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The Floating Admiral [Kindle Edition]

by Members of the Detection Club , Dorothy L. Sayers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and nine other writers from the legendary Detection Club collaborate in this fiendishly clever but forgotten crime novel first published 80 years ago.

Inspector Rudge does not encounter many cases of murder in the sleepy seaside town of Whynmouth. But when an old sailor lands a rowing boat containing a fresh corpse with a stab wound to the chest, the Inspector's investigation immediately comes up against several obstacles. The vicar, whose boat the body was found in, is clearly withholding information, and the victim's niece has disappeared. There is clearly more to this case than meets the eye – even the identity of the victim is called into doubt. Inspector Rudge begins to wonder just how many people have contributed to this extraordinary crime and whether he will ever unravel it…

In 1931, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and ten other crime writers from the newly-formed ‘Detection Club’ collaborated in publishing a unique crime novel. In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G.K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue and Anthony Berkeley to tie up all the loose ends. In addition, each of the authors provided their own solution in a sealed envelope, all of which appeared at the end of the book, with Agatha Christie’s ingenious conclusion acknowledged at the time to be ‘enough to make the book worth buying on its own’.

The authors of this novel are: G. K. Chesterton, Canon Victor Whitechurch, G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane and Anthony Berkeley.

Product Description


"The plotting is ingenious, the pace sustained, the solution satisfying." New York Times Book Review

“Amazingly, the story steers along very well despite so many different hands at the tiller. Christie’s solution is typically ingenious.” Mark Campbell, The Pocket Essential Agatha Christie

"These members of the Detection Club collaborate with skill in a piece of detection rather more tight-knit than one had a right to expect. There is enough to amuse and to stimulate detection; and the Introduction by Dorothy Sayers and supplements by critics and solvers give an insight into the writers' thoughts and modes of work." Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor, A Catalogue of Crime

About the Author

“The Detection Club is a private association of writers of detective fiction in Great Britain, existing chiefly for the purpose of eating dinners together at suitable intervals and of talking illimitable shop … Its membership is confined to those who have written genuine detective stories (not adventure tales or ‘thrillers’) and election is secured by a vote of the club on recommendation by two or more members, and involves the undertaking of an oath.” Dorothy L. Sayers

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 991 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TA5O6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,552 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The detection club - an amazingly clever idea 1 Aug. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Back in 1931 thirteen members of the newly formed Detection Club were invited to contribute one chapter each to a book to be called 'The Floating Admiral'. They were also invited to submit, in a sealed envelope, their solution to the crime. These solutions to be published at the end of the story. Before reading the book I thought that perhaps the various chapters would not hang together and that each would seem like a complete story in themselves. How wrong I was, the story hangs together beautifully and was a delight to read. Because various solutions are offered it gives the reader an opportunity to decide for themselves 'who dunnit' and why. Contributors include Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Freeman Wills Croft, and G K Chesterton to name but a few. I will not go into details of the storyline etc. because a previous reviewer has already done this. Suffice it to say this is a jolly good read and one I heartily recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable golden age romp 28 Jun. 2012
By downkiddie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This cracking book is the result of a combined effort from various members of the Detection Club to create a detective story. Right from the golden age of the 1930s, we have famous names like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers alongside those who have slipped into obscurity. Each author wrote their own chapter in this book, taking the story onto the next stage, introducing clues and red herrings, with Anthony Berkeley tying it all up at the end, but with some of the authors also providing their own solutions to the mystery.

The story sees Admiral Penistone (I wonder why he was named after the South Yorkshire town...) found dead in a boat floating in a Dorset river, whilst the peculiar vicar, his niece, various neighbours and distant aquaintances all come into the frame. It's convoluted in the best way of a detective mystery.

The story generally works as a whole, though the writing styles can be markedly different form one chapter to the next. Some are briliant, some drag a little but on the whole the story cracks on.

The best chapters in my opinion belong to Canon Victor L. Whitechurch's opener and Agatha Christie's all too short offering half way through. Agatha Christie's suggested solution at the end is also the most ingenious and entertaining, it's a shame she didn't write the whole book on this basis!

