Thursday, 23 August 2001

Michael Innes: Sheiks and Adders (1982)

Edition: Penguin, 1983 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 920

As with An Awkward Lie, it seems likely that the story of this lighthearted Appleby novel was suggested by the pun in the title. In the novel, Appleby attends a large fancy dress ball, intrigued by suggestions that the host has been acting strangely. Why is this eminent financier against his prospective son in law attending as an Arab sheikh, while at the same time encouraging some of his colleagues to do so?

The answer to this question is the main plotline of the novel, the adders being something of an afterthought (provided by a herpetologist collecting specimens in the local woods).

Sheiks and Adders is much more a humorous thriller than a detective story. It is enjoyable, in places very funny, and harmless fun.

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