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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Croaking Raven Doth Bellow for Revenge"
With the exception of Gladys Mitchell, Michael Innes is unique in writing a string of masterpieces in rapid succession. This is the second, set at one of England's most Stately Homes, and featuring the memorable onstage murder of no less a person than the Lord Chancellor while acting in Hamlet. Naturally, international implications are rife, andn the P.M. is worried - a...
Published on 27 April 2001 by hacklehorn

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Detached
I am afraid this book and I never achieved the same wavelength. My first Innes and my impression is of an author saying "look how clever I am". The story line is deliberately obscured by numerous Shakespearian references- not just to Hamlet.
And the ending is comletely implausible.

Life's too short for books like this.
Published 7 months ago by Hugh Sedon


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Croaking Raven Doth Bellow for Revenge", 27 April 2001
This review is from: Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) (Paperback)
With the exception of Gladys Mitchell, Michael Innes is unique in writing a string of masterpieces in rapid succession. This is the second, set at one of England's most Stately Homes, and featuring the memorable onstage murder of no less a person than the Lord Chancellor while acting in Hamlet. Naturally, international implications are rife, andn the P.M. is worried - a very young Appleby is sent down. Everything in the book is a sheer joy - a delight, making this a genuinely intelligent novel a book to be read slowly - to be savoured. As is common with Innes, it is much more than mere mathematical ingenuity. Innes was a novelist. The characters are wonderful, and, despite a huge cast (30 odd), memorable and separable. The detection is first-class: indepth, but entertaining, and never dull. The detection culminates in a brilliantly Innesian solution at the end of Part 3 - a dazzling firework display.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 16 Dec 2001
By 
Wyatt James "Grobius" (Brooklyn NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) (Paperback)
Excellent murder story, of the Lord Chancellor no less, set in a huge Blenheim-Palace-like country house during a grand production of Hamlet in the great hall. Giles Gott appears again, as director of the play, and the cast has many upper-upper-crust characters. A spy element, but basically a good mystery. The Hamlet stuff is very good, as is Lady Elizabeth's method of hiding from the killer. The killer is also a fascinating study, and the misdirection by the author that also contains the solution. Gott, of course, comes up with a logically ingenious explanation that turns out to be completely wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamlet, Revenge, 7 Feb 2013
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the second book in the Appleby series. Giles Gott - who featured in the first book in the series as Appleby's Dr Watson - reappears in this one as a guest of the Duke of Horton at Seammum Court. He is directing an amateur performance of Hamlet which includes the Lord Chancellor as Polonius. When the Lord Chancellor is murdered during the play enemy action is suspected and Appleby is sent with all haste to investigate the crime.

With a huge cast of suspects this crime novel threatens to become completely unwieldy but fortunately the author manages to stay just on the right side of the line. This is a complex story with many twists and turns, plenty of clues and an equal number of red herrings. I enjoyed the background of the performance of Hamlet as it was interesting to renew my acquaintance with the play. Appleby as ever is an interesting character who is not afraid to admit when he has made a mistake or jumped to a conclusions.

If you enjoy reading crime novels which require a bit more `input' from the reader - pencil and paper may be necessary to keep track of who was where and when - then this series of well written novels may be for you. They can be read in any order as standalone novels
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Detached, 6 May 2014
This review is from: Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) (Paperback)
I am afraid this book and I never achieved the same wavelength. My first Innes and my impression is of an author saying "look how clever I am". The story line is deliberately obscured by numerous Shakespearian references- not just to Hamlet.
And the ending is comletely implausible.

Life's too short for books like this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Prescribed reading?, 23 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) (Paperback)
Quite apart from the murder mystery aspect, this book provides fascinating insight into Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Perhaps this should be prescribed reading for any student studying Hamlet! It wasn’t one of Michael Innes’s funnier books, but I enjoyed it, even if it was slightly convoluted in its denouement! His writing is always a joy to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic and absorbing mystery, but not for everyone, 31 May 2014
By 
Jon Corelis (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) (Paperback)
Michael Innes's Hamlet, Revenge! is a generally acknowledged mystery classic, but one which I wouldn't recommend to everyone. Beautifully written, with incisively drawn characters and heavy on old-fashioned British class-conscious atmosphere, I found it especially interesting for its combination of standard mystery genres. It's basically a "country house murder" mystery writ large, in this case the country house being a huge ducal estate where a high-level amateur production of Hamlet is being produced, and the guests (and therefore suspects) being the several dozen people involved in the play. It's also an example of the sub-genre of "fake stage murder turns real but who did it?" Finally, it's an example of the type of mystery which involves various elements which can't possibly be related, but turn out to be.

My primary reservation in recommending it is that it assumes a wide and intimate knowledge of Shakespeare, and those who lack it may find many passages difficult to understand. Also, the very large cast of potential suspects are hard to keep track of, though some readers may enjoy the challenge.

If you're a serious student of mystery novels, you really need to read this as a classic of the genre. Otherwise, I hope you can tell from the above description whether it would appeal to you.

I'm arbitrarily attaching this review to the edition of the book which has the most reviews on Amazon. In fact, it's available new and used in many editions, by itself or as part of various collections.
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Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery)
Hamlet, Revenge! (Inspector Appleby Mystery) by Michael Innes (Paperback - 23 Sep 2008)
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