The Red House Mystery
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The Red House Mystery

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  3,135 ratings  ·  401 reviews
This droll whodunit from the creator of Winnie the Pooh sparkles with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an amusing cast. In between taking tea and playing billiards, an amateur detectiveand his chuminvestigatetheir genial host'sdisappearance. A series of lighthearted capers ensues, replete withsecret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices....more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published November 18th 2010 by Dover Publications (first published 1922)
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Stephanie
Oct 11, 2007 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks Winnie the Pooh was written by a wimp
Shelves: mycuppa
How I love this mystery!

It's terribly, terribly English and Edwardian, a la Agatha Christie's best, and bursting with delicious humor. Goes to show that A.A. Milne wasn't a one-trick pony. Like E.B. White, he could write great stories for adults as well as children.

I don't think the edition pictured includes this wonderful dedication page that appears in mine:

"To John Vine Milne:

My Dear Father,
Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not eno...more
Kim

AA Milne wrote this novel - his only foray into the murder mystery genre - in 1922, during the period he worked as a columnist for Punch magazine and before the Winnie-the-Pooh books were published. It's a pleasant read, with an attractive amateur sleuth hero and an entertaining if slightly dim sidekick. Much more of a why-and-howdunnit than a whodunnit (the culprit is reasonably obvious early on), the charm of the work is more in the witty prose and the clever allusions to Sherlock Holmes and D...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
Long long ago, not so very far away, I read this, completely delighted by the fact that the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh wrote a murder mystery. I loved it then, and so was happy when The Red House Mystery was chosen as a book of the month for the Goodreads English Mysteries Club.

Unfortunately, I didn't love the reread so much.

The writing was fun, with occasional Pooh-ish moments –

"Perhaps it was true that inspectors liked dragging ponds, but the question was, Did Cayleys like having them dragg...more
Tony
The so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" was a largely British phenomenon that took place in the 1920s and 1930s and its masters are among the most well-known names in the mystery genre (Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, etc.). The stories of this time had a number of conventions (which they did not invent, but certainly popularized), and they were so prevalent that several essays were written codifying them. These will be familiar to anyone with a passing familiarity with old...more
Jane
Where I got the book: free public domain download on the Kindle.

A rather coy little country-house murder mystery set just after World War I, and yet the war is never mentioned. Which sets the tone: a little bit of escapist fantasy, Winnie-the-Pooh's creator's try at a genre that took off like a rocket in the between-wars period, providing an intellectual puzzle to distract the reader from the fact that their world was up sh*t creek without a paddle.

And a very self-conscious stab at the genre at...more
Sue
Feb 08, 2012 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: british mystery lovers
A fun, classic mystery read which makes me want to pull out more of those older British mysteries which take place in fine homes in small or large villages where people come for long weekends of golf and croquet. And wonderful meals of course (though some of those breakfast foods do sound a bit off-putting to my ears). And then, naturally there is a murder which must be solved by an amateur sleuth.

This one definitely had me...I didn't guess it, didn't even really want to. Just wanted to enjoy t...more
Jeannette
Oct 11, 2013 Jeannette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeannette by: Kim
Final Rating 3-½ Stars

A fun little mystery with all the expected elements: a locked room murder, secret passage ways, an amateur sleuth, and plenty of skeletons in the closet. I imagine Milne enjoyed writing this for his father.
Jenn Estepp
Did you know that Mr. Winnie-the-Pooh wrote a mystery? I know! Me, neither! But, he wrote it for his dad who was a big mystery reader (insert collective, Aww.) and it is decent country house fare. It reminds me sort of what Allingham was going for with her first, but much better done. And I sort of wish that he had written more because his hero is grade-A likable. As an astute mystery reader aficionado, I sort of had the culprit figured out early on, but it was still fun seeing the how and the w...more
Mark Flowers
Milne's introduction is worth quoting at length, because it's such a hilarious encapsulation of the way publishers think (both in the 20s and now):

"When I told my agent a few years ago that I was going to write a detective story, he recovered as quickly as could be expected, but made it clear to me (as a succession of editors and publishers made it clear, later, to him) that what the country wanted form 'a well-known Punch humorist' was a 'humorous story.' However, I was resolved upon a life of...more
Nancy Oakes
Jul 30, 2013 Nancy Oakes added it
Recommends it for: fans of vintage mysteries
Recommended to Nancy by: goodreads mystery, crime and thriller group read
3.5 stars

