviewed by Denise Pickles, October 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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