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The Notting Hill Mystery
 
 

The Notting Hill Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Charles Felix , Charles Adams , Douglas Bates , George du Maurier , Mickey Goese
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £1.80 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Review

"The book is both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it."--Paul Collins, "New York"" Times Book Review"

--Paul Collins "New York Times Book Review "

"The book's premise is irresistible. A woman dies after apparently sleepwalking into her husband's laboratory and drinking from a bottle of acid. An insurance company investigator discovers that the husband had taken out no fewer than five policies on his wife. As in Columbo, we know the identity of the villain, but we must work out how the investigator will prove his case. All the paraphernalia of the 20th century detective novel is anticipated here: maps, marriage certificates, torn bits of letter, witness statements. Told in the form of a report by the investigator, it is as much dossier as novel. As the American academic has written, "the book is both utterly of its time and utterly ahead of it." 5 Star Review --Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph, March 10th 2012

In its new incarnation, The Notting Hill Mystery proves innovative and cheerfully demented, as it is presented in the form of diary entries, family letters, witness interviews, a chemical analysis report and a crime scene map. Its hero is an insurance investigator building a case against a sinister baron, and the case incorporates kidnapping, acid poisoning, three murders, a dodgy mesmerist and of course a rich uncle's will, all embellished with George Du Maurier's illustrations. Charles Warren Adams was a journalist and lawyer who wrote under a pseudonym, and it's good to have him back. --Christopher Fowler, The Independent 25 March 2012

The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Warren Adams was first published in 1865, yet the way it tells its bizarre tale of murder is astonishingly modern. --Daily Telegraph, 22nd April 2012

Product Description

THE NOTTING HILL MYSTERY is currently considered to be the first 'Detective Novel' written in English. Completed in 1863, the author's true identity was long a mystery itself and recently revealed in the New York Times review of Books. Using techniques that were not commonly found for another 50 years, this fine work gives a sense of life in the mid 1800's whilst drawing the reader into this new genre.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1112 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Audiobooks.org; 1 edition (2 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M18O9C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,113 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noun or Verb? 18 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the claim to be the first detective novel. It's a very decent read and there is a well argued introduction to support the claim. Since the main character is an insurance agent rather than a detective, it could be argued that it is the first novel of detection but not a detective novel since it contains no detective but I suppose that depends on whether the word detective is understood as a noun or a verb. The epistolary style might put some people off but I found the letters and documents interesting though it doesn't do too much for characterisation. As for the first detective novel with a detective? I guess that we are back to Wilkie Collins' Sergeant Cuff. Good for anoraks like me rather than a general read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder mystery 27 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good story well told, but lots of typos - whoever proof-read it didn't do a very good job. The format of statements from different witnesses worked well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read 20 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book after a recommendation from The Guardian.
it originally appeared as instalments in a nineteenth century magazine, and the story is a pretty standard "penny dreadful" shocker, but what makes it interesting is the style, as the story is told though letters and reports, in what we would consider to be a very modern way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a curio 4 Jun 2012
By Stephen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I suppose the detective novel had to start somewhere, and this, from 1865, is certainly a candidate. It is surprisingly modern in its format; there is little straightforward narrative, but rather a dossier of evidence. The trouble is that the mystery isn't very mysterious. It becomes clear quite early on what must have happened, and you have to endure some Victorian nonsense about long-lost relations as well as mesmerism.

I felt that the characters were no more than cyphers for the plot, and even the investigator, dogged and thorough as he is, does not really emerge as a defined character.

It's of moderate interest, but I think I will stick to Wilkie Collins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 7 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great
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3.0 out of 5 stars Of interest to history buffs 6 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting but not too enthralling. It's of historical interest but not a cracking good read. If you are looking for something contemporary look elsewhere. Probably of interest to those who are studying English at AS or A level, criminology from a historical viewpoint, or those studying Victorian England.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Nottinghill Mystery 23 April 2014
By Watty
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was a bit disappointed in this book. Written as the report of an insurance inspector, supported by witness statements, newspaper reports, letters and other expert reports, the story of the deaths of two young wives unfolds in a quite intriguing way but with obviously less drama than straight narration. I also found it slightly repetitive at times. It ends with the inspector's report which summarises all the evidence but does not draw a conclusion - this is left for the insurance assessors - and the readers - to arrive at for themselves and I found that rather unsatisfactory (though I did form a conclusion). The Female Detective and Revelations of a Lady Detective, written a little later, are more entertaining and satisfying and I recommend them. Written in the 1980s but set a hundred years earlier, stories by Catherine Shaw also take the form of letters and newspaper reports and these are really excellent stories which I think any fan of detective literature would enjoy - very well plotted, pacey and intriguing.
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
If the compiler has really discovered a new species or description of crime, it is natural that the evidence of it, which is circumstantial, should be somewhat difficult of acceptance. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
&quote;
“The chief element of suspicion, however, was to be found in the very unusual circumstances attendant on the death of Madame R**, especially following so speedily as it did on the assurance for so large an aggregate amount. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
&quote;
most firmly established laws of nature, as it seems almost equally impossible to accept. The one leaves us precisely at the point from which we started; the other involves the imputation of a series of most horrible and complicated crimes. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users

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