nick730 (nick730) wrote,

Book review: The Red House Mystery

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.
Tags: books
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