Monday, September 30, 2013

The Red House Mystery  -  1922
A. A. Milne
216 pages
genre  - Mystery
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

It took me three times to get past the beginning of this book.  It seemed slow and confusing.  But I'm glad I persevered.   It's a great story.

Mr. Antony Gillingham "had come to Waldheim [which is somewhere in England] for a holiday".  Antony was an thirty-year-old attractive man, with "a clean-cut, clean-shaven face", and "a pair of grey eyes which seemed to be absorbing every detail".

When Antony hears that The Red House is only a mile away from his inn, he decides to go visit his good friend Bill Beverley, who he knows is staying at The Red House. 

As Antony approaches the open front door of the house, he sees a man in the hall "banging at a locked door, and shouting 'Open the door, I say; open the door!' "  The man tells Antony that he had heard a loud bang come from inside the study.  When they finally manage to get into the room, they find a man shot between the eyes. 

Later that evening as Antony was pondering the day's disturbing events, "He laughed suddenly, and lit his pipe.  'I was wanting a new profession,' he thought, 'and now I've found it.  Antony Gillingham, our own private sleuthhound.  I shall begin today.' "

Antony recruits his friend Bill to be his 'Watson' and together they solve the mystery.

About the author  - 

Alan Alexander Milne was born in Hampstead, London to parents Vince Milne and Sarah Marie Heginbotham and grew up at Henley House School, a small public school run by his father. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells, who taught there in 1889–90.  Milne attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied on a mathematics scholarship.

While at Cambridge, he edited and wrote for Granta, a student magazine. Milne's work came to the attention of the leading British humor magazine Punch, where he was to become a contributor and later, an assistant editor.

Milne married Dorothy de Sélincourt in 1913, and their only son, Christopher Robin Milne, was born in 1920. In 1925, A. A. Milne bought a country home in Hartfield, East Sussex.  He retired to the farm after a stroke and brain surgery in 1952.  Milne died in January 1956, at the age of 74.

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