Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Information Received - E. R. Punshon
I read this book on my Kindle, hence the blurry photo of my Kindle. I love my Kindle case. Stefanie at So Many Books suggested it several years ago. It has a neat little light tucked into the side and it can also stand up for reading while eating.
A very rich, very mean man is found shot to death in his billiards room. Seems like the beginning of a rousing game of Clue. Sir Clarke in the billiards room with the revolver. His daughter and his step-daughter are in the house, as are some servants. A mysterious man is seen outside the window of the music room, where his step-daughter is playing the piano. Another man is seen leaping over the neighbor's garden fence. The safe at the other end of the house has been burgled. Talk about a quiet evening at home!
Bobby Owen is a constable patrolling near the house. He's first on the scene when the alarm is sounded. Bobby's trying to make a name for himself, climbing the police ladder. His boss, Superintendent Mitchell, has his eye on him after he discovers several leads in the murder and often appears in the middle of the action. I like Mitchell's rule that you should always have at least two sandwiches with you, because you never know how long you might have to wait. I'm all for sandwiches.
Sir Christopher Clarke, the dead man, is hated by lots of people. His daughter has married against his will, although we're not sure he knows that. He dislikes the man she's in love with. He's eager to get his step-daughter married off because she knows something that makes him uncomfortable. Fortunately, she and the man she's to marry actually love each other.
Who killed Sir Christopher? To tell you the truth, there were just too many prospective killers, too many motives. All of the possible people were acting dramatically, looking horror stricken, being silent, rushing around in fast little cars, and all swearing that they won't tell what they know. There were mysterious people seen and then not seen, unable to be found. This is a spider web of a mystery with so many red herrings that I lost interest about 3/4 of the way through. It didn't help that the last three or so chapters were a letter left by the killer - who is in turn killed. The killer explains in great and mind numbing detail why Sir Christopher was killed. I HATE mysteries that end with pages and pages of explanations.
I have a couple more of Punshon's mysteries on my Kindle. They've recently been available for a few dollars each. He apparently wrote about 35 mysteries with Bobby Owen as the protagonist. I'll try another one or two to see if they're any different, but the reviews I've read on line mostly say that the books are slow moving and the plots are complicated. I'll take a break before I read another.
Posted by joan.kyler at 8:32 AM