Good murder mystery. Some intriguing twists, and the murderer’s identity is quite well hidden.
This story centres on a missing will - the inheritance goes to the nearest relations of a factory owner after he and both witnesses are killed in an accident, but the will later turns up, and is found by the Linford Pratt mentioned in the blurb above. I’m usually not very keen on books that reveal the criminal’s identity, but I enjoyed this, even though there were a few holes in it. It has romance, intrigue, money and murder - good ingredients for a crime (if not exactly mystery) novel.
Raffles is one of those characters who has gone down in literary history. The author was a contemporary of Conan Doyle, and in many ways, Raffles is an anti-Sherlock. He’s also quite typical of the ‘silly-assery’ school of the time. He’s charming, debonair, and an excellent cricketer, but he’s not quite a gentleman, and he’s very short of money. Hence he turns to crime, and we first meet him via his old school pal (and later Watson-like chronicler) Bunny, who is in debt and throws himself on the mercy of Raffles. He then becomes Raffles’ sidekick. The first three books are short stories, with one of them being a sort of prequel to the first, and the last is a full novel. It’s a rollicking read, although the ending is a bit disappointing - it seems rather rushed.
Highly recommend this book. I love the books from the ‘Golden Age’ of crime fiction, but I’d never heard of Madame Rosika Storey - now I’ve read one book, I’m hooked! If you like Agatha Christie, Patricia Wentworth and Ngaio Marsh, you’ll like this.
This is a bit later than Christie’s books, and there are definite echoes of her in it - Mme Storey reminded me of Poirot, as like him, she’s a professional (rather than an amateur like Miss Marple or Miss Silver) and takes a psychological approach to solving crime. The stories whittle down the suspects, and tend to end with the familiar dénouement scene. However, the book isn’t just a pale Christie wannabe - Mme Storey is a strong character and the stories are well-written and clever. Excellent read.
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