I love A. A. Milne. I was raised on Winnie-the-Pooh, and Mr. Milne’s phrases are part of the basic fabric of our family. We still occasionally say things like, “I’m not very how…” or “Silly old bear…” and things like that.
I didn’t know he wrote a mystery, especially one that became very popular when it was published in 1922. I came across the book by accident, and after reading the dedication in the front, I decided I wanted to read this book for Carl V’s R.I.P., II Challenge.
John Vine Milne,
My Dear Father,
Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories and feel that there are not enough of them. So, after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one. Here it is: with more gratitude and affection than I can well put down here.
A. A. M.
It was a slow read for me, due to my hectic schedule of late, and that made it more difficult to keep track of the somewhat tricky plot. The story was set in an English country manor, and one brother is killed when the second brother returns from self-imposed exile in Australia. It is assumed that he killed his brother during an argument when he returned home. The local police are completely inept, so it falls to an amateur sleuth, a gentleman named Antony Gillingham (who just happened to arrive at the moment of need) and his friend, Bill, to sort through all the clues and unravel the mystery. There are some interesting plot twists, but it’s a light-weight and fun mystery. It was interesting that the author would occasionally stop the narrative and talk directly to the reader about a character. And I chuckled out loud at one point when Gillingham referred to his sidekick as “Silly old ass.” It reminded me that I was indeed reading A. A. Milne.