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Kyril Bonfiglioli (29 May 1928 - 3 March 1985) was born Cyril Emmanuel George Bonfiglioli in Eastbournemarker, to an Italo-Slovene father, Emmanuel Bonfiglioli, and English mother, Dorothy neƩ Pallett. Having served in the army from 1947 to 1952, and been widowed, he applied to Balliol College, Oxfordmarker where he took his degree. He was variously an art dealer in Oxford, UK, an editor, and a writer. After his divorce from his second wife he lived in Lancashire, Jersey and Ireland. He died in Jersey of cirrhosis of the liver in 1985. He had five children.

He edited Science Fantasy magazine for a period from 1964 to 1966, appointed by David Warburton of Roberts and Vinter Ltd.; and the successor Impulse for its first few issues in 1966 before handing the reins to Harry Harrison.

He wrote nearly four books featuring Charlie Mortdecai, three of which were published in his lifetime, and one posthumously as completed by the satirist Craig Brown. Charlie Mortdecai is the fictional art dealer anti-hero of the series. His character resembles, among other things, an amoral Bertie Wooster with occasional psychopathic tendencies. His books are still being published and have been translated into several different languages including Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese. All his books are highly entertaining, picaresque and politically incorrect.

Bonfiglioli's style and novel structure have often been favorably compared to that of P. G. Wodehouse. Mortdecai and his manservant Jock bear a fun-house mirror relation to Wodehouse's Wooster and Jeeves. The author makes a nod to this comparison by having Mortdecai reference Wodehouse in the novels.

His second wife, Margaret Bonfiglioli wrote and compiled a posthumous anthology of works and anecdotes, called "The Mortdecai ABC."(ISBN 0-670-91084-8 UK: Penguin / Viking, 2001)

The three original books:
  • Don't Point That Thing At Me (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972)
  • Something Nasty In The Woodshed (Macmillan, 1976)
  • After You With The Pistol (Secker and Warburg, 1979)
Anthologised in:
  • The Mortdecai Trilogy (Black Spring Press, 1991)


An historical prequel about one of Charlie's Dutch ancestors.
  • All the Tea in China (Secker and Warburg, 1978)


The posthumously completed sequel:
  • The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery completed by Craig Brown (Black Spring Press, 1999)


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