On the jacket:
Cat o'Nine Tales is the fifth collection of irresistible short stories from the master storyteller. Ingeniously plotted, with richly drawn characters and Jeffrey Archer's trademark of deliciously unexpected conclusions, this new collection has the added bonus of thirteen charming illustrations by the internationally acclaimed artist Ronald Searle.
Some of these twelve stories were inspired by the two years Jeffrey Archer spent in prison, including the story of a company chairman who tries to poison his wife while on a trip to St. Petersburg---with unexpected consequences. "The Red King" is a tale about a con man who discovers that an English lord requires one more chess piece to complete a set that would be worth a fortune. In another tale of deception, "The Commissioner," a Bombay con artist ends up in the morgue after he uses the police chief as bait in his latest scam. "The Perfect Murder" reveals how a convict manages to remove an old enemy while he's locked up in jail, and then set up two prison officers as his alibi. In "Charity Begins at Home," an accountant realizes he has achieved nothing in his life, and sets out to make a fortune before he retires. And then there is Archer's favorite, "In the Eye of the Beholder," in which a handsome star athlete falls in love with a three-hundred-pound woman . . . who happens to be the ninth-richest woman in Italy.
Jeffrey Archer is the only author to have topped international bestseller lists with his fiction, nonfiction, and short stories. Cat o'Nine Tales is Archer at his best: witty, poignant, sad, surprising, and unforgettable.
What do I say, I shouldn't even be reviewing an Archer book, neither should you be reading a review. Why would one need a review to go buy an Archer book? Of course, it's brilliant! What makes it better is, that Cat O' Nine Tales has 12 short stories, and makes up for an excellent bedtime book. Well, I'd read one story each night, but you can read them all in one go, if you wish!
There have been a lot of brickbats thrown at Archer for having borrowed about nine of these 12 stories, from his fellow inmates, when he was in prison. But, that doesn't bring down his mannerisms of story-telling, not every inmate can produce this.
All the 12 stories are not equally interesting, and when you begin reading, in a few, you have to be a little patient for the plot to unravel. If you have a funny bone, or rather, a witty bone, your mind is going to be challenged.
I was impressed with this rendition by Archer, let me know your views, if you have read it!
My rating: ****/5