My copy of this book is so old it's not even listed here; it's published by Methuen, the 14th edition that I found in a little antique/book store near my house and paid a dollar for. The Red House Mystery is not a bad read -- neither is it, as Milne says in his introduction, "very nearly the ideal detective story." It's a country-house, locked-room sort of story, with lots of red herrings, two amateurs playing at Holmes and Watson and an ending that I sort of guessed but not really. It...more
Mary
Why, yes, this is a murder mystery by the "Pooh-man." Isn't it funny how very many unexpected people have written mysteries or science fiction or other "genre" literature? Anyway, my favorite bit here is that our detective, having 400 a year, decides to see the world. When his father (rather sarcastically in my view) asks him to send a postcard from America, he clarifies: he's going to see the world from London. He takes an unusual job that involves seeing "human nature" (for example, he's a wai...more
Carol
An English-mystery-loving group on Goodreads picked this as their October book to read, so I was happy to give it a go. I had great sentimental hopes for it, as it's written by the author of Winnie the Pooh. Alas, it fell far short of my expectations. The book is a locked-room type mystery, in which a body is discovered in the office of a wealthy country gentleman's house. There are houseguests and neighbors to make things interesting, and the victim is the ne'er-d-owell brother of the house own...more
Meghan
My copy had an introduction by Milne, which I think goes a long way into understanding the philosophy behind the writing. For me, I think in some ways, helps when reading a mystery. For instance, reading Agatha Christie's autobiography, I came to learn why she started and what went into her thinking when plotting out her novels. No longer is it merely trying to guess whodunit, but also trying to catch glimpses of the writer themselves. And in Milne's intro, his goal was to write a mystery using...more
Carlyn
To be honest I picked this up on a clearance shelf just because it was A.A.Milne. It's NOT Winnie the Pooh! But it is a very fun read. The dialogue is quick and witty and required some getting used to just because it is a bit older in it's style (written 1922). But once I found the rhythm I couldn't put it down. It's the basic plot line of murder in a closed room with a limited option of suspects but, the entire mystery is worked out by a constant stream of conversation going through possible sc...more
Rebecca
When Anthony Gillingham, suave and professional jack of all trades, gets off at the wrong train stop, he doesn't expect to discover that a close friend is staying nearby, at the Red House, a lovely country manor. Even more does he not expect, when he goes to call on his friend, to become involved in discovering the murder of Robert Ablett, brother of the Red House's owner. Still, being at loose ends, Anthony takes on the mantle of private investigator, with his friend Bill as his Watson. Their i...more
Nick Jones
My partner bought me this: she saw a 1950 paperback edition in a second hand bookshop in Beverley. (Which happens to be the name of one of the characters in the book, but we didn’t know that at the time.) She hadn’t heard of it and nor had I. She didn’t buy it because I am a fan of English country house murder stories, but because I was brought up on Winnie-the-Pooh. And I don’t like English country house murder stories: a member of the English upper classes is murdered, another member of the es...more
Bev Hankins
Milne, best known for his children's stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood, was a self-proclaimed devotee of the detective novel. He particularly admired the stories that featured an amateur detective up against the amateur villain. No master criminals or investigative experts for him. So, when he decided to try his hand at crime fiction, it was perfectly natural that his mystery would be solved by someone with no detecting background.

The Red House Mystery is, naturally, a coun...more
Fanficfan44
One of my book clubs selected The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne, better known for being the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. This well crafted mystery showed that A.A. Milne was not a one trick pony. This was a traditional British mystery with a full complement of ”upstairs downstairs” characters set on an estate in a locked room. We have the sleuth, Antony Gillingham, and his not so sharp sidekick. There is misdirection in the form of disguise and assumed identity. Very clever mystery with dry hum...more
Steve
Surprised to find Pooh's author when perusing my eBook mystery anthology, I thought I'd indulge my curiosity to see what Milne did in another format entirely. I was treated to a pleasant mystery with well constructed characters and plot. It's set over only a few days, primarily at the manor house of landlord Mark Ablett. Mark's ne'er-do-well brother Robert arrives after fifteen years in Australia. After apparently arguing with Mark, a shot is heard. Mark's cousin Cayley, his assistant of sorts,...more
Poornima
2.5 stars (wish GR let us assign half stars, sigh!!)

This is a simple cosy, closed door murder mystery. And this was my first audio-book too. The story begins with the early murder at the Red House and entry of amateur detective (Gillingham) on the scene. The story progresses effortlessly with Gillingham and Beverly trying to solve the mystery.

It has nice murder setting,our sleuths sleuth away enthusiastically, it is sort of amusing to read/listen to the conversations of the self-assigned Sherlock&...more
Judy Goodnight
I thoroughly enjoyed this one & only mystery written by A.A. Milne who is more widely known for the Winnie the Pooh books.

