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Helen Simpson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition £2.99  
Hardcover £9.09  
Hardcover, 30 Aug 2012 --  
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (30 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007468628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007468621
  • ASIN: B009QVJN9I
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

This new edition, which is reproduced from a first printing of the book, is introduced by the author Martin Edwards, archivist of the Detection Club, and includes a never-before-published Preface by Agatha Christie, 'Detective Writers in England', in which she discusses her fellow writers in the Detection Club.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable golden age romp from the greats 12 Sep 2012
By downkiddie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is another highly enjoyable and attractively produced book from the members of the Detection Club (following on from the recent reissue of The Floating Admiral). This time the format is slightly different with just four writers proposing a solution to the mystery presented by John Rhode, rather than each writing their own chapter of a continuous story. We have the mighty Dorothy L. Sayers here, and my favourite Gladys Mitchell, but in an inspired move each write for another author's detective. The story of a despised media tycoon who controls many newspapers and can influence governments and voting patterns is surprisingly topical today.

Mrs Bradley's caper is written by Helen Simpson, whilst Anthony Berkeley writes for Lord Peter Wimsey. Mitchell and Sayers write for detectives lesser known these days, Sir John Saumarez and Roger Sheringham respectively. It is most interesting to read these, as the spirit and feel of the detectives is captured by these other authors, yet they imbue their own personality and writing style. The Mrs Bradley chapter could be written by the great Gladys, whilst the Mitchell-penned chapter is clearly her work. It's lots of fun to read these mis-matched author-detective associations, as they are interestingly different but never seem jarring or inappropriate.

Agatha Christie has top billing on the dustjacket, which is rather misleading. She did not contribute to the original book, her appearance here is a previously unpublished essay on crime fiction writers. It was written some years after this book and for a different purpose, but is interesting and candid, and something AC completists will want besides the great enjoyment from the rest of this book.

A classic golden age tale, with lots of detail to pour over to piece the mystery together.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Mystery Club! 24 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an avid Agatha Christie fan, I am always looking for one more of her works. The introduction to the book by Agatha herself is worth the price. She is candid in her appraisal of other writers and their books and I found it a great stepping off point for discovering a host of crime writers that I had not read previously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ask a Policeman 14 Oct 2013
Self-satisfied and unashamedly self-serving, Lord Comstock was a newspaper tycoon with enemies pretty much everywhere. He had no scruples when it came to the material published in his newspapers and was always on the look-out for the next person or institution to attack [some things never change, eh?]. There was no great surprise therefore that someone would want to do him in but, when Lord Comstock was found dead in the study of his country retreat, his murder proved a particularly complex matter for the authorities.

Having arrived a week earlier than expected at Hursley Lodge and having that very morning given instructions to his secretary that he wasn't to be disturbed, Lord Comstock's final few hours were in fact intruded upon by numerous visitors. No less than three VIPs - an Archbishop, the government Chief Whip and the Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard - arrived and angrily demanded to speak to Lord Comstock. Any one of them could have murdered him, although their high social status and the potential for national embarrassment make the investigation a delicate business. Wanting the matter brought to a satisfactory conclusion as quietly as possible, the Home Secretary asks four famous detectives - Mrs Adela Bradley, Sir John Saumarez, Lord Peter Wimsey and Mr Roger Sheringham to investigate the murder, the only stipulation being that none of them can seek aid from the police.

First things first, despite her name being featured prominently on the cover, Agatha Christie did not write any or all of Ask a Policeman. She did however provide an interesting preface to the story that discusses her fellow mystery authors.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A present for chistmas 9 Feb 2014
By Bas
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was not quite sure if this worked, different people penning there own part of the story, still not sure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A many-facetted murder mystery. 16 Oct 2013
By isobel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting premise - several crime writers are invited to solve a murder mystery, with the police taking a back seat. Each effort is written in a pastiche of the named writer, some more successfully than others. The final solution is a bit of a cop-out.
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