Ask a Policeman: A Mystery by the Detection Club Paperback – 1 Jun 2011
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About the Author
Anthony Berkeley Anthony Berkeley Cox (July 5, 1893-March 9, 1971) published detective fiction under the names Anthony Berkeley and Francis Iles. His most famous detective was Roger Sherringham and his most famous book was The Poisoned Chocolates Case. Milward Kennedy Milward Rodon Kennedy Burge (June 21, 1894-1968) was an English civil servant and journalist. His most famous detective were Sir George Bull and Inspector Cornford. He also wrote under the pseudonym Evelyn Elder. Gladys Mitchell Gladys Mitchell (April 21, 1901-July 27, 1983) was a British educator and writer. Her best known creation was the amateur sleuth, Mrs. Bradley. She also wrote under the names Stephen Hockabie and Malcolm Torrie. Known as the “Great Gladys” she was considered one of the “big three” women writers of detective fiction during the 1930’s. John Rhode John Rhode was the pen name of Cecil John Charles Street (1884-January 1965) was a military officer before turning to writing. His work featured the forensic scientist, Dr. Priestly. Street also wrote under the names Miles Burton and Cecil Waye. Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Leigh Sayers (June 13, 1893-December 17, 1957) was a poet, playwright, essayist and translator in addition to being an author of detective fiction. Her most famous sleuth is Lord Peter Wimsey. She also had a successful career in advertising which served as the background for the mystery Murder Must Advertise. Helen Simpson Helen de Guerry Simpson (December 1, 1897-October 14, 1940) was an Australian born novelist. She wrote both historical fiction and mysteries. The character Sir John Saumarez was featured in three novels that she co-authored with Clemence Dane.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A newspaper magnate is murdered. Because he was constantly attacking Scotland Yard, the Home Secretary decides that the police will be kept out of the case. Amateur detectives will be given the job of solving the crime to avoid any "official blundering." Sir Peter Wimsey is one of the amateurs. I did not recognize the others, but they were all popular in their day.
Having several sleuths go over the sequence of events and the crime scene got a bit tedious for me. I had the feeling that the authors were more interested in showing off their cleverness to each other than in engaging the reader. But the cleverness is undeniable. And the book is well written.
I'm afraid I prefer Victorian and Edwardian wit to the tongue-in-cheek humor of the thirties. But I did appreciate the introduction, which puts the novel in context and gives brief biographies of the authors.
Readers who admire these particular Golden Age writers should find this book fun. I'm glad I read Ask a Policeman, mainly for its historic interest.