“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Best Things In Life Are Free … Books

The ever-lovely people at Penguin have offered CAP Towers three copies of R.S. Downie’s RUSO AND THE DEMENTED DOCTOR to give away. Quoth the blurb elves:
Army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso is waiting for the gods to smile on him. But, on a posting to the hostile North of Britannia, he’s in for a long wait. Not least because the locals have a new hero who likes to strap antlers to his head and scare the Romans silly, while Ruso’s slave girl, Tilla, is stubbornly refusing to identify the culprit in a police line-up. But when Ruso is waylaid at the Fort of Coria, where a fellow doctor has confessed to a grisly murder, it’s a case of out of the cauldron and into the fire. With Tilla thrust outside the fort (and into the arms of a former lover), Ruso is landed not only with Doctor Thessalus’ patients but also the tricky task of getting him to retract the confession. Something smells fishy about this murder – and Coria is miles from the sea ... Ruso faces a nightmarish investigation – trailed by the secret police, hunted by the Stag Man and betrayed by Tilla, is it any wonder he’s seeking solace in the rather-too-watery local beer? R. S. Downie’s Ruso is an anti-hero to delight in and murderers at the frontier of the Roman Empire will be quaking in their sandals at his return.
Hail, Ruth! To be in with a chance of winning a copy of RUSO AND THE DEMENTED DOCTOR for gratis, just answer the following question:
When in Rome, should you …
1. Do as the Romans do?
2. Go the to Irish pub?
3. Say, “Here, these thieving buggers just ripped off classical Greece, innit?”
Send your answers to dbrodb(at)gmail.com, putting ‘Be it ever so lovely, there’s no place like Rome’ in the subject line, before noon on Tuesday, March 4. Et bon chance, mes amis …

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