The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss was really quite fun to read. A copy was sent to me by the lovely simon_saysuk. The premise is basically that Lucifer Box is a secret agent. He is also a painter and somewhat of a rogue. The story is set in England and moves to Naples, Italy where a sinister plot is waiting to unfold.
Gatiss's writing style is brilliant. Scenes, people, ordinary objects - they are all described vividly and in great detail. I really enjoyed the way things were described using whole palettes of colors and hues. While some authors may drag you down with all this description, Gatiss manages to pull you along at an incredible pace.
Lucifer Box is probably the most well defined character in this grand adventure (and rightly so, as he is the main character). The secondary characters are colorful to be sure, but not nearly as memorable. In fact, I was totally puzzled when a character is reintroduced near the end of the book - I couldn't remember having met them in the first place. Some of the plot "twists" were a little too convenient and sometimes too obvious, but this did not interfere with an otherwise spectacular book.
I heartily recommend this book. If you like spies, evil plots, scandal, and humor then this is the book for you. I look forward to reading the next Lucifer Box novel (The Devil in Amber).