Raffles

REVIEW: Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung

A collection of short stories about A.J. Raffles, a cricketeer and gentleman thief, who doesn’t need to commit burglaries and steal money and jewels, but enjoys the rush of it, and his former schoolmate Harry “Bunny” Masters who he ropes into being his accomplice.

Written in the 1890’s, these stories are set in Victorian London and they’re a lot of fun. Raffles is a charming, loveable rogue, he likes to gamble and take risks. He’s a very cunning guy who can read people and is usually one step ahead of everyone else – especially, Bunny.

Bunny is the one downside to these stories. They’re told from his point of view I found him a bit wet as he kept flip flopping between enjoying his escapades with Raffles and then getting a conscience and panicking about what he’s involved with. Bunny is also not particularly trusting of Raffles when it comes to the crimes they’re planning to commit together. Part of that is because of a lack of communication between the two, Raffles rarely tells Bunny all his plans so Bunny then acts in a way that may put them both in danger, so you can see where Bunny’s frustrating is coming from.

Possibly because of the Victorian setting and how Raffles know London like the back of his hand, this collection reminded me of Sherlock Holmes – especially the films featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. There’s also the dynamics between the two main characters, there’s some similarities between how Holmes and Watson act and how Raffles and Bunny act, however Raffles definitely talks down to Bunny more than Holmes does with Watson.

All the stories are no more than 25 pages long so they’re fast-paced and get to the crimes themselves very quickly. The crimes are often clever and don’t go the way you’d expect. Naturally there’s some stories I enjoyed more than others and it took me some time to get used to the Victorian vernacular, but they were all engaging reads and I loved the adventurous and often over-the-top vibe these stories had. 4/5.

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TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You Didn’t Get to in 2017

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about those books that we totally meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get around to it, so now they are a priority for 2018.

Zorro by Isabel Allende
I bought this when I was in San Francisco over two years ago now! I love The Mask of Zorro so I do want to read this version of the Zorro legend. I’ve got an extra reason to read it in 2018 though, as I’m taking part in the A-Z Reading Challenge and this is the only book I own that fits for the letter Z.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
I got this book from a subscription box. I meant to read it last year, it was even on my Autumn TBR, but that didn’t happen and now it’s a big priority this year. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my next read once I’ve finished the books I’ve got from the library.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
I got this ARC copy in another subscription box last year. I hadn’t heard of it before then but the blurb made it sound really interesting and now one of my friends has read it and really enjoyed it, I definitely want to read it this year.

Raffles by E.W. Hornung
I’ve had this book (and many others from the Atlantic Books, Crime Classics editions) for a few years now and I want to get around to reading some of these. This is a, I believe, a collection of short stories and they’re all about a gentleman thief so I should be able to read it pretty quickly.

Raised from the Ground by José Saramago
This one hasn’t been on my shelf as long as the others – maybe only six months. It would be my Portugal read for my Read the World project and I do want to make my international reads a priority this year.

Do you have any books you definitely want to read in 2018?