It was just sitting there on the shelf, looking like a Neapolitan ice cream amongst all the endless cloudy slate covers of the crime novels. It oozed readability.
Who knew Julian Clary could pull off a novel? I did; I remember the round of promotional interviews he did at the time. ‘Murder most Fab’ was published in 2007 and there’s been another since then.
We may as well get out of the way that yes, it is a gay book, explicitly so on many occasions and throw in a rent boy, a closet gay Lord and a wonderfully loopy mother and eccentric straight talking grandmother before we even think about the successful TV presenter and we have a colourful tale on our hands. Mr Clary must have had colossal fun putting this cast together (please tell me he did, it sounds like fun).
We are set up nicely with the prologue which is a letter to one of the characters, the authors’ lost love, who is likely to be most hurt by the ‘Murder Most Fab’ story being told. So now we believe the story, it is time to begin.
Johnny is one of those young boys that always knew he was gay; he didn’t have that initial ‘girlfriend’ before he knew for sure. Hi savvy grandmother, knew before he did and packed him off to drama school after his mother lost a few more of her marbles than usual. He meets Catherine, a nurse/hooker and before long, his rent boy career starts and Johnny soon becomes accustomed to the hedonistic lifestyle as the two hatch plan after plan.
The first murder comes quite quickly – more assisted suicide really and after that, it all becomes the natural order of affairs for the scheming pair, Catherine manipulating and plying Johnny with drugs and he trusts her all too well in managing what is now his TV career.
Each turn of the page is lifted with lines such as ’Johnny here slept with Boris Yeltsin last night. Why don’t you tell them about his luminous semen?’ and ‘Such insolence! I shall have you horse whipped!’
It really is a riotous read with enough one- liners and jokes to have me reading beyond the time I ought to and enough twists to keep me eager to pick up the book again.
Inspiration factor 9/10
Julian Clary books