Available to download for the very first time, the first instalment of the fantastic Inspector Appleby series by celebrated crime writer Michael Innes.
Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys.
Legendary character Inspector John Appleby of Scotland Yard inspired a lasting vogue for donnish detective fiction. Innes's detective novels are playfully highbrow and rich in allusions to English literature and to Renaissance art.
©1936 Michael Innes (P)2010 Audible Ltd
"It is quite the most accomplished first crime novel that I have read...all first-rate entertainment." (Cecil Day Lewis, Daily Telegraph)
trying to see the world with my ears
A Whodunnit with a capital W - if you like (or like satires of) Brit academe, The author seemed to have fun writing this, the wonderful narrator has fun relating it, and if you give it some time to get into the world of the story, it can be a fun listen, even to contemporary ears.
This English mystery novel pretends to be quiet and sedate, while unleashing a complicated puzzle of murder in a locked-up college full of people too smart for their own good. The author is obviously fond of all his characters, and the narrator has a different voice for all of them. There's even some Chestertonian wild chases across the countryside. What else can I say? Innes writes winners.
The first novel by Michael Innes, set in an Oxbridge-type college. The characters, mostly college faculty, are very similar to one another. The plot is slow-moving and confused. I didn't care much about the victim or the cast of possible killers, and the ending is entirely unbelievable.
Fortunately, Innes became a better writer and devised much better plots. Skip this one.
Love it when the narrator makes a good book better.
This is the first of Innes's Inspector John Appleby mysteries, the 1937 introduction of a character whose sleuthing continued through the mid-1980s (by which time he was Sir John Appleby).
This book, published in England as "Seven Suspects," is a mystery of the Golden Age Locked Door genre; circumstances dictate that the bizarre crime must have been committed by one (or more) of a limited group of suspects. Innes spends an inordinate amount of verbiage setting up the premise and describing the scene (a walled garden in a fictitious British university), and in introducing the suspects (academic dons who in the 1930s were already living in an outdated fantasy world-- "They teach outmoded subjects using exploded methods" may be the best line in the book).
Once the tedious setup is finally in place, the plot unfolds as a kind of French farce (minus any sex) of mistaken motives and inadvertent eavesdroppers. I could envision a stage set with doors and windows constantly being opened and closed as the foppish participants bumble about. Unfortunately, the dry and subtle British intellectual humor that is the hallmark of Innes's novels is less successful in this book than in some of his others, and in this rendition what humor exists is almost completely obscured by an uninspired reader who simply Does Not Get It.
In short, I found this story, prose style, and reader combined to produce a great soporific. I'm still waiting for the Perfect Reader and production of "Hamlet Revenge," the second (1938) and truly great Appleby novel.
I like that it was written in the Golden Age of detective fiction - the age of Sayers and Christie - and that it takes place at a University. The characters were well thought out, all the clues were there, but I found it challenging to figure out whodunnit.
I liked the detective.
Beautiful voice and phrasing, excellent characterizations
It wasn't that kind of story
Escapism at its best!
Probably not--very hard to follow all the characters in audio format. I haven't reached the end of the first download and I still don't know any of the secondary characters.
I think his accents are incredible--I loved his narration of Broken Harbor.
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