A Twist in the Tale (book)

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A Twist in the Tale
ATwistInTheTale.jpg
First edition
Author Jeffrey Archer
Language English
Genre Mystery
Published Simon and Schuster, 1988
Pages 240
ISBN 9780671671488
OCLC 18290269

A Twist in the Tale is a 1988 collection of short stories by British author and politician Jeffrey Archer.[1] The collection contains 12 stories, which are listed below.

Plot summaries[edit]

The Perfect Murder[edit]

The writer kills his mistress inadvertently during an argument when he finds her being unfaithful to him; and is chosen as a jury member to try a man accused of murdering the same woman. He, as the foreman of the jury, pronounces a guilty verdict on the accused—thereby exonerating himself completely.

Clean Sweep Ignatius[edit]

Ignatius Agarbi is the new Financial Minister of Nigeria. He begins a sweep on corruption and makes a name for himself. He is extremely honest, even insisting that his family vacations be billed to himself and not to his ministry. He is entrusted by his President to find out how many Nigerians have stashed their bribes in Switzerland.

He arrives at the Swiss Bank with a briefcase. Despite his greatest persuasion, the Swiss refuse to break their code of privacy. In the end, Ignatius places a gun to the head of the Swiss banker and threatens to kill him. Still the banker refuses to divulge any confidential information.

Ignatius, who is actually extremely corrupt, was only checking to find out if the Swiss Banks would actually reveal the name of an account holder. Delighted with their secrecy, Ignatius invests nearly $5 Million in cash which he has skimmed during his period as Financial Minister.

A la carte[edit]

Mark's Hapgood has finished high school when his father refuses to allow him to join Triumph car factory as a floor worker—until he takes a year at a second task or second job.

Hapgood is angry, but finds a placement through his father as a porter in a hotel. Mark is annoyed with the Head porter who keeps taking his tips from him all the time and he finally expresses his annoyance. The Head porter fires Mark but Mark begs the manager for another job. Mark is given the job of a potato peeler when he encounters Chef Jacques who is quickly impressed with Mark's skills and soon introduces him to slicing. When Mark's year is up and he is about to leave, he realises that he actually loves cooking and joins Jacques to become an international chef with a huge reputation.

He is grateful to his father and tells a waiter in his restaurant that his father was stuck with a boring job in Triumph because he did not have a father like Mark's.

Not the real thing[edit]

Gerald Haskins and Walter Ramsbottom are friends and rivals. Gerald steals Walter's Fiancee Angela Bradbury and marries her. Years later, Gerald manages to become a very successful engineer and is awarded a Multavian Order of the Peacock, Third Class—a cheap piece of jewellery. When Walter pokes fun of it and claims to be receiving a 14K gold chain as Mayor, Gerald visits a popular jeweller in London and asks the jeweller to make a copy of the original order—from pure gold and actual precious stones—worth GBP 211,000.

However during a coronation, his precious Gold Order is replaced with a Second Class Order by the King of Multavia who takes his third class order back.

Gerald decides to make a gold copy of this one as well in time for Walter Ramsbottom's mayor coronation ceremony.

(This story became the leading title to the best selling anthology paperback of 1995 with the same title.)

Christina Rosenthal[edit]

This is a tragic love story. It is written largely from the perspective of the protagonist, Benjamin, a lawyer, who is the son of a rabbi. It is set in Canada and starts in Benjamin's high school years.

Benjamin, a Jew, falls in love with Christina, a German girl whose father is anti-Semitic, and had fought under the Nazis—for which he had been awarded the Iron Cross. As their forbidden romance grows, Christina becomes pregnant by Benjamin. But she is taken away immediately by her family, and forced to marry the son of an old family friend, Klaus Willing. However, it proves a sham marriage.

Five years later, Benjamin reestablishes contact with Christina where they both live and work in Toronto. She divorces her husband and in exchange for a swift divorce, he gets custody of the boy Nicholas—who cannot see his real father until he is 21 and should not be told he is Benjamin's son. A year into their newly rekindled passionate relationship and marriage, Christina is pregnant again, and gives birth to a girl named Deborah.

Unfortunately, she had not warned Benjamin that there were complications when she gave birth the first time, and had been advised by the doctors not to have any more children. She died during the childbirth. While on the way to the funeral, Benjamin—who is reconciled with Christina's parents and his own father—passes by the hospital to see Deborah. Unfortunately, the Baby Deborah was too weak to survive and died not long after the birth. Unable to withstand the loss of both wife and child at the same day, Benjamin commits suicide.

The story ends with the revelation that what the reader understands to be Benjamin's contemporaneous rendering of the event's is in fact a suicide note that his father, the old rabbi, has read each day for the last ten years since the suicide occurred.

Other Stories[edit]

  • Just Good Friends
  • The Steal
  • Colonel Bullfrog
  • Check Mate
  • Honour Among Thieves (In later editions, The Wine Taster so as not to be confused with his novel)
  • A Chapter of Accidents
  • The Loophole

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Twist in the Tale". Magill Book Reviews. 8 January 1990. 
  • Archer, Jeffrey: A Twist in the Tale ISBN 0-340-40538-4e

External links[edit]