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The Blotting Book

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
And in a copse close by to where the body of the murdered man was found had been discovered a thick bludgeon of a stick, broken it would seem by some violent act, into two halves. On the top half was rudely cut with a pen-knife M. ASSHE . . . What was puzzling, however, was the apparent motive of robbery about the crime.
Paperback, Gaslight Crime series, 272 pages
Published December 27th 1987 by The Hogarth Press Ltd (first published December 27th 1908)
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Public Domain 2014
30th out of 78 books — 16 voters
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Happy Public Domain Surprises
62nd out of 111 books — 34 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 23, 2016 Lindsey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2013 Epictetus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good novel, literature rather than fiction in that the focus of the work is on the human character and condition rather than on action and story. It has a slightly slow start (nothing like as slow as _Love in a Time of Cholera_, thankfully) but by a third of the way in it was gripping and was a must-read.

It is an older style of writing, and the author makes a compassionate analysis of human weakness, without being mawkish or offering excuses for defective moral behaviour.

A memorable book, and
Katy Noyes
Aug 04, 2015 Katy Noyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only discovered this writer recently, through the BBC's Mapp and Lucia adaptation, and saw this on the library shelf. I like reading early examples of genres, and early courtroom/murder stories appealed.

This really is early, written in 1908, pre-dating Agatha Christie's own first murder mysteries.

Mostly out of the courtroom though, the set-up involves a young man, Morris Assheton, fond of his new fast car and his girl, who finds himself slandered. The Assheton's lawyer discovers it is his own
Mar 26, 2013 Sem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This might have been a mystery in 1908 but as it's obvious from the start which character is an unreliable narrator the book is more convoluted writing style than substance.
Elizabeth F.
Aug 30, 2014 Elizabeth F. rated it it was amazing
Tightly woven, atmospheric and well-paced, The Blotting Book shows that E. F. Benson could turn his hand as easily to crime as to social satire. Yes, the whodunnit angle isn't a complete surprise, but Benson leaves spaces for doubt. Though there are few characters in this novel, each is constructed with a deft touch, as are the plot points. I, at least, felt firmly grounded in the drawing rooms, downs, stationer's shop and courts that form the backdrop of the drama. The edition I read is part of ...more
An extra point for being readable after more than 100 years! Young and impulsive, Morris Assheton is horrified when he learns that his own solicitor has blackened his character to the father of the girl he wants to marry. What Morris doesn't know is that he's the victim of embezzlement at the solicitor's office, and the two partners--including his great, good friend--are desperately trying to stave off an inspection of the books. When Morris appears in the frame for murder, only the fortunate cl ...more
Linda K
Having read another book by this author that was quite funny, I was ready for another of the same, however, this one was quite different.

A set of events concerning an office of solicitors and their client, involving slander and blackmail, evolve into an even greater crime. The story is written to offer several alternatives to the ending, but the end comes at an abrupt finish.

I was taken with the authors' clean use of phrasing and setting up the story both in place and attitude. I definitely wan
Aug 26, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was about Morris Assheton and his solicitor. The solicitor had stollen money from Mr Morris while attending to his estate and it was how he set young Morris up for murder even though he had gotten all his money back. I think this was the best of I have read by this author.
Aug 25, 2011 Betty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
A murder in Britain is solved when the hero discovers that an incriminating letter could not have been written on the dated suspected because the blotting book had been purchased later than the date of the letter.
Aug 04, 2012 Claudia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is not my favorite Benson book by any means. I had to force myself to finish it. It was the most insipid mystery I have ever read and the ending only surprised me by the degree of it's vapidity.
Aug 03, 2013 Samantha rated it liked it
I didn't feel like there was much of a mystery but I did enjoy the writing. I would have liked to know more about the murder though.
Melinda Elizabeth
i couldn't help but imagine this book being set in a "Downton Abbey" type of locale, and I quite enjoyed it for that reason :)
Marina Sofia
Short, eloquent, not so much a whodunnit as a 'will he get away with it'. Old-fashioned, but that is part of its charm.
Wendy Kerrigan
Jun 13, 2013 Wendy Kerrigan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading Benson's books. This was a lovely little mystery with a delightful twist at the end.
Jan 20, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of EF Benson and was so happy to find this for Kindle- it was so good
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