Santosh Iyer's Reviews > The Red House Mystery

The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
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really liked it

The story is set in an English country house called the Red House whose bachelor owner Mark Ablett is entertaining a house party with several guests.
At breakfast, he receives a letter informing him that his wayward brother Robert from Austalia will be visiting his house that very day in the afternoon. Mark informs the other guests of this and sends them off to play golf while he prepares to meet his brother.
Robert arrives in the afternoon and is received by Audrey, the parlour maid and taken to the office room on the ground floor. Unable to locate Mark, Audrey goes out of the house to search for him.
In the meanwhile, a shot is heard from the office room. Matthew Cayley, secretary and cousin of Mark rushes to the office room door and tries to open it but finds it locked. He bangs on the door, but there is no response from inside.
At the same time, Antony Gillingham enters the house. He has come there to visit his friend Bill Beverley, one of the guests.
Gillingham and Cayley go round the house and enter the office room through the French windows. They find Robert lying on the floor, shot dead.
Mark is nowhere to be found. He seems to have disappeared. It is presumed that Mark shot Robert, perhaps accidentally, and then ran away to escape the consequences.
Antony Gillingham is a traveller and adventurer, rich enough to please himself and apply himself to any occupation that interests him. He decides to assume the role of “Sherlock Holmes” and solve the mystery of the murder of Robert and the disappearance of Mark Ablett. His friend Bill assumes the role of “Watson” and together they are able to solve the mystery.
This is a classic Golden Age detective fiction. It is a pleasant and enjoyable read, full of wit and humour. A fun and lighthearted mystery. The plot is clever and intriguing. There are several twists and turns and interest is sustained till the end. The solution is fully satisfying. It is also a fair play mystery. All the clues are there. Not only the whodunit, but also the whydunit and howdunit are mysterious. Also mysterious is the disappearance of Mark, the solution to which comes as a surprise.
Unfortunately, this is the only detective novel written by A. A. Milne. He clearly had the talent to write such novels.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 3, 2015 – Shelved
November 3, 2015 – Finished Reading

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