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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute steal
I've just finished the first story in this megapack and I loved it. I'd never heard of Philo Vance until very recently but apparently he was extremely popular in the 1920s and '30s.

Philo Vance is a man of independent means, a lover of fine art and a dandy. He has a brilliant mind, a remarkable memory, is very widely read, speaks numerous languages and is...
Published 9 months ago by Amazonian

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going
A sort of hybrid between Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey and Hercule Poirot, only with an American accent. Sadly his sidekick (shades of Dr Watson) has such a heavy, wordy style that I suspect I'll never make it all the way to the twelfth installment! Suffice it to say that it was only sheer determination to find out 'whodunnit' that got me as far as the end of number...
Published 14 months ago by Jim Clennett


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute steal, 11 July 2014
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Amazonian "Badger" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
I've just finished the first story in this megapack and I loved it. I'd never heard of Philo Vance until very recently but apparently he was extremely popular in the 1920s and '30s.

Philo Vance is a man of independent means, a lover of fine art and a dandy. He has a brilliant mind, a remarkable memory, is very widely read, speaks numerous languages and is something of an expert on psychology. Having spent some years in England he speaks with an affected British upper class accent and has a valet. He now (1920s and 1930s) lives in New York where he seemingly devotes himself to his art collecting.

His involvement in criminal investigations begins with "The Benson Murder Case" in which he is invited by his close friend, the District Attorney, to accompany him to the scene of a murder (Vance had previously expressed an interest in the DA's work). In a nutshell, Vance knows who committed the crime within five minutes of his arrival at the crime scene although, of course, he doesn't share his opinion with the DA (or on what basis he reached his conclusion) until the end of the book. So we are treated to a succession of suspects who are considered and rejected on various grounds with Vance intervening at numerous points either to nudge his friend in the right direction or to prevent him from making a fool of himself by arresting the wrong person. It probably sounds a bit corny but it is actually a decent whodunnit, with the eccentric amateur sleuth adding a touch of mystery and humour to the proceedings. His method, by the way, is psychological; he assesses the nature of the crime and divines who, among the suspects, has the right psychological make up to have committed it. However, he still has to consider such mundane issues as motive, means and opportunity for the sake of his friend, the DA, even though Vance himself has little regard for these factors.

Vance reminds me of Lord Peter Whimsey more than anyone else in the detective genre although he is not so self effacing as Whimsey; indeed he could easily be considered arrogant and condescending. Also the book can be quite heavy going at times because the author uses footnotes to lend authenticity to his account and his amateur detective, being learned and speaking numerous languages, frequently makes reference to historical, mythological and other literary figures (eg. Erasmus, Leander, Don Quixote) as well as liberally sprinkling his conversation with quotes in foreign languages (Latin, French, German), without the translations!

I have to confess that although I loved the book and look forward to reading more of the same, I do need a break from Philo right now and cannot imagine reading the stories one after the other without a break.. However, at 37 pence for 12 full length novels this megapack is an absolute steal. I highly recommend it for all fans of early crime fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, 9 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
Still makes me laugh and holds my interest when re-reading this series after a lapse of over twenty-five years.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 19 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyable read - Philo Vance up there with the best of the fictional detectives - wish there were more stories
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 3 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
This is a very interesting and enjoyable collection of stories and fully deserves the rating given. I would thoroughly recommend it as a good mystery series read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, 10 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
A sort of hybrid between Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey and Hercule Poirot, only with an American accent. Sadly his sidekick (shades of Dr Watson) has such a heavy, wordy style that I suspect I'll never make it all the way to the twelfth installment! Suffice it to say that it was only sheer determination to find out 'whodunnit' that got me as far as the end of number one. If nothing else. it makes you appreciate Conan Doyle all the more...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely., 30 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
I love this old between the wars world of New York detective fiction. SS van Dine conjures a world where Sherlock Holmes style of detecting moves to New York.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 mysteries of crime, 30 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: The Philo Vance Megapack: 12 Classic Mysteries - The Complete Series (Kindle Edition)
This is my first time reading these megpack books, I had my doubts at first but now I find them entertaining and at a brilliant cost, I will recommend this author and will be looking to purchase more ow the same. Thank you.
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