Written and set in the 1930s this book is a mixture of whodunnit and spy thriller. The country house is no less than a ducal palace; the guests have assembled to stage an amateur production of Hamlet. The Lord Chancellor (playing Polonius) is the victim.
The mixture of highest society and academia (there are an awful lot of literary references betokening an England in which all aristocrats were superbly read in the classics; even the duchess frequents the Reading Room of the British Museum) makes for rather dated dialogue. The denouement was not exactly open to being guessed. As per usual the sidekick (a don who pseudonymously writes mystery novels as a sideline just like Michael Innes himself!) lays out the solution to the assembled company and gets it wrong; the sleuth (a Scotland Yard inspector called John Appleby) gets it right at the very end.
The most delightful moment came when one of the guests/ suspects tries to persuade the Duke to call in a detective: a rather odd but superbly successful foreign gentlemen who must be Hercule Poirot.
- I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57