Sunday, 11 August 2013

Book #46 The Red House Mystery by AA Milne

The Red House Mystery

Length Of Time In Possession : 2/3 Days

The Red House Mystery is from the pen of AA Milne, legendary Winnie-The-Pooh author. Personally, I was unaware he had ever written a novel for the adult market.

The novel is an amateur detective story, in the introduction Milne writes :

"It is the amateur detective who alone can expose the guilty man, by the light of cool inductive reasoning and the logic of stern remorseless facts"

Quite right too, some might say.

The amateur sleuth in question is one Antony Gillingham who, hearing his good friend Bill Beverley is staying at The Red House decides to pay him a call. Upon entering the house, he discovers he is in the immediate aftermath of a murder, but to Gillingham,  something doesn't feel quite right and he pursues his own investigation into the matter.

Published in the 1920's the novel makes innumerable references to Sherlock Holmes, indeed Gillingham appoints Beverley his Watson and constantly refers to him as such. For me, personally, this endeared me to the novel but when we discussed this at Book Club some people felt that this weakened the novel and made it rather derivative.

Indeed, it is hard to know whether Milne intended simply to pay homage to Arthur Conan Doyle or whether it is a pale rip off of Doyle's genius and this was our ongoing debate.

Personally, I found it quite charming and as it's a fairly slight read, worth reading if you like posh types in country houses engaging in an Agatha Christie type scenario.

Verdict 7/10
Destination : ebook storage

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