This book collects three stories: “Mister Sun”, “The Mind of Mrs Drake” and “Uncle Happy”. All three are highly enjoyable action thrillers, though for me “The Mind of Mrs Drake” was compromised somewhat by the title character being an actual psychic. (Moments like that always make me think of Magnum meeting a ghost, or of the JAG lawyer who had premonitions.) But there was a lot of it about in the 1960s, and the character is treated seriously. I suppose it’s not much of a departure from Willie Garvin’s tingling ears of trouble. Mister Sun is a drug lord with whom Modesty tangles; the trail takes her to wartime Vietnam. Uncle Happy is a philanthropist who raises Modesty’s suspicions by staring at her current lover in a Vegas bar.
What’s most striking about these stories is how easily they flow from one strip to the next. Looking at each strip in isolation, you can see how a first-time reader could follow them, but there’s none of the stop-start repetition that makes, say, the old Dan Dare comics so painful to read in bulk.
Now if only I could read one of these books without “Modesty Blaise, Modesty plays, Modesty Blaise, Modesty plays!” going round and round in my head… Thank you Sparks!
Modesty Blaise: Mister Sun, Peter O’Donnell et al, Titan Books, tpb, 112pp.