Marryatt (the clergyman), Carmichael (the retired don), Reeves (the former member of the military intelligence), and Gordon (the vacationing golfer) are playing golf in Paston Oatvile when Reeves slices his drive from the third tee. In searching for the ball, they come upon the dead body of Mr. Brotherhood below the railroad viaduct. When they find Brotherhood’s hat 15 yards away from the body, they suspect dirty work is afoot, and so the foursome sets out to solve his murder.
A witty, clever and thoroughly delightful classic British mystery story, The Viaduct Murder is the first of Ronald Knox’s detective novels and the only one that does not include Miles Bredon.
©1925 Ronald Knox (P)2012 Audible Ltd
Narrative makes the world go round.
Late middle-aged amateur gentleman sleuths bumble about their very Brit golf club some time after WWI, joking about Sherlockian logic while postulating how a convoluted murder "hangs together." The mystery is secondary to the eccentrics and their exchanges. It's no surprise to learn the author was an academic priest writing mysteries as his hobby. He probably inspired the young Michael Innis in his craft!
This deserves to be revived for fans of Sherlockian satire. The narrator is wonderful for the old fashioned but melodic dialogue. You may like it if you're a fan of old fashioned British cozies and can ignore some of the dated (but tongue-in-cheek) philosophizing.
You don't have to like golf to like this story, but I'll bet it helps. Elderly English golfers living around a golf course team up to solve a murder, discovered by them on the weeds surrounding their beloved course. I never heard of Ronald Knox, but this is a very elegant and funny book. He deserves to be remembered for it.
"A Slightly Academic Who-Dunnit"
Certainly this book was well read and it kept my attention. I was not familiar with Ronald Knox's work before and I look forward to exploring more of his work. I do not want to spoil your enjoyment by revealing the plot. I would, however, note that there is something of a dry, academic feel to this book as the evidence is reviewed over and over again as theory is piled on top of theory. That said, I shall certainly listen to it again and, I suspect enjoy it all the more the second time around!
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