Friday 22 April 2022


A bit of 70s comedy crime from Australian author, Tony Kenrick. Australian, but these and most of his other books appear to be set in the US.

I do like a bit of humour in my reading. Not always but often enough to relieve some of the dark side of the genre that I frequently turn to. That said it can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. Humour is very subjective.

About the author,

From IMDB website....

Kenrick was an advertising executive from Sydney, Australia, who later became a suspense/thriller author. He lived in Canada, the US, and Europe. He worked for many years in advertising before becoming a writer. He and his Welsh wife and their two children lived in Weston, Connecticut. His advertising background is clearly evident, and even parodied, in his novel "Two Lucky People," in which the protagonist, Harry, is an advertising agent. He suggests a wacky television ad which consternates his boss, but which also wins over their very wealthy client. After that, the boss treats Harry very nicely. Even readers ignorant of the cut-throat world of advertising have found this early scene in the novel to be hilarious.

Kenrick wrote over a dozen novels between 1971 and 1991.

A few were optioned for film, but regrettably were never made. And a couple of them actually were..... Shanghai Surprise and Nobody's Perfekt (Two For the Price of One)

His full bibliography is...

 The Only Good Body's a Dead One (1971)

 A Tough One to Lose (1972)

 Two For The Price Of One (1974)   

Stealing Lillian aka The Kidnap Kid (1975)

The Seven Day Soldiers (1976)

The Chicago Girl (1976)

Two Lucky People (1978)

The Night-time Guy (1979)

The 81st Site (1980)

Blast (1984)

Faraday's Flowers aka Shanghai Surprise (1985)

China White (1986)

Neon Tough (1988)

Glitterbug (1991)

Apart from these two I have another couple of Kenrick's book on the pile. I hope they prove to be worth the punt.

The Kidnap Kid (1975)

Bunny Calder is the con man to beat all con men. And he's the unwilling recruit of the US Government in a plot to trap a gang of nefarious guerillas out to grab twenty million dollars in ransom money. The bait is Lillian, a hilariously foul-mouthed nine-year-old racing addict ripe for kidnapping. All Bunny has toi do is pretend to be her doting millionaire father. 'Mother' is the last person Bunny wants to meet again - she was the last person to be conned and her ambition in life is to scratch his eyes out!

This mad menagerie, cunningly disguised as the devoted and ludicrously rich Bergstrom family, settles back to await developments...


Two For the Price of One (1974)


But there it was, a Navy destroyer with its five-inch guns pointed straight at the Chase Manhattan Bank.

On board: three hoodlums with a hold over the captain and a demand for a cool $5,000000.

To prove their point, they put an incendiary shell into the bank.

Then Dibley, Swaboda and Byrd arrived. They were nuts looking for compensation from the city for the beat-up old car they wrecked in a pothole. Their plan was similar, but all they wanted was $150. Which spelled disaster for the real crooks.  


  1. That's the thing about wit, isn't it, Col? It is very subjective, so it's hard to know which stories will really hit the mark, and which...won't. That said, though, these do sound interesting, and as though they could be funny, depending on a lot of things. I'll be interested to know what you think of them when you get there.

    1. Yeah, it's tricky to hit the right note and also what was maybe funny 40 years ago maybe be less so (or inappropriate, or perhaps shouldn't ever have been considered amusing) today. A lot will also depend on my mood when reading. I'm hoping for a kind of Westlake/Dortmunder vibe.