A practical joke that is actually a carefully thought out murder plot? An actress who holds an important clue, but is bundled off before she can betray it? An amateur detective, and his best friend, playing at being Watson and Sherlock Holmes? and a wealthy fraud and his dissolute brother? Yes, all in one book, written in with delightful British humor. This is an interesting little murder mystery, that will have you frantic to get to the last chapter. If you enjoy it, try GA Henty's "Col. Thorndyke's secret" or "the Curse of Carnes Hold"
This is the only mystery written by A.A.Milne (creator of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh). A wonderful "locked room" story.
A mystery by the author of Winne-the-Pooh; how could I resist?
The beginning gave me a bit of disconnectedness because the narration style every now and then was so much different than most of the mysteries. "As this gentleman will be important, let us take a moment as he pauses at the top of the hill to consider him..." The 3rd person narrator every now and then became a real voice. It worked fine in the book (and I think it was only while the characters were being introduced it every happened) but is just so different than other books it made me blink.
I enjoyed the mystery. I liked the characters (Some of them were annoying, but they were annoying in the story not annoying to me as a reader). The sleuth was entertaining--photographic memory and trying out different professions--for this one he was a sleuth. (I don't think there are any others in the series). The ending was nicely pulled together. All the pieces fit, though the sleuth did get one clue (talking to the gardener) that the reader didn't.
Overall, an enjoyable mystery nicely done.
It seems to be (I haven't read it yet) written before its time. It takes place at an English country manor, with a missing person and amateur detectives, sounds like a plot that others had later in in the century. Written in 1922.
Every mystery lover should read this ...