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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Book review: The Red House Mystery 
28th-Aug-2011 10:58 am
Back to the free paperbacks from a couple of years ago, yes there's still a few left... They did a murder mystery week, a genre I used to read almost exclusively in my teens but have barely touched since. The Red House Mystery is the only mystery by A.A. Milne, at the time known as a satirist for Punch, and before his writing went in an entirely different direction with Winnie-the-Pooh. This single venture into cosy teatime murder shows he was never going to compete with the big female writers in the genre - it's less a "whodunnit," more a "what'sgoingon" since there's only really one suspect throughout; and the book's final twist was one I spotted halfway into the first chapter. It's probably best viewed from the point of view of his then-day job as a humour writer, it's not quite a parody of a mystery but it's quite an amusingly written one, Antony Gillingham is a particularly smug amateur detective who almost seems a dig at some of the protagonists of the genre. It's an entertaining read but not as a mystery, I imagine anyone looking for a clever puzzle would be disapppointed and it's not surprising that Milne went off to the Hundred Acre Wood instead.
28th-Aug-2011 10:36 am (UTC) - A A Milne
That is so interesting. Had no idea about the rest of A A Milne's career. Have just a had a trawl through Wiki as well - connections with Wodehouse, taught by H G Wells at school etc. Was given Winnie the Pooh as a child - quite enjoyed - but it never made a great impression on me. Probably won't be looking out for The Red House Mystery but you have just filled in quite a gap in my knowledge. Thank you. P D James still tops my murder writer list at the moment (went to a lecture by her some years ago - she's amazing for her age)
28th-Aug-2011 01:35 pm (UTC) - Re: A A Milne
He definitely sounds like someone who had a go at every conceivable genre. There's an introduction he wrote for the second edition where he says his agent and publishers were distinctly unimpressed when he handed them a mystery novel. Then a couple of years later when the Big Four whodunnit writers' popularity exploded, they were equally unimpressed when he didn't do a second one and came up with nursery rhymes instead.
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