Jeffrey Archer's Cat O' Nine Tales

Tue 26 January 2010 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Cat O' Nine Tales was my first Jeffrey Archer book. I picked it up with great hesitation because I hadn't read any of his previous books and a friend warned me that his books required lot of patience to finish.Luckily, Cat O' Nine Tales was Jeffrey Archer's fifth instalment of short stories and so my friend's warning went unheeded.

The book has 12 stories of which 9 (and hence the name) are based on true incidents with embellishment. These stories were written while Jeffrey Archer was serving a sentence at Her Majesty's prisons. Most stories involve convicts or criminals and their run in with the law eventually.

"Maestro" is the story of an Italian restaurateur who almost ends up behind bars after evading tax for years. "Do not disturb" is the tale of an English business man who plans to murder his wife in Russia to save himself from a messy divorce. In yet another tale of deceit, "Red King", a conman fools an English Lord into believing that he possesses a missing chess piece to a set that could fetch a fortune. "Charity begins at home" is the story of a retired accountant who plans to make up for lost time by trying to make a fortune from charity fund raisers. "The Commissioner" is the tale of a witty commissioner with the Bombay police who sends a petty criminal to a morgue after the latter tries to use the top cop's office to scam people.

The book spans 255 pages, costs Rs.270 and is simply fabulous. Period!