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Twelve writers belonging to the Detection Club got together to write a collaborative novel - and The Floating Admiral is the result. A body is found floating in a boat. He is known locally as the Admiral and hasn't lived in the area very long. He lives with his niece with whom he may or may not be in bad terms. Inspector Rudge has his work cut out to find the murderer and at times he despairs of success. Everyone seems to be lying to him and even the physical evidence doesn't seem to add up.

I found this entertaining reading and enjoyed trying to work out what had happened and who was responsible for. Does it work as a who done it? Yes in my opinion and Anthony Berkeley's solution is masterly. Some of the other authors involved also offered possible solutions which some readers may favour.

If you want to try something different in crime fiction then this is worth a try. There is also a modern collaborative novel called The Sinking Admiral written by modern members of the Detection Club which shows that even though crime fiction has a much wider range of sub genres today a collaboration can still work.
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2011
Back in 1931 thirteen members of the newly formed Detection Club were invited to contribute one chapter each to a book to be called 'The Floating Admiral'. They were also invited to submit, in a sealed envelope, their solution to the crime. These solutions to be published at the end of the story. Before reading the book I thought that perhaps the various chapters would not hang together and that each would seem like a complete story in themselves. How wrong I was, the story hangs together beautifully and was a delight to read. Because various solutions are offered it gives the reader an opportunity to decide for themselves 'who dunnit' and why. Contributors include Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Freeman Wills Croft, and G K Chesterton to name but a few. I will not go into details of the storyline etc. because a previous reviewer has already done this. Suffice it to say this is a jolly good read and one I heartily recommend.
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on 28 June 2012
This cracking book is the result of a combined effort from various members of the Detection Club to create a detective story. Right from the golden age of the 1930s, we have famous names like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers alongside those who have slipped into obscurity. Each author wrote their own chapter in this book, taking the story onto the next stage, introducing clues and red herrings, with Anthony Berkeley tying it all up at the end, but with some of the authors also providing their own solutions to the mystery.

The story sees Admiral Penistone (I wonder why he was named after the South Yorkshire town...) found dead in a boat floating in a Dorset river, whilst the peculiar vicar, his niece, various neighbours and distant aquaintances all come into the frame. It's convoluted in the best way of a detective mystery.

The story generally works as a whole, though the writing styles can be markedly different form one chapter to the next. Some are briliant, some drag a little but on the whole the story cracks on.

The best chapters in my opinion belong to Canon Victor L. Whitechurch's opener and Agatha Christie's all too short offering half way through. Agatha Christie's suggested solution at the end is also the most ingenious and entertaining, it's a shame she didn't write the whole book on this basis!

Very enjoyable. The clues can be followed and pieced together in the best tradition, and there are still twists and surprises. An unusual set up, with a few shaky moments but on the whole a success.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 16 July 2017
An interesting concept from the members of the Detection Club, culminating in this novel. I just had to give this a read as some of my favourite authors were involved. As a murder mystery novel, of any strength, I don't think that it works awfully well - not really a well flowing, intriguing read. I really feel that this was, on their part, a piece for their own sheer amusement and pleasure and nothing wrong with that at all. I'm sure that they hugely enjoyed. Read out of sheer curiosity if nothing else.
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on 15 August 2015
Too many fingers in the pie, make this a very disjointed and disappointing novel. Quite frankly, having so many contributors, each with a totally different writing style, just doesn't work. The actual plot is fine and Agatha Christie herself probably would have made a very good novel out of it - with Miss Marple as the investigator. Unfortunately, there were so many red herrings tossed into the mix that I really had to force myself to finish the book. I won't be reading it again and don't recommend it. Another contribution to the charity shop I'm afraid.
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on 16 January 2015
I've read Agatha Christie for years so was drawn to this book but found it a bit 'patchy'. Some of the author's chapters were engaging but others were, quite honestly, rather boring. It had the feel of a piece of homework that each of the authors had been set. Some relished the chance and had obvious talent. However, for me, it contrasted the style and ability of different writers. Perhaps some were simply not 'my cup of tea'. I didn't feel inclined to try another novel from the detective club.
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on 22 April 2017
A must-read for anyone interested in Golden Age crime novels.The cream of the British Detection Club cooperating in a relay novel.
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on 1 November 2012
This was a book I had never heard of ,until I came across it by chance,as it had Agatha Christies name on it I bought it,and I am glad I did,all the stories a well written and keep you interested,most of the authors arent well known,but they should be.highly recommended.....
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on 18 September 2015
This was a group effort by 10 or so members of the Detection Club. Agatha Christie contributed one short chapter and a rather odd proposed solution, based on the first four chapters. It is very light reading. This book is more of a novelty than a real detective story. A better complication project by the Detection Club is "Ask a Policeman", which has an interesting introduction by Christie.
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on 9 March 2017
can say I was taken with the stories much
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