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    Of course it's very hampering being a detective, when you don't know anything about detecting,
    and when nobody knows that you're doing detection, and you can't have people up to
    cross-examine them, and you have neither the energy nor the means to make proper inquiries; and,
    in short, when you're doing the whole thing in a thoroughly amateur, haphazard way.
            -A.A. Milne (The Red House Mystery)

A.A. Milne is, of course, best remembered for his series of Winnie the Pooh tales.  In addition, he wrote for the famous British humor magazine Punch, was a fine playwright and, though he served in WWI, became an outspoken pacifist.  In the midst of all this, he wrote one of the classic English drawing room mysteries--The Red House Mystery.  The book ends on a note which seems to imply that further adventures will follow, but sadly none did.

The Red House is a British manor, home to Mark Ablett, and gathering place for his fun loving friends.  But the bucolic setting is disrupted when Ablett's long lost brother, black sheep of the family, is murdered and Mark goes missing.  Two guests, Antony Gillingham, a sort of Holmsian jack of all trades, and Bill Beverley, a mildly dense Watson-like sidekick, take it upon themselves to solve the crime.  What follows is a reasonably dated but still amusing "intuitive" mystery.  Raymond Chandler apparently went out of his way to attack the story as one of the worst examples of the genre, wholly lacking in genuine criminological methodology and requiring enormous intuitive leaps on the part of the "detectives".  Still, take it for what it is and it offers a pleasant enough reading experience.


Grade: (C+)


See also:

Book-related and General Links:
    -Encyclopaedia Britannica: Your search: "Milne A A "
    -A. A. Milne (1882-1956) (kirjasto)
    -Alan Alexander Milne
    -ESSAY: Who Was A.A. Milne?
    -ESSAY: Cozy Corner: ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR EEYORE: A.A. Milne's Foray into Mystery  (Elizabeth Foxwell, Mystery Pages)
    -British Golden Age: Intuitionist Writers: A.A. Milne
    -ETEXT: The Red House Mystery A.A. Milne (Black Mask Online)
    -PUZZLE: The Red House Mystery Crossword Puzzle
    -Adventures of the REAL Winnie-the-Pooh (New York Public Library)
    -Pooh Corner
    -The Hundred Acre Wood
    -Christopher Robin's Winnie-the-Pooh Character Guide And FAQ
    -Galleon's Lap
    -winnie the pooh
    -Willie & Dyllan's Winnie the Pooh Webrings
    -ESSAY: 'WINNIE ILLE PU' NEARLY XXV YEARS LATER  (Edwin McDowell, NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY: 100 CANDLES FOR MILNE  (Robert E. Hall, NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY: Finding the Corners In Pooh's Real Forest (SUSAN ALLEN TOTH, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of A. A. MILNE: The Man Behind Winnie-the-Pooh By Ann Thwaite (Nina Auerbach, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: Janet Adam Smith: Poohdom, NY Review of Books
       A.A. Milne: The Man Behind Winnie-the-Pooh by Ann Thwaite
    -REVIEW: of INVENTING WONDERLAND: The Lives and Fantasies of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, J. M. Barrie, Kenneth Grahame and A. A. Milne  By Jackie Wullschlager (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: Janet Adam Smith: Unchildish Activities, NY Review of Books
       Don't Tell the Grown-ups: Subversive Children's Literature by Alison Lurie
    -REVIEW: of SECRET GARDENS: The Golden Age of Children's Literature. By Humphrey Carpenter (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of SECRET GARDENS: A Study of the Golden Age of Children's Literature. By Humphrey Carpenter (Jonathen Cott, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: Janet Adam Smith: Big Little Books, NY Review of Books
       Secret Gardens: A Study of the Golden Age of Children's Literature by Humphrey Carpenter
    -REVIEW: of THE OXFORD COMPANION TO CHILDREN'S LITERATURE By Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard (Eudora Welty, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: F. W. Bateson: Let There Be Light, NY Review of Books
       The New Oxford Book of English Light Verse chosen and edited by Kingsley Amis
    -REVIEW: Quentin Bell: Fine Art for Kids, NY Review of Books
       The Work of E.H. Shepard edited by Rawle Knox
       Edward Ardizzone: Artist and Illustrator by Gabriel White
       Nicholas and the Fast Moving Diesel by Edward Ardizzone
       A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and illustrated by Edward Ardizzone
    -ESSAY: CHILDREN'S BOOKS; Has Poetry for Kids Become A Child's Garden of Rubbish?  (Liz Rosenberg, NY Times Book Review)
    -Brief Outline of Classic Mystery Fiction

    -ESSAY:  Peace Is a Bookshelf Away  (PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN, NY Times Book Review)

Other recommended books by A.A. Milne:
    -The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard--Illustrator)
    -The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard--Illustrator)

If you like Pooh, try:
    -The Tao of Pooh  (1982)(Benjamin Hoff)
    -The Pooh Perplex: a Freshman Casebook  (Frederick C. Crews)[out of print, try]