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Double Cross Purposes Paperback – Feb 1986

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Dover Pubns (Feb. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486250326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486250328
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,945,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. L. Garnons Williams on 25 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In fact I bought this book for a friend who'd requested it, so I'm simply passing on her opinion of it, not mine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An urbane and literate mystery. 10 Mar. 2009
By Pentiumm - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Highlands of Scotland are famous for Prince Charlie's fabulous treasure. According to legend, the booty is snugly interred on the Isle of Erran, and a ciphered map forgotten in an dank corner of Dreams Castle might just pinpoint the precise location.

The Honourable Vernon Lethaby is a flamboyant, headline-seeking exhibitionist -- young, handsome, with extravagant tastes and an allowance that barely covers his racing debts. Joe "Digger" Henderson is a man of a quieter turn. Among his more considerable abilities, the middle-aged Canadian adventurer, former rum-runner and suspected train robber, boasts a remarkable affinity for digging.

The two set out in a most flamboyant way to discover the treasure. But Sir Charles, owner of the Isle of Erran and lord of Dreams Castle, suspects both Lethaby and Henderson of fraud. And Lethaby has suspicions about the integrity of Henderson

Thus enters the Indescribable Insurance Company who underwrites the success of the whole mess. Naturally, the Indescribable sends along a detective to protect its interests. But murder happens anyway, and the treasure, once found, disappears quickly.

Here enters the classic mystery from Britain's golden age. The story is just a delightful mix of gradually unfolding clues, discussion of the ways those clues point, and wonderful 1930s atmosphere, language, and cultural norms (yes, they do treat women and ladies differently).

Warning: this is not for the modern reader, per se. It was written in 1937, and the language back then was much more complex (and Ronald Knox's language was a bit thicker than the average for its time). It's also much more cerebral a story than modern day stuff. However, if you like the novels from the golden age of mystery-writing, you will like this book.
I received a very nice copy of this hard-to-find book from ThisThatnThat 20 Aug. 2015
By William Covill - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received a very nice copy of this hard-to-find book from ThisThatnThat, Albany NY on Mon. July 13th, which I had ordered on Fri. July 3rd.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Britain's bad mysteries 10 Nov. 2011
By Melvin Anderson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written in 1937 by an Englishman and it tells. Who, in this day and age, has heard of a muniment room? And what is froison? I was lucky, my dictionary carried both words but I do not see the need for their use, and there are other words as well. However, words aside the story was written poorly, I did not catch on to the way husband and wife talked to each other at first, I actually thought they were fighting instead of playing. It got worse. Milo Bredon reviewed the events as they unfolded, even relating them to his wife with his interpretation of them included only to have no solution, no rational reason given until the conclusion. Here the author, I think trying to pretend he did not throw a curve at the reader, quoted earlier pages as footnotes. Upon tracing down these links I did not see the connection between the page given and the different story Milo came up with in his concluding summary. In fact, reading the quoted pages I continued to see his false conclusions except in his summary he now says that at the place quoted he did have clues to his final statements, he knew them then despite his protestations on those pages, or nearby pages as to his lack of understanding.
I like to try to beat the protagonist of any detective thriller or mystery to the punch, determining who the culprit is. I failed in this book but I did come to the correct solution of the murder very early and I could not understand why the book's characters did not even propose the correct answer in all their surmises. Of course they lack all the books between 1937 and now, when I read it, of similar problems occurring and solved. This type of problem is seldom given in modern mysteries for that reason, familiarity breeds contempt.
The writing is not bad, I imagine that if Knox has written many other books, and the reader has read a few of them, the succeeding novels are old friends and the twists and turns in the book are more understandable. With this thought in mind I would say that reading this book and any others in the series, which seems probable given the characters described, becomes pleasurable.
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