Moist von Lipwig became postmaster of Ankh Morpork, he was hired
not on his merits, but because he had survived hanging for general
thievery and skullduggery. It is customary in Ankh Morpork, the
largest city on the mythical planet of Discworld, that if you
survive execution you have certain options. A - you can do the
bidding of the ruler, who is a Machiavellian despot name Lord
Vetineari, or B - you can open Door Number Two. Somehow, Moist ---
who faced execution because he lived by his wits --- was smart
enough to know that going with option A was his best choice.
He soon learned that Ankh Morpork was in need of a new Postmaster.
Postmastering was apparently a hazardous profession, given the
number of chalk mark outlines of the previous postmasters drawn on
the main floor of the grimy post office. Moist's special talents as
a con artist suited him perfectly for the job. He was so good at
it, in fact, that over nearly insurmountable odds, he had sorted
out the quagmire left behind and the postal service now was running
like a well-oiled machine.
Moist is now bored. Sitting at a desk and watching people perform
their duties is precisely what he had sought to avoid in his prior
life. So, while his girlfriend is out of town, he has taken to
unsavory extracurricular activities to keep himself entertained.
Not what you might think, given his questionable moral character,
however. No, Moist is scaling walls under cover of darkness,
breaking and entering, committing petty thieveries, all in an
effort to keep up his old skills. Unfortunately, Lord Vetinari,
whose secret service is unmatched in surveillance, catches up with
him as he is breaking into his own apartment --- a nonenviable
state to find himself in.
Ah, time for the old option game again. Would it be option A or
option B? This time option A involves taking over the city's
treasury. This sounds even drearier than being postmaster, but
given Moist's experience with Lord Vetinari's rules, he is inclined
to explore the possibilities. He also has witnessed what happened
to another culprit who picked option B, so dreary banking it would
be. One murder, inheritance of controlling interest in the bank and
a small dog who is designated chairman of the board, an entirely
new take on the gold standard and forgery on a scale more grand
than even Moist could ever have imagined --- all come into play as
Moist works his beguiling ways on an unsuspecting populace.
Terry Pratchett's whimsical novels of Discworld, inhabited by
citizens who may be human or otherwise, have never poked more fun
at human foibles than in MAKING MONEY. Fans will enjoy meeting new
players and revisiting old favorites. Moist von Lipwig seems
destined to join the permanent rogue's gallery of unforgettable
characters who have entertained readers through 31
Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 7, 2011