Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Red House Mystery (1922)

The Red House Mystery. A.A. Milne. 1922. Dover. 156 pages. [Source: Bought]

In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was taking its siesta. 

I loved The Red House Mystery. I did. It was so much fun! I loved meeting Antony Gillingham and his friend Bill Beverley. These two team up to solve a murder mystery. Bill Beverley is staying at the Red House estate--owned by Mark Ablett. He is one of a handful of guests. Antony Gillingham is not of the guests. Not originally. He just happens to be staying at an inn nearby. He hears from someone that Bill Beverley is down visiting. He wants to call on his friend and does so. But his visit does not go as expected. Instead of meeting Bill Beverley and having a lovely chat. He comes across Matthew Cayley--Mark's cousin he later learns--and a dead body! These two men are the first on the crime scene.

I would definitely recommend this one!

"Are you prepared to be the complete Watson?" he asked. "Watson?" "Do-you-follow-me-Watson; that one. Are you prepared to have quite obvious things explained to you, to ask futile questions, to give me chances of scoring off you, to make brilliant discoveries of your own two or three days after I have made them myself all that kind of thing? Because it all helps." "My dear Tony," said Bill delightedly, "need you ask?" Antony said nothing, and Bill went on happily to himself, "I perceive from the strawberry-mark on your shirt-front that you had strawberries for dessert. Holmes, you astonish me. Tut, tut, you know my methods. Where is the tobacco? The tobacco is in the Persian slipper. Can I leave my practice for a week? I can."
"I say," he said, almost pleadingly, "don't tell me that you can see into people's pockets and all that sort of thing as well." Antony laughed and denied it cheerfully. "Then how do you know?" "You're the perfect Watson, Bill. You take to it quite naturally. Properly speaking, I oughtn't to explain till the last chapter, but I always think that that's so unfair. So here goes. Of course, I don't really know that he's got it, but I do know that he had it. I know that when I came on him this afternoon, he had just locked the door and put the key in his pocket." 
"Good man," said Antony at the end of it. "You are the most perfect Watson that ever lived. Bill, my lad," he went on dramatically, rising and taking Bill's hand in both of his, "There is nothing that you and I could not accomplish together, if we gave our minds to it." "Silly old ass." "That's what you always say when I'm being serious. Well, anyway, thanks awfully. You really saved us this time."
"Of course it's very hampering being a detective, when you don't know anything about detecting, and when nobody knows that you're doing detection, and you can't have people up to cross-examine them, and you have neither the energy nor the means to make proper inquiries; and, in short, when you're doing the whole thing in a thoroughly amateur, haphazard way." 
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous said...

one of my mystery groups on Goodreads read this as a selection one month. Great fun and a different view of AA Milne

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Sounds cute! I do want to read more classic mysteries... but where to find the time? ;)