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The Long Farewell (Inspector Appleby) Paperback – 23 Sep 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (23 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842327429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842327425
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.2 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A good one: murder faked as suicide, bigamy, Shakespearean manuscript forgery, and a cast of eccentric literary scholars and collectors. Much more accessible in style than many of Innes's books. Victim, himself, is a finely drawn character; one is sorry to see him depart so early in the book. The murderer's motive and behavior, however, is not very plausible.
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Format: Paperback
'Oh, most lame and impotent conclusion!' says the epigraph (from OTHELLO) to the last part of this disappointing story. One wonders if Innes may have meant that at face value: he should have known the thing didn't quite come off. For starters, it's a curiously vague book, as if the author's thoughts were really elsewhere while he was writing it. The usual country-house setting is quite devoid of atmosphere, and the cast of characters is never properly introduced, to the extent that one is not sure how many suspects there actually are, or who they are exactly. While Innes was never particularly strong at - or interested in - visual description, he usually managed to create colourful characters through their speech and various quirks of character. Here, they are an underbaked lot, and even their eccentricities are somehow half-hearted. Not surprisingly, the villain of the piece turns out to be the one character with whom some care has been taken by the author, and that rather clumsily. In another case, a vital character trait leading somebody to commit murder is "deduced" by Appleby on the strength of a single phrase pronounced by the character. The solution to the mystery thus turns improbable and is produced more or less out of the hat, like a conjuror's rabbit. Oh yes, and when a subordinate makes fun of Appleby at the start for poking about in a clear-cut case of suicide, one wants them at least to meet once again before the last page, for Appleby to be vindicated! It's rather annoying when the author does not care enough about his characters. One expects - and usually gets - much more from Innes. Still, I am giving it 3 stars because any Innes book is worth reading at least once; but this one is perhaps for fans only. If you want an introduction to the author, go for HAMLET, REVENGE!, STOP PRESS, LAMENT FOR A MAKER, APPLEBY'S END or THE OPEN HOUSE instead (all recently reprinted, and not a moment too soon).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am completely at a loss here as I've never received this book. I have told you of this but have received no satisfaction. I find it very frustrating that I can't contact anyone by 'phone to discuss this, and indeed I'm not even sure what E-mail address I should correspond with to continue my complaints. T he whole thing has been a shambles
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A splendid book combining humor with good characters
I totally disagree with the reviewer who thought that the author was not
fully engaged in this story!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare, farce, and murder 3 Mar. 2004
By ealovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Sex rarely rears its oh-so-indiscreet head in mysteries starring Sir John Appleby, Michael Innes's donnish detective. When it does, it is usually adorned in the lineaments of farce, as is the case in "The Long Farewell" (1958).
Lewis Packford, the great Shakespearean scholar, has come to marriage late in his bookish career, and it has enchanted him so thoroughly that he goes to the altar twice---without an intervening divorce. When both wives simultaneously descend upon Urchins, his ancestral mansion, he appears to take the easy way out of his bigamous dilemma. He is found in his library (most of Innes's corpses are to be found in libraries) with a bullet through his head, a revolver in his hand, and a suicide note with the ink still wet, by his side.
Most appropriately, the suicide note is a quotation from the Bard--not Othello's "Farewell, farewell...why did I marry," as you might expect. It is rather "Farewell, a long farewell..." from Cardinal Wolsey's soliloquy in Shakespeare's "King Henry the VIII" (Act III, Scene 2).
Packford had been dropping hints about the discovery of a sixteenth-century Italian manuscript, annotated by Shakespeare himself, as the framework for his "Othello," but this priceless object seems to have disappeared from the scholar's library upon his death.
Sir John Appleby finds it difficult to believe that Packford committed suicide (he thinks the suicide note is a bit uninventive for such a brilliant scholar), so he invites himself up to Urchins where he is introduced to the two angry wives, plus a house party of scholars and bibliophiles who were present at the time of death.
Might the missing manuscript be connected with Packford's death? Did one of his wives take it upon herself to murder the bigamous bibliophile? Or did Packford really commit suicide?
Sir John weighs in to another notable mixture of crime and scholarship, English eccentrics and American millionaires, farce, murder, and crumbling gothic masonry. "The Long Farewell" is a delightful mystery and by the time the body count reached three, even I had fingered the correct suspect.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smart and funny, about average Innes 8 Jan. 2014
By Phoebe C. Ellsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Innes is somewhat of an acquired taste -- the language and wit are superb, but if you like great plots, go elsewhere. He is actually one of my favorites. This was fun and interesting -- a great escape for intellectuals. I like other Innes better -- e.g., From London Far, What happened at hazelwood
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Shakespeare scholar 3 July 2006
By ealovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Sex rarely rears its oh-so-indiscreet head in mysteries starring Sir John Appleby, Michael Innes's donnish detective. When it does, it is usually adorned in the lineaments of farce, as is the case in "The Long Farewell" (1958).

Lewis Packford, the great Shakespearean scholar, has come to marriage late in his bookish career, and it has enchanted him so thoroughly that he goes to the altar twice---without an intervening divorce. When both wives simultaneously descend upon Urchins, his ancestral mansion, he appears to take the easy way out of his bigamous dilemma. He is found in his library (most of Innes's corpses are to be found in libraries) with a bullet through his head, a revolver in his hand, and a suicide note with the ink still wet, by his side.

Most appropriately, the suicide note is a quotation from the Bard--not Othello's "Farewell, farewell...why did I marry," as you might expect. It is rather "Farewell, a long farewell..." from Cardinal Wolsey's soliloquy in Shakespeare's "King Henry the VIII" (Act III, Scene 2).

Packford had been dropping hints about the discovery of a sixteenth-century Italian manuscript, annotated by Shakespeare himself, as the framework for his "Othello," but this priceless object seems to have disappeared from the scholar's library upon his death.

Sir John Appleby finds it difficult to believe that Packford committed suicide (he thinks the suicide note is a bit uninventive for such a brilliant scholar), so he invites himself up to Urchins where he is introduced to the two angry wives, plus a house party of scholars and bibliophiles who were present at the time of death.

Might the missing manuscript be connected with Packford's death? Did one of his wives take it upon herself to murder the bigamous bibliophile? Or did Packford really commit suicide?

Sir John weighs in to another notable mixture of crime and scholarship, English eccentrics and American millionaires, farce, murder, and crumbling gothic masonry. "The Long Farewell" is a delightful mystery and by the time the body count reached three, even I had fingered the correct suspect.
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