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Appleby Talking (Inspector Appleby Mystery) [Paperback]

Michael Innes
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 6.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

23 Sep 2008 Inspector Appleby Mystery (Book 14)
As far as he could tell, he was the only human being for miles - but it turns out that he was the only living human being for miles. At least, that is what he presumed when he found a dead man on top of the tor.

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Appleby Talking (Inspector Appleby Mystery) + Appleby Talks Again (Inspector Appleby Mystery) + A Change Of Heir (Inspector Appleby Mystery S.)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (23 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842327224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842327227
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in Edinburgh in 1906, the son of the city's Director of Education, John Innes Mackintosh Stewart wrote a highly successful series of mystery stories under the pseudonym Michael Innes. Innes was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, where he was presented with the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize and named a Bishop Frazer's scholar. After graduation he went to Vienna, to study Freudian psychoanalysis for a year and following his first book, an edition of Florio's translation of Montaigne, was offered a lectureship at the University of Leeds. In 1932 he married Margaret Hardwick, a doctor, and they subsequently had five children including Angus, also a novelist. The year 1936 saw Innes as Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, during which tenure he wrote his first mystery story, 'Death at the President's Lodging'. With his second, 'Hamlet Revenge', Innes firmly established his reputation as a highly entertaining and cultivated writer. After the end of World War II, Innes returned to the UK and spent two years at Queen's University, Belfast where in 1949 he wrote the 'Journeying Boy', a novel notable for the richly comedic use of an Irish setting. He then settled down as a Reader in English Literature at Christ Church, Oxford, from which he retired in 1973. His most famous character is 'John Appleby', who inspired a penchant for donnish detective fiction that lasts to this day. Innes's other well-known character is 'Honeybath', the painter and rather reluctant detective, who first appeared in 1975 in 'The Mysterious Commission'. The last novel, 'Appleby and the Ospreys', was published in 1986, some eight years before his death in 1994. 'A master - he constructs a plot that twists and turns like an electric eel: it gives you shock upon shock and you cannot let go.' - Times Literary Supplement.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hors d'oeuvres 16 Dec 2001
Very short for the most part; good bathroom reading. The Vicar, The Doctor, The Q.C. -- they are Appleby's audience over the port after dinner or a pint at the local. A lot of these literally turn out to be tall tales, and are usually wound up with a nice pun (such as the clue of the typewriter ribbon -- "It made an impression on me"). There is something very comfortable about fireside stories of this sort told by a good raconteur. There are also a couple of straightforward short stories in the third person, such as the very fine "Dead Man's Shoes," a spy tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 22 Sep 2009
I have enjoyed the Appleby novels I've read, but I found this collection of short stories very disappointing indeed. Most of the stories are too short to be intriguing. Some are obviously jokes, but I'm afraid I found them rather feeble. The longer stories appear too obviously contrived. In one of them, Appleby has a young man tag along with him through the case, seemingly for the sole purpose of impressing him with Appleby's abilities. Most of these stories showcase the author's snobbery - or perhaps, to be charitable, the snobbery belongs just to his characters. This was a waste of time, but I shall persevere with Innes' novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of great short stories 17 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy short stories, as I do, you will love this collection. I have been a fan of the great MIchael Innes for years, and I love his full length books, but he is also a master of the short story form. Witty, entertaining, and with an enjoyable oily puzzle element throughout, these are stories to relish. The long story, Dead Man.s Shoes, has enough twists for a novel. Thoroughly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not precisely top-flight Appleby 8 Sep 2004
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I believe I've now read all of the Detective-Inspector Appleby mysteries, faithfully following Innes's best-known character as he worked his way up through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police (New Scotland Yard) and retired with a 'K.' Some of his best novels I've read more than once, but "Appleby Talking" (1954 - also known as "Dead Man's Shoes") is not one of them. Michael Innes never seemed to put his heart into his Appleby short stories, and his lead character strikes one as prissy rather than ironic, pompous rather than discriminatingly donnish. All of the color seems to have been leached from Innes's short-story characters, and the settings are hardly mentioned. Appleby even resorts to bombastic tall tales, whereas in the novels he is admirably reticent and never resorts to braggadocio.

The last and longest story in "Appleby Talking" is actually a forty-nine-page novelette. "Dead Man's Shoes" is a spy story involving a man who is supposedly seen on a train wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe. When a murder victim is discovered, also wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe, the chase is on.

"Appleby's First Case" is the lead-off story and takes place when Innes's serial detective was a solemn but preternaturally observant child of fourteen. It involves a false beard, as do at least a couple of his other stories (see "The Weight of the Evidence.")

The twenty-one stories in between are a mixed lot--mildly pleasurable reading, but for die-hard Appleby fans only. If you'd like to get started with this most literate of detectives (with perhaps the exception of Edmund Crispin's Professor Gervase Fen) don't begin with one of his short story collections. Try "Lament for a Maker" (1938) or "Hamlet, Revenge!" (1937)--in my opinion, two of the best crime novels from the British Golden Age of Mystery.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing Short Stories 6 Feb 2010
By Arlen E. Breiholz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A collection of clever short stories posed as reminiscences by Inne's intellectual detective, John Appleby. A number of the stories are very short, which is nice if one just wants to read for a few minutes and be satisfied.
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