Allan H. Clark

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Allan H. Clark

Allan H. Clark’s book reviews

These short stories featuring Reggie Fortune are diverting and amusing enough that one wishes more were available here. Fortune is more than a bit of a wag, but the puzzles are good and the solutions reasonable.
Modern readers may find this just a tad slow, with less mystery than the length of the book justifies, but it is still a very good read.

One unusual feature is the shift in "point of view" from one narrator to another, each giving only the part of the story in which s/he is a participant.
This enjoyable farce served as the basis for the Broadway musical One Touch of Venus which launched the career of Mary Martin. The novel is pleasant enough, but hardly great writing. The humor is a bit forced by today's standards, but there are some good bits.

The story of a statue that comes to life when a ring is placed on its finger goes all the way back to the middle ages and is found in William of Malmsbury's Chronicles of the Kings of England. It was the basis for the opera Zampa (1831) and for Prosper Mérimee's story, The Venus of Ille (1837).

In this case it is a London hairdresser, Leander Tweddle, who places a ring intended for his fiancée on a statue of Venus, which comes to life and considers him pledged to her. His every effort to extricate himself from this predicament and hold onto his fiancée goes awry. There are a few twists and surprises along the way to a happy ending.
Not the usual whodunit at all, this is a quite readable and well-plotted murder mystery without the customary clever detective who puts it all together. Instead the plot unrolls before the reader as it happens, but not without a few surprises and interesting twists. No false clues or coincidences mar the plot and everything is explained neatly in the end.
Candace Irvin - Page-Turning Military Thrillers
FEATURED AUTHOR - A former US Navy Surface Warfare Officer, Candace Irvin currently writes mainstream mysteries & thrillers featuring strong female leads. Visit to sign up for her newsletter & find out more about her Deception Point Military Thriller series. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Aimpoint.