Pieces of Modesty

Pieces of Modesty

infobox Book |
name = Pieces of Modesty
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = 1974 paperback edition
author = Peter O'Donnell
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series = Modesty Blaise
genre = Spy fiction, Short Stories
publisher = Pan Books
release_date = 1972
media_type = Print (Hardback (1986 edition) & Paperback)
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by = The Impossible Virgin
followed_by = The Silver Mistress

"Pieces of Modesty" is a short story collection by Peter O'Donnell featuring his action heroine, Modesty Blaise, first published in 1972. It was O'Donnell's first such collection of stories (he would publish a second, "Cobra Trap", decades later).

The stories featured in this collection are:

#"A Better Day to Die"
#"The Giggle-Wrecker"
#"I Had a Date with Lady Janet"
#"A Perfect Night to Break Your Neck"
#"Salamander Four"
#"The Soo Girl Charity"

Elements from some of these stories would appear in the "Modesty Blaise" comic strip which O'Donnell wrote concurrent with his book series. "I Had a Date with Lady Janet" is distinguished as the only Modesty Blaise tale to be told in the first person by Modesty's right-hand man, Willie Garvin.

The stories in this collection predate the publication of the book by several years. In the 1960s they were planned for publication in a book that would have been illustrated by O'Donnell's comic strip artist, Jim Holdaway who died in 1970. That edition was never produced. Holdaway's illustrations for the stories exist and have been reprinted in various magazines.

"Pieces of Modesty" is unusual in the Modesty Blaise canon as it was the only book in the series not published in its first edition by Souvenir Press, instead being published exclusively in paperback by Pan Books. In 1986, the American company Mysterious Press issued the book's first and (to date) only hardcover edition. In the 2000s, Souvenir Press began a series of reprints of the Modesty Blaise books. As of 2006 there has been no announcement as to whether "Pieces of Modesty" will also be reprinted, even though all other books in the series have now been reprinted. Pending any future reprints, this makes "Pieces of Modesty" one of the harder-to-find Modesty Blaise books.

In the early 1980s, a dramatic reading of the story "I Had a Date with Lady Janet" was released on cassette tape, featuring John Thaw.

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