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Philip Bennion's Death (Adventure Library) [Paperback]

Richard Marsh

Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Oct 2007 Adventure Library

Old Mr. Otway stays up late one night, conversing with his dear friend and neighbour, Philip Bennion, on De Quincey's notion of "Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." What is his shock, then, when he awakens to find his friend mysteriously dead!

The coroner's inquest ruled Bennion died of natural causes, but Otway is not so sure. If it was murder, the list of suspects is a mile long. There's Raymond Clinton, Bennion's dissolute nephew, who stands to inherit his estate. Then there are Nina Macrae, Bennion's ward, and her fiancé Ralph Hardwicke, whose marriage Bennion opposes. And finally, there is Otway himself. A known somnambulist, could he have killed Otway in his sleep?

A classic murder mystery with twists and turns to keep readers guessing, Philip Bennion's Death (1897) is one of Richard Marsh's most enjoyable (and rarest) novels. Originally published the same year as his masterpiece The Beetle, Philip Bennion's Death ranks among the prolific Marsh's most thrilling stories.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Valancourt Books; 1st Valancourt Books Ed edition (16 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934555304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934555309
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 0.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The fine art of murder? 25 May 2011
By Patto - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One evening Phillip Bennion expounds to his old friend Otway on the peculiar subject of murder as a fine art. The next morning Bennion is found dead on the floor by his desk.

Although the doctors pronounce it a natural death, Otway suspects foul play. Philip Bennion was in the pink of health. Otway mistrusts Bennion's ne'er-do-well nephew, who inherits everything. But Otway is equally suspicious of himself. A chronic somnambulist, he's been known to perform surprisingly complex acts while walking in his sleep. And after all, murder was on his mind.

Otway resolves to probe the mystery, even if it means submitting himself to justice. He's one of those old-school gentlemen who have principles, however inconvenient.

An amiable old bachelor, Otway also tends to be wrong about everything and everyone. Logic leads him astray. Appearances deceive him. Despite his considerable intelligence, his only really useful weapon in a murder investigation is sheer tenacity. Tenacious he is, and the truths he discovers are as startling to the reader as to himself.

Richard Marsh is best known for his supernatural fantasy novel The Beetle, which I haven't read yet. I felt more attracted to this book, as a place to start reading Marsh. A Victorian gentleman quietly investigating crime in his own circle is more my speed. I loved the character of Mr. Otway, who all too modestly considers himself "a broken down old man." The plot was a bit improbable, but I went with it willingly.

Fans of vintage mysteries should definitely enjoy Philip Bennion's Death, which was first published in 1897.

Update: I just read The Beetle, which is terrific, and also A Spoiler of Men - a fin de siècle thriller with drugged zombies! Richard Marsh is interesting me more and more.
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