‘My favourite type of mystery, suspenseful, and where everyone is not what they appear . . . Christine is great at creating atmosphere . . . she evokes the magic of the stage, and her characters [have] a past to be uncovered before the mystery is solved.’ [Stage Fright]

- Lizzie Hayes, MYSTERY WOMEN

Crime novels that are worth reading twice

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 in Robert Player | 4 Comments

imagesTo be worth rereading a crime novel has to have a little extra something other than the plot. If the puzzle element is uppermost, then once is enough, unless of course you have managed to forget whodunit.

The plot twist was about all I remembered of The  Ingenious Mr Stone by Robert Player, which I first read a very long time ago, but it turned out to be well worth revisiting. Moira over at brought it to my attention and commented on how few people have read what she felt was a crime classic. I agree.

It is dark, funny, and highly original. A large part of it is narrated by Miss Sophie Coppock, bursar of a dreadful second-rate girls’ school and a wonderfully Pooter-like figure, blissfully unaware of the effect she is having on other people. The novel was published in 1945, but there is something rather contemporary about the way the different viewpoints are handled, and perhaps above in all the character of the person who finally gets to the bottom of mystery, one of the most unlikely sleuths in crime fiction – and one of the least attractive.