Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club

This is my third Detection Club book and I picked it up because Christie, Chesterton, and to a smaller extent Sayers contributed to it (sorry Sayers but I love Christie and Chesterton a lot more).

Unlike Ask a Policeman, where the authors played with each other’s characters, and The Anatomy of Murder, The Floating Admiral is a straightforward round-robin novel. The body of Admiral Penistone is found in a floating boat and Inspector Rudge is called upon to investigate. As Rudge investigates, he realises that the case is far from straightforward - what does the vicar and a hasty marriage have to do with the murder? Do they have anything to do with the murder?

I definitely enjoyed this a lot more than Ask a Policeman, although not as much as The Anatomy of Murder. The styles of the various writers meshed together pretty well, except for Chesterton, who wrote a lyrical prologue that only makes sense at the end. The mystery was also interesting, although you can definitely sense that some writers just threw in things to make it more complicated.

I also found the appendix to be interesting. The writers give their solutions for the murders there and it was clear that each writer had their own way of plotting a mystery. Some were very detailed (Sayers) while some were very brief (Jepson). All were pretty convincing to me, although as the story developed some solutions became less plausible than others.

If you’re a fan of golden age mysteries and of the Detection Club, I think you would enjoy this book! It’s a fun mystery and I could tell that the writers had a lot of fun with this.

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