Very enjoyable. The clues can be followed and pieced together in the best tradition, and there are still twists and surprises. An unusual set up, with a few shaky moments but on the whole a success.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Floating Admiral 14 April 2013
By Rich
A nice idea this - a group of detective writers take a chapter each to write one murder mystery. The execution is something else.

The basic problem with this is not so much the different authors or the flat characterisation. It is more that the book is boring. It takes an age to get moving, perhaps the authors of the earlier chapters were reluctant to get too involved in the plot, but this results in a lot of tedious introspection on behalf of Inspector Rudge without moving things on.

More interesting are the appendices which among other things shows each author's own solution of the mystery based on what they had read prior to doing their own chapter. I did smile at one writer's admission that they couldn't work out what was going on. Better, in the end, to look on this as an exercise rather then an entertaining read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Floating Admiral 27 May 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simon Brett has written the foreward for this ingenious novel, as the President of the Detection Club in 2001, when the book was re-printed. The origins of the club are as shrouded in mystery as the members own work, although it was probably founded in 1928. As Brett points out, crime fiction has changed a lot since the days of Golden Age mysteries. A lot of books written in that time were, in a way, puzzles - with clues you could (supposedly) work out, and a great sense of fun. They were an intellectual challenge, in an era that adored parlour games and crossword puzzles.

In 1931, members of the club got together to write a book. The challenge was to write a chapter and send it to the next in line, for them to carry on. The authors were not permitted to 'cheat' and had to provide a solution to the crime, sealed in an envelope - which are all revealed at the end of the book in an Appendix. The plot is fairly typical of the time period - a body found floating in a boat, a confusion of tides, missing relatives, a long ago scandal, dinner parties at the Vicarage and talkative landladies! What makes the book great fun is the impression you get as your read on that each author is attempting to make the next in lines job more difficult! Clues abound, suspects line up and the victory of justice is assured. This is a wonderful book for crime lovers, especially those who enjoy those marvellous Golden Age authors. Also, it is a chance not only to sample well known authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers, but to sample the work of writers who perhaps are not so well read these days and who deserve to be.

The authors, in order are: C.K. Chesterton, Canon Victor L. Whitechurch, G.D.H and M. Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun. Really enjoyed this book
Great fun. Really enjoyed this book. It included detective fiction authors that I have never read before and want to know more about. Good plot.
Published 15 days ago by Ermintrude
5.0 out of 5 stars detective fiction at its best
A collaboration of the best detective fiction writers of all times! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each chapter knowing a different writer had written each one.
Published 2 months ago by S. J. Fesco
3.0 out of 5 stars rather boring. It had the feel of a piece of ...
I've read Agatha Christie for years so was drawn to this book but found it a bit 'patchy'. Some of the author's chapters were engaging but others were, quite honestly, rather... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Miggins
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good story. Very enjoyable
Interesting set-up. Very good story. Very enjoyable book
Published 4 months ago by gustaf
5.0 out of 5 stars floating Admiral the very best
Absolutely the best and why ? How often can one go back to a time when
the English language had subtle meanings ? Poetry all the way. Read more
Published 11 months ago by a voice from yester year
3.0 out of 5 stars The Floating Admiral
Good story, but a bit rushed at the end. Too many facts disclosed in a hurry and a bit confusing.
Published 14 months ago by Avril S
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly boring
I liked the book well enough but it seemed to be much less interesting than any of the Father Brown stories or Agatha Christie's books, let alone Dorothy Sayers whose books are in... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ursula Jerosch Herold
2.0 out of 5 stars Title chosen by my book group
I did not enjoy this at all, I don't think the idea of several different authors writing in this way, worked at all in this context.
Very disappointing.
Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by Verity Ladds
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of book
I found this book most disjointed. The different authors did not seem to meld together very well at all and I got fed up with it before the end.
Published on 4 Jan. 2013 by fotini
5.0 out of 5 stars The Floating Admiral
This was a book I had never heard of ,until I came across it by chance,as it had Agatha Christies name on it I bought it,and I am glad I did,all the stories a well written and... Read more
Published on 1 Nov. 2012 by Mrs W Waugh
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