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Reviews by Tina

Raffles

by E.W. Hornung

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.

Reviewed on 2011.10.24

The Almost Perfect Murder

by Hulbert Footner

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.

Reviewed on 2011.09.05

Agatha Webb

by Anna Katharine Green

Very good mystery, although it’s difficult to believe anyone could be quite so saintly (and superstitious) as Agatha Webb. The tragic love story underlying the mystery lift it out of the ordinary whodunnit genre.

Reviewed on 2011.08.26

Nightmare Abbey

by Thomas Love Peacock

This is a sharp satire, in the style of the Gothic novel, which pokes fun at many of the pretensions of the various strata of society. Centred on Nightmare Abbey, the home of the miserable Mr Glowry and his son, Scythrop, the basic story - of a young man who finds himself involved in a love triangle - has elements of farce.

It’s not the easiest book to read, having long stretches of dialogue and musings, but the apt names of the characters do make it easier to follow, and it’s a witty and entertaining read.

Reviewed on 2011.08.22

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