Criminals frequently think themselves clever. Not only do they hope to get away with murder or robbery but they intend to do it without any suspicion under the scrutinizing eyes of the police. There is immense hubris in this attitude. One has to work much more carefully to break rules than to follow them. To think that one is above rules and can masterfully weave a convincing story to fill in the lying gaps shows an absurd level of confidence. I admire criminals for their bold and uncompromising attitudes but I don’t admire their endeavors. I admire criminals the same way I admire people who attempt to eat five pound burgers in one meal. They are ambitious yet foolhardy and are prone to failure. If they succeed, it will be a close scrape and fun to watch.
A murder is committed in a English manor house out in the countryside. Friends from London had been invited down to the old moat-house. This house is full of many people who would normally be suspects. In this case, they all seem to have alibis. The shot was heard while all were listening to a fantastic story of adventure set in the far off land of New Zealand while passing the time after dinner. Each person can account for everyone else because they all waited at the dinner table to hear the end of the story. When the tale ended, a scream quickly followed by a shot came from upstairs. Rushing up the stairs Violet, the newly married lady of the house, is found shot through the lung causing internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, and finally death. The police are immediately called in to investigate. Watch out for a late appearance from well-known crime solver Grant Colwyn. Will Colwyn and the police find the true murderer or will they be grasping about blind like The Hand in the Dark?
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free ebook download: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20546
Murder mysteries make death engaging and amusing. That is an amazing feat. Death especially in the states is almost a taboo thing. It has deep emotional and religious ties which make it hard to talk about seriously. If death is difficult, murder should an impossible conversation piece. One could reasonably argue that murder is the worst form of death. Murder exist in a dark cloud of resentment, revenge and fear. Yet I declare that murder mysteries are fun and entertaining. Somehow by focusing on the means and motives of murder we create the illusion of a puzzle and obscure the actual macabre nature of the killing. I have no doubt that a personal brush with murder would leave me confused and drowning with fear. Why then do books featuring brilliant detectives excite me? My hypocrisy is fascinating.
Antony Gillingham accidentally stumbles into a murder the same way you might accidentally step in a puddle coming home on a rainy night. A man is killed in a locked room without any indication of suicide or motive. The brother of the murdered man is missing and so is the revolver. Antony decides in a flippant way to try his hand at detecting. Convincing his friend Bill to play Watson while he channels Sherlock the pair attempt to get to the bottom of The Red House Mystery.
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Another superb comedy authored by Mr. Wodehouse. Just when a thread starts to tangle it gets stitched back in seamlessly making you wonder how you didn’t see its inevitable conclusion earlier. The dialogue is quaint, quick, snappy and a real treat. No chapter feels forced and everything moves along at the pace of a happy golden retriever. Jill the Reckless is a ripe and refreshing little tale.
You begin at the beginning with Jill slated to meet her fiances mother, a cruel and usual woman. Through a series of mistakes and mishaps Jill makes a dreadful mess of this introduction and all of Mrs. Underhills fears are realized in the tiny stature that is Jill Mariner. From here we glide to and fro following Jill as she tries to make her way in the world. Jill must rely on her sharp wit and reckless instinct to make the best of every unforeseen situation. Quickly sneak out the back with Jill the Reckless.
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free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20533
I feel kind of bad writing about this book. Not that the book is bad. In fact, it is fantastic and I loved every moment I spent reading it. On the other hand, it feels too easy to recommend an Agatha Christie book since she is one of the greatest selling authors of all time. But I digress. I loved it and that’s that.
Tommy and Tuppence are a wonderful one, two punch precisely because it is impossible to tell who is one and who is two. They are comrades and companions that rely on each other unlike say the Holmes and Watson pairing. I always felt that Holmes had the ability to solve any case by his lonesome and in many cases he did. But what makes it all the more wonderful is that the running dialogue between Tommy and Tuppence is fantastic. I’m always a sucker for witty dialogue and this is just about the best. They remind me vaguely of another witty and conversational couple: Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. To not be outdone the story itself is also thrilling and leaves the best mystery until the end. So pick up a copy of The Secret Adversary.
free ebook download: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1155