The twelve stories in this volume are all based on real-life incidents. Nine of them have their origins in accounts that Lord Archer heard while he was imprisoned for perjury. (See Prison Diary, Volumes One, Two, and Three.)
No underlying thread that I could discern connects these tales to each other. In some, the criminal is the hero; in others, well, let’s just say we don’t exactly root for his or her success. A few go into great detail about the particular caper, and in some it is difficult to understand just exactly what is going on.
In true Archer fashion, nearly every story has an unexpected outcome, and all are quite fun to read. The author admits in the preface that he has embellished all of the prison source narratives, and also states that a single account contains real names. Of course, the reader is left to figure out which one that is.
Rated: Moderate overall. Only four stories are completely clean (“Maestro”, “Know What I Mean?”, “Charity Begins at Home”, and “A Greek Tragedy”). Three would be classified as Moderate (“The Man Who Robbed His Own Post Office”, “The Alibi”, and “In the Eye of the Beholder”), not so much for the language, but rather for the sexual descriptions and discussions. The remainder are mild.