10 July 2010

The Red House Mystery

I enjoyed this little mystery. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne is an English country house murder mystery. The edition i got from the library included an introduction by Milne describing why he wrote it and what a good mystery should include. I really liked the intro.


This book is a locked room mystery where you think you know what must have happened, then proceeds to show what really happened. Mark is the owner of the Red House, with many friends visiting, including Bill Beverly. Over breakfast one morning gets a letter saying his blackguard of a brother, Robert, is back from Australia and going to come to the Red House that afternoon. The guests go off for their various activities. The perspective shifts then to Antony Gillingham, a friend of Bill's who decides to head up to the house to visit him. As he arrives he hears a gunshot, and with Matthew Cayley, Mark's secretary, discovers Robert's body in a locked room. Mark has disappeared. Tony becomes an amateur detective and Bill his willing Watson.

i liked the dynamic between Bill and Tony. I liked reading about life before TV and computers and cell phones and lots of cars. I'm not romanticizing the past; i know that gobs of people worked to make the upper class English lifestyle possible. It was an interesting slice of life. The mystery was good with some nice twists and turns. and i even pulled some reading quotes:
"The library was worth going into, passages or no passages. Antony could never resist another person's bookshelves. As soon as he went into the room, he found himself wandering round it to see what books the owner read or (more likely) or did not read, but kept for the air which they lent the house"
and
"There was indeed a “frightful lot” of books. The four walls of the library were plastered with them from floor to ceiling, save only where the door and the two windows insisted on living their own life, even though an illiterate one"
Very recommended, a 6. I finished this one right when i got to Chicago on July 3rd. oh, and for those with a Kindle, it is free on amazon.

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