Imagine an English country house in the 1920's, guests who spend their days enjoying a spot of tennis or golf or croquet, who dress for dinner & cocktails, and a country gentleman host with his cousin to serve as his secretary & general factotum. Introduce a wastrel brother determined to cause trouble. Add a shot heard in the house, a locked room with a dead body...more
Pam
AUTHOR: MILNE, A.A.
TITLE: The Red House Mystery
DATE READ: 10/09/10
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/1922/EP Dutton & Co./239 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: Stand-Alone
TIME/PLACE: 1920's, England
CHARACTERS: Antony Gillingham & Bill Beverly/ young men investigating the crime
FIRST LINES: In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was taking its siesta
COMMENTS: Mark Ablett, a bachelor, has inherited some money & takes a younger cousin in to groom him & ba...more
Ella's Gran
This 90 year old droll locked door mystery written by the creator of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin was a thoroughly enjoyable read that kept my attention to the end. And I never knew that A.A. Milne had ever written anything in this genre, let alone for adults!

Set in Edwardian times, mixed with a little of Christie and Holmes, a measure of humour, several doses of suspense and a couple of twists and turns, the pages were kept turning to the last.

A good mystery read for me is where I thin...more
Julie
A very interesting and easy read. The language and habits of the characters take you back to a truly different world. The plot is a good one and it's a shame that these characters weren't given more of a chance to develop in further books. I never knew that A A Milne wrote in this genre and this proves what a good writer he was, but I constantly got the impression of this being a play rather than a novel in my minds eye. I can visualise the various scenes on a stage perhaps in the style of Jeeve...more
Robert
This is an amusing, some-what genre-mocking little Country House murder-mystery - but still intriguing enough to keep the pages turning. I managed to partially guess what was going on but not enough of it to spoil the story; there's nothing worse than figuring out the mystery ahead of its revelation by the amateur sleuth.

It's interesting to note that this type of story appeared to be something of a cliche to its author all the way back in 1922, hence the slightly mocking tone. How much time was...more
Abigail Hartman
Everyone (who is anyone) knows that Milne wrote the Winnie-the-Pooh books, but his other stories are significantly less well-known. When I heard about "The Red House Mystery" I was eager to read it, and I was happy to find that it lives up to my expectations. His "Winnie-the-Pooh" style peeps through the story at times (lines like "Silly old boy" and "gyrate round the mulberry bush") and the dialogue lends humor to the whodunit it? plot. At the same time, the story stands on its merit as a myste...more
Frances
This was a bit of a curiosity read. I was not particularly impressed with the mystery, nor with the style. The dedication shows that Milne wrote this as a gift for his father who enjoyed mysteries and it is clear that he didn't quite manage to get it right. This is a combination of the country house/locked door/missing body plot and most of it can be guessed quite early on (and I am not the sort of reader who usually figures out the mystery before the denouement). And there isn't a cuddly animal...more
Christina Mitchell
A. A. Milne? Of Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore fame? Yes, it is!

I am very much enjoying these first days of summer. I get to read whatever I choose! I stayed up late last night and woke early this morning to read this little mystery I found in one of my favorite used bookstores in Hillcrest (San Diego, CA). It had been calling to me for weeks; but alas, final term papers required my attention. At the earliest moment of freedom, I snatched it out of my stacks of unread books and plunged in like Pooh b...more
Daniel Hedger
Raymond Chandler, probably my favourite author of all time, famously eviscerated this novel in his The Simple Art of Murder. While all Chandler’s points stand (preposterous set-up, convoluted mystery, lack of understanding about real crime and so on and so on), they didn’t stop me from enjoying the quiet pleasures of a quick page-turner like The Red House Mystery.
The closest comparison is obviously to Agatha Christie, though Milne actually comes off very well against the Great Dame. He certainl...more
Joan
This may or may not have been underwhelming for what has been called one of the best murder mysteries. I really liked it, but you pretty much know who did it right from the very beginning. The whole mystery revolves around finding out HOW it was done. Which is nice, I guess.

The only murder mystery written by the man most famous for his Winnie the Pooh books, it features an amateur detective named Antony who finds the perfect chance to play Sherlock Holmes when he arrives at the Red House and dis...more
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Alan Alexander Milne (pronounced /ˈmɪln/) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.
A. A. Milne was born in Kilburn, London, to parents Vince Milne and Sarah Marie Milne (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, a small public school run by his father. One of his teac...more
More about A.A. Milne...
Winnie-the-Pooh The House at Pooh Corner The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh The World of Winnie-the-Pooh When We Were Very Young

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“Are you prepared to be the complete Watson?" he asked.

"Watson?"

"Do-you-follow-me-Watson; that one. Are you prepared to have quite obvious things explained to you, to ask futile questions, to give me chances of scoring off you, to make brilliant discoveries of your own two or three days after I have made them myself all that kind of thing? Because it all helps."

"My dear Tony," said Bill delightedly, "need you ask?" Antony said nothing, and Bill went on happily to himself, "I perceive from the strawberry-mark on your shirt-front that you had strawberries for dessert. Holmes, you astonish me. Tut, tut, you know my methods. Where is the tobacco? The tobacco is in the Persian slipper. Can I leave my practice for a week? I can.”
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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.” 10 likes
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