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The 31st Of February
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The 31st Of February

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Anderson was a bored, unhappy sales executive longing for something to liven up his monotonous life. But perhaps he wished too hard because not long later he found his wife lying dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs. An accident of course – so why wouldn’t the police believe him?
Paperback, 226 pages
Published January 12th 2008 by House of Stratus (first published 1950)
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Apr 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2010
Anderson's wife fell down the stairs three weeks ago. It wasn't that they were close. In fact, he can't remember now why he ever married her. But for some reason, he's falling apart after her death. Maybe it's because the police have been coming around asking questions. He's been finding strange letters. And his office calendar keeps changing its date. He can't keep his mind on his work at the advertising firm. What really happened to Valerie?

This is perhaps the book that Symons is best known fo
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Symons is a skilled writer who creates a realistic world with an ad agency setting. Into this "real" world come mystery and tension. Strange happenings surround Anderson in the weeks after his wife's supposedly accidental death. Symons does a good job of getting into the head of a man under pressure. It was not quite the book I expected--more of a psychological thriller than a classic mystery. Still, there is a mystery, the author gives the reader clues and the answer to the mystery is revealed ...more
This is a brilliantly written novel of psychological suspense. The reason for the low rating is that I don't care for the genre, and couldn't wait to finish the book so it would be over. Val Anderson is dead. Was it a tragic accident, as the inquest said, or did her husband commit the perfect crime? Or, just possibly, is he being framed by an enemy he doesn't even know he has? Symons follows Anderson through his daily round as an advertising executive, as he slowly falls to pieces.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Mr. Anderson, a man with no first name, finds his wife dead at the end of the stairs that go down to the cellar. Was it an accident? Was it murder? It was the 4th of February. Every day, the calendar on his office desk is changed to show precisely that date. Who is doing it? What is going on?
I can't say anything else.
But there's one line that made me smile, and made me think of a movie... It was: "Well, Mr. Anderson... We meet again."
Robin Winter
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
A mean-spirited book with a sour taste. I admire Julian Symons' writing, his insights into human behavior and character are excellent, but I found his unwillingness to give any grace to his characters in this novel, disappointing. Worse yet, for a mystery, he hid his cards from the reader until his reveal at the end. I felt cheated. He can and has done better than this.
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Julian Gustave Symons is primarily remembered as a master of the art of crime writing. However, in his eighty-two years he produced an enormously varied body of work. Social and military history, biography and criticism were all subjects he touched upon with remarkable success, and he held a distinguished reputation in each field.

His novels were consistently highly individual and expertly crafted,
More about Julian Symons...