Monday, 24 November 2014
"[Contains] a number of elements that were to become classic attributes of the twentieth-century detective story:
English country house robbery
An "inside job"
A celebrated, skilled, professional investigator
Bungling local constabulary
Large number of false suspects
The "least likely suspect"
A rudimentary "locked room" mystery
A reconstruction of the crime
A final twist in the plot"
Spark's Notes has a useful plot synopsis
A four star review from Amazon
"All the loose ends are tied up neatly. The good people do well and the bad people get their comeuppence - very Victorian. It is a sweet read to savour. Set aside time to devote to it and it rewards."
& a two star review
"The plot - a beautiful precious stone, shrouded in mystery and believed to be cursed, goes missing at the house of Lady Verinder shortly after it is given to her daughter Rachel as an 18th birthday present - sounds intriguing and certainly sets things up for what should have been a brilliant detective story. But that's where it falls flat. Instead, pages are given over to the minutiae of people's everyday lives, and character assinations that seem to go on forever. The supposedly great Sergeant Cuff (a fictional character, but one of great literary merit) gets pretty much everything wrong and ends up looking like nothing more than an amateur detective. Instead it is left to Franklin Blake, the protagonist of the story, to discover what really happened and in so doing, clear his name. But Blake is not interesting and doesn't draw you in; he is flat and two-dimensional and it's hard to care what happens to a character if you feel no sympathy or connection with them."