As someone who had the occasional meal with the creator of Modesty Blaise, the immensely entertaining (and multi-talented) Peter O’Donnell, I was particularly pleased to be invited recently by the late writer’s relatives to a celebratory dinner at the Reform Club. Although Peter’s many and varied achievements as a writer were celebrated, it was, of course, Modesty Blaise who was at the centre of things – as this tough and intelligent heroine should be. And if you need a reminder just how prodigiously gifted a writer Peter O’Donnell was, here is another in Titan Books’ very welcome reprinting of all the Modesty strips right from the beginning — and The Murder Frame is proof positive that O’Donnell’s astonishing skills at plotting and characterisation never deserted him. The artist Romero’s contribution should not be overlooked, although his work — however efficient — never matched that of the strip’s co-creator, the artist Jim Holdaway.
At the dinner for Peter, I was asked to say a few words about my encounters with Peter (not least regarding for Crime Time, which I was somehow always able to involve him with), and similar encomiums at the dinner were provided by the head honcho of Titan Books, Nick Landau, the man ultimately behind this reprint series. We were both brimming with enthusiasm in our encomiums, and if you need reminding why Modesty and O’Donnell still have such a keen following, I’d advise you to pick up The Murder Frame – you’ll quickly see why.
Peter O’Donnell & Enric Badia Romero’s Modesty Blaise: Modesty Blaise: The Murder Frame is published by Titan Books 9781783298594