The Red House Mystery

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Red House Mystery, by A.A. Milne


Yes, by that A. A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories. He was quite an accomplished author and playwrite when he decided to try his hand at a detective novel. Apparently his agent told him not to bother: it would never sell, and England had too many mystery authors as it was. Milne ignored him, wrote the pitch-perfect "The Red House Mystery", received much acclaim, and then never wrote another detective story. He ignored his agent's and publisher's pleas for another one and decided to write for children next, and the rest is history.

I bought this book probably six or seven years ago, but I didn't get into it and put it away. A few nights ago, my cold kept me awake and so I looked for something to read until my coughing subsided. At times like that, I wish we had a TV. I ended up really getting into it, though. It's written in the tone of a light comedy, with the main character and his sidekick making ironic references to Sherlock and Watson. It follows the formula of the great mysteries: a dead body suddenly appearing, great English eccentrics wandering around a manor house, police officers and inquests, long-buried family secrets, and the clever civilian who solves the mystery. Except for the dead guy, everyone thoroughly enjoys himself.

3 comments:

Nathan Garrett said...

cool, looks like fun.

Barbara said...

Verryyy interesting.... Who knew? But, I think writers often have alter egos. I remember in middle school I went to the library and asked for help finding the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, by Ian Fleming. The librarian told me that it couldn't be by Ian Fleming, because he was the author of the James Bond novels. But, then this was Ridgecrest...

JAG said...

Im definitely reading this one!