The Red House Mystery

From Academic Kids

The Red House Mystery is a mystery novel by A. A. Milne, published in 1921. It was Milne's only mystery novel (he is better known for his children's stories and poems).

The setting is an English country house loaded with guests, including a British major, a wilful actress, and a young jock athlete. Tony Gillingham and his friend Bill are bent on solving a murder there, and progress almost playfully through the novel while the clues mount up the theories abound.

The Red House Mystery was immediately popular; Alexander Woollcott called it "one of the three best mystery stories of all time". Other critics were less kind: Raymond Chandler, in his essay "The Simple Art of Murder", used The Red House Mystery as an example to illustrate the problems he saw in many mystery stories of its type, particularly the central puzzle (which was intricate and clever but not very realistic) and the fact that the amateur detective's chance to shine comes only because the police are incompetent (and surprisingly willing to put up with an amateur romping through their territory).

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