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Publisher's Summary

Inspector Rudge does not encounter many cases of murder in the sleepy seaside town of Whynmouth. But when an old sailor lands a rowing boat containing a fresh corpse with a stab wound to the chest, the Inspector's investigation immediately comes up against several obstacles. The vicar, whose boat the body was found in, is clearly withholding information, and the victim's niece has disappeared. There is clearly more to this case than meets the eye - even the identity of the victim is called into doubt. Inspector Rudge begins to wonder just how many people have contributed to this extraordinary crime and whether he will ever unravel it....
In 1931 Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and 10 other crime writers from the newly formed Detection Club collaborated in publishing a unique crime novel. In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G. K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue and Anthony Berkeley to tie up all the loose ends. In addition, all of the authors provided their own solutions in sealed envelopes, all of which appeared at the end of the book, with Agatha Christie's ingenious conclusion acknowledged at the time to be 'enough to make the book worth buying on its own'. The authors of this novel are G. K. Chesterton, Canon Victor Whitechurch, G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane and Anthony Berkeley.
©1931, 2011 The Detection Club (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"The plotting is ingenious, the pace sustained, the solution satisfying." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Amazingly, the story steers along very well despite so many different hands at the tiller. Christie's solution is typically ingenious." (Mark Campbell, The Pocket Essential Agatha Christie)
"These members of the Detection Club collaborate with skill in a piece of detection rather more tight-knit than one had a right to expect. There is enough to amuse and to stimulate detection; and the Introduction by Dorothy Sayers and supplements by critics and solvers give an insight into the writers' thoughts and modes of work." (Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor, A Catalogue of Crime)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mariana on 07-27-17

great concept. great puzzle mystery

An unusual book. each chapter is written by a different famous mystery writer. i was afraid the story would be disjointed wi th different writing styles but its very smooth. at the end authors give thier own different solution based on their chapter and the preceding chapters. what i found interesting were the similarities between the solutions.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 11-01-17

Fun & intriguing

A great concept, an enjoyabke book and well produced and read, but I but prefer Wimsey and Father Brown

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sheryl Mason on 02-26-17

Tightly crafted mystery

Unless you are a reincarnation of Agatha Christie, I doubt you will find the answer to this puzzle. Even then, it could be difficult.

The Detection Club got together and wrote this book, each author contributing a chapter and, in some cases, a sealed solution for when the book was finished.

Considering it is written by a lot of authors with usually very varied styles, they manage to create a book that flows nicely, although I did start to get tired of all the red herrings and odd clues that kept turning up. I did honestly try to solve this but it was beyond my capabilities. A lot of fun though!

By the end I was totally confused as to whodunit but Anthony Berkeley does a very credible job of stitching the whole thing together with some degree of believability.

Full marks to all the authors and full marks to the narrator, who did a very good job on this book.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Miss Julie E. Ellis on 04-15-17

great crime

the detection club strikes again, the greatest writers of a truly unique club. more please

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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