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Stop Press (Inspector Appleby) [Paperback]

Michael Innes
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 Sep 2008 Inspector Appleby (Book 4)
Famous writer, Richard Eliot, has written numerous detective novels, featuring 'The Spider', a daring, clever criminal in earlier books, and an equally canny private investigator in later ones. But when he comes to life - first to burgle an odd neighbour, then to harass the Eliot family, and finally to attend his own 'birthday party' - Inspector John Appleby is sent to investigate.

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Stop Press (Inspector Appleby) + The Secret Vanguard (Inspector Appleby Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (23 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842327569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842327562
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 15.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born in Edinburgh in 1906, the son of the city's Director of Education, John Innes Mackintosh Stewart wrote a highly successful series of mystery stories under the pseudonym Michael Innes. Innes was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, where he was presented with the Matthew Arnold Memorial Prize and named a Bishop Frazer's scholar. After graduation he went to Vienna, to study Freudian psychoanalysis for a year and following his first book, an edition of Florio's translation of Montaigne, was offered a lectureship at the University of Leeds. In 1932 he married Margaret Hardwick, a doctor, and they subsequently had five children including Angus, also a novelist. The year 1936 saw Innes as Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, during which tenure he wrote his first mystery story, 'Death at the President's Lodging'. With his second, 'Hamlet Revenge', Innes firmly established his reputation as a highly entertaining and cultivated writer. After the end of World War II, Innes returned to the UK and spent two years at Queen's University, Belfast where in 1949 he wrote the 'Journeying Boy', a novel notable for the richly comedic use of an Irish setting. He then settled down as a Reader in English Literature at Christ Church, Oxford, from which he retired in 1973. His most famous character is 'John Appleby', who inspired a penchant for donnish detective fiction that lasts to this day. Innes's other well-known character is 'Honeybath', the painter and rather reluctant detective, who first appeared in 1975 in 'The Mysterious Commission'. The last novel, 'Appleby and the Ospreys', was published in 1986, some eight years before his death in 1994. 'A master - he constructs a plot that twists and turns like an electric eel: it gives you shock upon shock and you cannot let go.' - Times Literary Supplement.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-round masterpiece 28 Aug 2002
"Stop Press" was Innes' fourth mystery novel, and he never again wrote anything like it. I suppose it turned out too highbrow for the usual mystery-reading crowd: too long, too complex, too different. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is looking for a straightforward story with a corpse, an inquiry and a painstaking explanation in the third act. If any deviation from the cozy classic canon is anathema to you, do NOT read this book, and maybe even give Michael Innes a miss altogether. It's highbrow slapstick in a gothic setting: somewhat like an unlikely cross between Wilkie Collins and Evelyn Waugh of the "Vile Bodies" period. There are in fact mysteries here, and plenty of them, but they are mostly so bizarre that your good old body in the library will seem like an everyday occurrence. There is also an investigation by John Appleby, Innes' series character, but it has to be taken on the author's terms, which are a far cry from the Detection Club rules. There is also a solution at the end, so hilarious and far-fetched that it's in perfect accord with everything that preceded it, but will probably seem insulting to a serious-minded mystery reader whose suspicions have been vacillating between the butler and the no-good nephew. In other words, if you are ready to lose all your preconceptions about the genre, then go ahead: this is unlike anything ever written, bizarre, hilarious, deserving of a cult status on a par with, say, Stevenson's "The Wrong Box". If you are looking for the one-thousand-and-first repetition of the formula, save your money for that John Dickson Carr reprint series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stop Press 10 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An author thinks his creation, The Spider, has come to life when things keep happening which bear a strong resemblance to events detailed in the books. Richard Eliot's son, Timmy and one of his tutors pay a visit to the rambling country house in which the author and his relatives live. At nearby Shoon Abbey an eccentric millionaire is also hosting a house-party and Eliot's visitors are invited. Locals also are involved. John Appleby is invited by his sister Patricia, who has a job working for the owner of Shoon.

Will there be a murder? Are all the strange happenings just someone's idea of a practical joke? Can Appleby prevent mayhem or is it too late? I found this an interesting and complex read and I find Michael Innes' books really keep a reader on their toes. There are literary and classical references galore and people speak in erudite and elliptical language. The clues are all there but you really have to keep your wits about you to try and identify who is the guilty party.

If you're willing to work hard at it there is entertainment to be had from this series and they are classics of the crime writer's art. The series can be read in any order and as standalone novels but many will prefer to read them in the order in which they were published - this is the fourth book in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars web of intrigue 7 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Michael Innes has a wonderful command of the English language. Stop Press is a clever and intriguing novel, beautifully constructed. Like his other novels, it has a slightly fantastical element: it is meant to entertain and lift the reader away from everyday life. The English country house setting appears traditional at first, but the convolutions of the plot make it rather unconventional.
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