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The Floating Admiral

The Floating Admiral [Kindle Edition]

by Members of the Detection Club , Dorothy L. Sayers
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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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

Product 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 details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 612 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:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,494 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 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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10 of 11 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable golden age romp 28 Jun 2012
By downkiddie TOP 500 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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1 of 1 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 3 months ago by musik liebhaber von toronto
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 6 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 15 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 19 months ago 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 20 months ago 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 22 months ago by Gamer
4.0 out of 5 stars A real curiosity
Not the best crime/detective novel of the 'Golden Age' but a curiosity and collector's piece for those keen on this genre and period. Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by superted2uk
3.0 out of 5 stars A curiosity
Like many, I downloaded this book because it had a chapter in it written by Agatha Christie. As I read I found myself longing for a complete book by her as I found the differently... Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Janet Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime on Kindle
How on earth can a kindle edition of a book (requiring zero print, warehouse and and distrubution cost) be HIGHER than even the Hardback, let alone paperback edition. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2011 by L. Phillips
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