Thursday, 13 July 2017

Janine Beacham - Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Rubies and Runaways Bk 2 (Guest Publication Day Post Top 10 Butlers )

Rose Raventhorpe and the secret society of crime-solving butlers are at it again! Today is the publication of the second book in the series by Little Brown Books for Young Readers. When an orphan goes missing, will Rose and the butlers be able to find her before she disappears forever?

When an orphan boy named Orpheus interrupts the Cathedral's Mistletoe Service, saying that his sister has been kidnapped, Rose vows to help. Solving the mystery will be a lot better than accompanying ghastly Herbert! But the investigation is more complicated than Rose has anticipated and will lead her and her butler friends through fancy tea-rooms, horrible factories, secret underground passages and more...

For fans of Murder Most Unladylike and The Clockwork Sparrow, these are all fantastic historical mystery reads that will have you gripped with period crimes and a puzzle or two to solve. Why not give them all a go today? :)

Welcome, Janine. Here is her post on Top 10 Butlers.

As a kid I thought it would be great fun to have a butler. He would say, ‘would Miss like tea served on the lawn?’, or ‘shall I run Miss’s bath at the desired temperature?’ or ‘Shall I tidy your room for you, Miss?’ (If you ask your parents to say things like that, their eyes bulge and they start shouting.) There are some wonderful butlers in books, plays, TV series and films. Here are some of my favourites. Some are funny, some are sad, and some you definitely want on your side when you’re in trouble. 

1 – Jeeves. Jeeves is the butler in a series of classic, funny books by PD Wodehouse. He’s technically a valet, but most people think of him as the quintessential butler. He helps the hapless Bertie Wooster out at every turn. Typical quote: ‘It is hardly my place, sir, to criticise the facial peculiarities of your friends.’

2 - Stevens in the novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, and the 1993 film. Poor repressed, duty-bound Stevens. He tries so hard to be the perfect butler he forgets to live a life for himself. Great book, and film portrayal by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Typical quote: ‘A man cannot call himself well-contented until he has done all he can to be of service to his employer.’ 

3 – Edmund Blackadder in the Blackadder TV series, played by Rowan Atkinson. Blackadder is possibly the funniest, most caustic butler ever. Especially when he’s stuck with the stupidest master in London. Typical quote: ‘God, I’m wasted here. It’s no life for a man of noble blood, being servant to a master with the intellect of a jugged walrus and all the social graces of a potty.’

4 – Brabinger in the TV series To the Manor Born. Dear old Brabinger wouldn’t dream of leaving Audrey fforbes-Hamilton when she leaves the Manor. An old-school gentleman. Typical quote: (On hearing the flowers have been arranged in water tainted by a dead pigeon) ‘I thought they lasted longer, Madam.’ 

5 – Geoffrey in the TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Middle name Barbara. Studied at Oxford, was an Olympic runner, and got slapped by the Queen. Typical quote: (after receiving a small raise) ‘Thank you, sir, and with my newfound wealth, I shall be able to treat myself to a Happy Meal!’

6 – Niles in the TV series The Nanny. Snide and droll, he gives CC Babcock hell and is always on Nanny Fine’s side. Typical quote: (Trying to get into the Professional Butlers’ Association) ‘I happen to come from a long line of butlers, each one a member, until my father, the butler to the Duke of Carlisle, accidentally knocked over a vase … he was wrestling naked with the Duchess at the time.’

7 – Carson in the TV series Downton Abbey. Millions of fans loved Downton. Carson is a tradition-loving, slightly stuffy, loyal and caring man who doesn’t like change. Typical quote: (Told there are worse things in the world) ‘Not worse than a maid serving a duke.’ 

8 – Alfred Pennyworth in Batman (comics, TV series, films). Alfred keeps those bat-costumes looking their best, and no doubt cleans the Batmobile while Batman is swanning about as Bruce Wayne. Typical quote: ‘Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.’ 

9 – Domovoi Butler in the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer. Butler is Artemis’s bodyguard as part of family tradition. I love a butler who can make pithy comments and fight with the best. Typical quote: ‘Argh? Pathetic and inarticulate. Nice combination. Your mothers must be so proud.’

10 – Crichton in the play The Admirable Crichton, by JM Barrie. Originally disapproving of class equality, Crichton takes charge when a bunch of Victorians are shipwrecked. He becomes engaged to a Lady Mary. On the point of marriage, they are rescued, the social order restored, and poor Crichton returns to his humble station. He inspired the equally admirable Kryten in the TV series Red Dwarf. Typical quote: ‘His lordship may compel us to be equal upstairs, but there will never be equality in the servants’ hall.’ 

Honourable mentions: 
Angus Hudson, the loyal Scottish butler in the TV series Upstairs Downstairs. 
Hobson in the film Arthur – acerbic but affectionate minder to Arthur. 
Lurch, in the TV show The Addams Family. 
Mrs Danvers in the novel Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. Yes, she’s the housekeeper, not the butler, but at least one housekeeper should be on this list. Mrs Danvers is menacing, malicious and scary as hell.
Author Biography
A former journalist, Janine Beacham has written all her life. She has always loved fairy tales and fantasy, and as a child would make up games for her friends to play at school. Janine once entered a competition where the prize was a real-life butler - which partly inspired the secret society of butlers in the Rose Raventhorpe Investigates series. Janine lives in Western Australia with her family. 
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