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The Red House Mystery

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  7,007 ratings  ·  905 reviews

Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A Milne's only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. And when the local police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself
Paperback, 211 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Vintage Books (first published 1922)
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KeenReader In the English countryside. Not far from London, because the amateur detective travels there from London and arrives in time for lunch. Apart from…moreIn the English countryside. Not far from London, because the amateur detective travels there from London and arrives in time for lunch. Apart from that it's not clear. The only place names (that I can remember) are The Red House, Woodham and Stanton. There is a place called Stanton in the Cotswolds, which would possibly fit with the detective's train journey.(less)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  7,007 ratings  ·  905 reviews

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Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Even though I was on a very action packed holiday, I still think the length of time it took me to read this novel shows I wasn't totally engaged by it.

I've read the comments on the Reading the Detectives Group & I think their suggestion that this was written as a parody was a good one. I was a bit obtuse on this, as I read it "straight." Reading it with my sense of humour switched off, I found it long winded, far too many characters early on & I
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read and thoroughly enjoyed Peter Swansons Eight Perfect Murders last week and wanted to read those books referenced. So who knew AA Milne wrote anything outside the hundred acre woods? Not me! Having the memory of a goldfish, I had already forgotten the spoilers revealed by Swanson, so despite the very dated style, I found I had to keep reading because I needed to know how the murder was done. Now I know. ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A A Milne wrote a little remembered mystery book before he delved into the 100 Acre Wood and created one of the most beloved classic characters in fiction - Winnie the Pooh. The mystery is set during a country house party, in 1922. Our amateur sleuth arrives to visit a friend, to find someone hammering on the door and a body within. Asked to help, he decides to play Sherlock Holmes, with his friend acting as his Watson. The host has gone missing and his ne'er do well brother, who had just ...more

Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So, after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one.

Milne, famous creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, wrote one detective mystery, seemingly as a gesture for his father (as the dedication shows). Imagine my curiosity! And as it happens, I rather enjoyed it, even though it was a little too tongue-in-cheek for my liking.

Much of the action

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
Dawn Michelle
WHAT a delightful book!! I really, really enjoyed this little mystery by A.A. Milne. I had no idea he had written anything besides Winnie-the-Pooh and was excited when this was picked for our book club!

An interesting mystery, dead bodies, intrigue and quirky characters make for a lovely read and keeps you guessing over and over [though I had most of it figured out by the end - that is the problem when you read a ton of mysteries every year; it didn't take away from the pure joy of reading this]
Lyn Elliott
Who knew A.A. Milne wrote a mystery before he began his poetry and stories for children? Clearly a great many people, because his Red House Mystery has been issued in 142 editions.

Its a delight. Clever, gently satirical, lively and absolutely of its time (1922). So many clues the air is full of red herrings - yes, Im visualising a red house full of flying red fish.
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
Patrick Sherriff
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-and-such
It may be that this story was spoiled for me by Raymond Chandler who in his 1944 essay, The Simple Art of Murder, (my review here: ripped The Red House Mystery to shreds. Still, I found that all Chandler's barbs were on target: Milne had written a mystery in which the only interest was to solve the crime as a logic puzzle, after all, the characters were uninteresting and unsympathetic, the whodunnit puzzle element was all that was left. But here, the ...more
Debbie Zapata
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gutenberg
In my ignorance I never knew that Milne had written anything except the Pooh books. So when I found this title as well as some plays at Gutenberg, I was eager to see what his other work was like. I was not disappointed in this locked room mystery: it was fun to read: the amateur detective Antony Gillingham and his friend Bill Beverley were quite clever and the solution all made sense, even if I could not work it out myself. I never seem to be able to in this type of mystery story, even when I am ...more
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jean Menzies
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a shame there aren't more of these fantastic mysteries.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Wild Card
Shelves: 2018, brit-trip
I've heard this is supposed to be a spoof but I didn't see it. However as a period mystery it was completely charming. It didn't take itself seriously and that made it completely delightful to read.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knew that Mr. Pooh wrote murder mysteries? Not me. It was surprisingly good.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british, fiction
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 ...more
He wanted an audience, even for his vices!

Red House is not so much a murder mystery as a who-dun-it-of-manners. Published in 1922 (before Milnes famous childrens books), it owes as much as a debt to P. G. Wodehouse as Arthur Conan Doyle. Not bad writing, not good either. Milne would eventually find his measure in the hundred-acre wood.

Its very hampering being a detective, when you dont know anything about detecting, and when nobody knows that youre doing detecting, and you cant have people up to
Hákon Gunnarsson
A.A. Milne is best remembered for his Winnie the Pooh, but he wrote a lot of other things, like this mystery. It didnt go out of print for years after it initial publication, and in a way I can see why. It is a fun book.

What it is not though, is a suspenseful novel. It is never much of a mystery who comitted the murder, its just a question of why he did, and that is resolved satisfactorily at the end.

The tone of the book is light. Milne was working for the humor magazine Punch at the time of
Never has there been such an enjoyable mystery-solving duo than Antony and Bill. Just the comic repartee between these two is enough of an incentive to read this classic locked door mystery. They lend a quality of lightheartedness to the story and make it all worth while. The other characters are almost unimportant compared to the pair of friends.

The 1920s country house setting is a classic mystery trope that works well here. Its well described and is easily pictured in the minds of the reader.
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2018
Pleasingly devious...

When Antony Gillingham receives a letter from his old friend, Bill Beverly, saying that Bill is currently visiting at Red House, Antony decides to pop along since hes in the neighbourhood. But he arrives just as a shot has been fired, to find one of the houses resident, Cayley, banging frantically on the locked living-room door. Two men had entered the room the houses owner Mark Ablett, and his brother, Robert, a neer-do-well just returned from Australia. Now Robert lies
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, milne
"It knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, 'There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.'"
The House at Pooh Corner

What a delightful place to find myself - more writings of A.A.Milne. His brilliant insights from the Hundred-Acre-Wood sustained me through some tough times and finding his Grown Up writing feels a bit like landing in a huge feather bed, a soft place to fall in a dysphoric world.

The humor, the humanity, the gentle poking at the remaining pomposity of
Shalini Nemo
Predictable, but fun.
Nola Arganbright
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
Quite a puzzle

The book at times was very discombobulated but I enjoyed its quirky characters and round about way of solving the mystery.
DeAnna Knippling
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An English country-house mystery in the classic mode, a la Agatha Christie.

Nicely done, with decent charactwrs, setting, and plot twist. Not a game-changer, but a good plot twist I hadn't seen before. An enjoyable put-your-feet-up page turner.

Recommended for cozy mystery fans.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, old-fashioned English manorhouse mystery.
Nancy Oakes
Jul 30, 2013 added it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
You know the feeling when you're bored at work and decide that some reading would be nice, but none of the ebooks you've brought with you work on the work computer, so you turn to Gutenberg instead? No? Well, that's what happened to me one rainy December morning. And let me just take this opportunity to gush over Project Gutenberg and their immense library of thousands and thousands of (legally) free ebooks. Awesome finds, though obviously not today's bestsellers, what with the copyright laws. ...more
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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


"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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