Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry

Fernandez Britten is a dour and depressed man with huge dark circles around his eyes. He and his partner, Stewart Brulightly, have run a detective agency for a decade. Their clients are mostly jealous lovers or vengeful lovers out to get back at jealous lovers. This ugly kind of work has earned Britten the nickname "Heartbreaker." Britten agrees with his partner's suggestion that they be more discriminating in the future. "Nowadays, I don't get out of bed for less than a murder. I don't get out of bed much."

A rich woman insists that her fiancé's death was murder, not suicide. When Britten's investigations lead him to blackmail and family secrets, he wonders if it always best to know the truth.

British graphic novelist Hannah Berry has brought some wonderful characters to life with her artwork and her words. The story has the noir feel of Raymond Chandler's mysteries.

Berry also incorporates delightful humour. Britten's partner, Brulightly, is a teabag. He travels in Britten's vest pocket. One wet night after Britten jumps into a ditch while on the run from bad guys, Brulightly apologizes, "Look, I'm sorry: I infused in your waistcoat." Highly recommended.

Speaking of Raymond Chandler, I learned yesterday that I write like him... according to the I Write Like website. I tested a bunch of different reviews from this blog, being careful to cut out any quotes, so that it was only my words. The results were entertaining. Apparently, I also write in the style of David Foster Wallace, H.P. Lovecraft, James Joyce, Cory Doctorow, Jack London, and Arthur C. Clarke. Hmm.

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