Modesty Blaise: The Young Mistress, by Peter O’Donnell ad Enric Badia Romero ISBN 9781781167090
Five out of five stars
In these three stories Modesty and her sidekick Willie Garvin demonstrate once again that they occasionally wear their hearts on their sleeves but are in fact tough as nails when the decision has been made to act.
The first story has Modesty being drawn into a situation where a woman (The Young Mistress) is being mistreated by men. She was persuaded to engage in an art forgery and wants out, but the men will not hesitate to rough her up in order to keep her in their circle. It is up to Modesty and Willie to somehow persuade them to let the mistress go.
In this case, the villains are not strong enough for the likes of Modesty and Willie. Even though they are clearly outclassed, they do not have the brains to back off and be done with it. While their skulls are thick, they are not solid enough to withstand what Modesty and Willie can dish out.
The second story involves a young teen girl (Sam) that loves horses. Modesty and Willie are her friends and a criminal gang is blackmailing one of the men on the horse farm to arrange for a dropping of the alarm system so that they can steal one of the prize horses. Sam becomes involved and when the members of the criminal gang try to kill Sam, some of the moral principles that Willie and Modesty go by are relaxed.
The third story is much more convoluted and features a British agent called Maude. She is captured by an international criminal gang and slowly brainwashed into becoming their puppet. Using their proven methods of data gathering, infiltration and measured force, Modesty and Willie are able to free Maude. Although, she contributes by using a powerful nailer to distract some members of the opposition.
While the first has a set of villains that are a bit weak for opposition the last one makes up for that. It is a complex story of international intrigue and low level conflict, where agencies vie for power and control in many different ways.