Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Legend of Shamus McGinty's Gold

Since reading I.J. Parnham's revelation that the characters in his Fergal O'Brien/Randolph McDougal series were loosely inspired by Blackadder and his toady Baldric, I've been eager to get my hands on one of the books. So I did - the first in the series from 2002. Fergal, as you may know, is a traveling snake-oil salesman and Randolph is his long-suffering bodyguard. As Ian says, they're not Blackadder and Baldric, but rather the two characters turned upside down. Whatever they are, they both mesh and clash to produce a compelling and humorous relationship. Holmes and Watson. Archie and Nero Wolfe. Jeeves and Wooster.

It's not easy to find a series with the blend of action and humor I like, so it's great to find one that not only meets the bill, but is already well along (5 books so far). This means I can jump right into the next adventure without waiting. Ian displays the comic wit and careful pacing necessary to move seamlessly from clever repartee to blazing gunfire and back. The story is packed with wonderfully larcenous characters and unexpected twists - coming to a climax that leaves you eager to see the next book. A cunning plan, indeed.


I.J. Parnham said...

Thanks, Dave, for seeking out the book and I'm glad you enjoyed it. You've made me as happy as a man who thought his cat had done the business on his pie and then found out it was an especially large blackberry.

Craig Clarke said...

This sounds right up my alley. I toast you both with a large glass of Nurse McCready's surgical bruise lotion.