Cobra Trap is the final (in more ways than one) book to feature Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. It's a collection of five short stories that carry the two from almost the beginning of their careers together to the end.
Modesty is a mere twenty years old when "The Bellman" begins. It's a story of an attempt at long-delayed revenge. Modesty and Willie put Bellman in prison, and when gets out of prison, he has Modesty and Willie abducted and put on a deserted island where they'll be hunted by three professional killers (shades of "The Most Dangerous Game"). Things don't go as Bellman planned. In "The Dark Angels," Modesty and Willie are protecting a Texas oilman from a gang of psychopathic (and acrobatic) hit men. Things don't go as the hit men planned. The oilman appears at first to be an annoying parody, but it turns out that's a clue to a twist in the tale. "Old Alex" is a direct sequel to a novel, "Dead Man's Handle," and it's a compilation of outrageous coincidences. It's also another revenge story and my favorite story in the book. "The Girl with the Black Balloon" is about a gang of kidnappers. Modesty and Willie have only a short time to save their victim. Things don't go as the kidnappers planned. The final story, "Cobra Trap" is indeed the final story for Modesty and Willie, at least on this plane of existence. I can say no more.
This collection is just as entertaining as Pieces of Modesty (see my comments here). There are still a few books in the series I haven't read, but I'm going to get to them Real Soon Now. And I might even reread some of them. O'Donnell was a superb entertainer; he never lets me down.
The Girl with the Black Balloon