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As a fan of "The Golden Age of British Mysteries," I had read frequent allusions to this book as one of the founding works of the genre, but had never come across a copy. So I was thrilled to find this version read by Simon Vance, whom I think is one of the most reliably good readers in the business.
And the book lived up to the hype--it contains foreshadowings of everyone from Sayers to Tey, and is a very satisfying and well-written tale in its own right.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I would venture to guess that most people haven't heard of this book, though I think it has an interesting place in history of detective fiction. The blatant racism of the day does appear in the story, which I always find a bit disappointing and unnerving. I can get past that, as one has to do to enjoy golden era detective fiction, but I just wasn't as engaged in the story as with other mysteries that I've read. That said, here is what I like and appreciate about it: 1. I had no idea what was going on. I didn't know the solution to this whodunnit. 2. Neither did the detective, but not because he was a dummy, but rather because the author wanted to make a point. Bentley was tired of all the brilliant literary detectives neatly wrapping up cases, when in reality, people are fallible. In this way, this book is both an early golden age mystery and a send-up of one, which is pretty brilliant. Still, I just wasn't wowed by the writing, though I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful