Scarlett's Reviews > The Red House Mystery

The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2020-monthly-motif-challenge

I read this book as part of the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge:
FEBRUARY - Seeing Red
Read a book with the word ‘red’ in the title OR a book with a red-ish cover. Bonus if it has both.

Definitely checked both boxes on my theme this month!

In addition to this being a theme book for the month, I really wanted to read it before Eight Perfect Murders comes out next month, one of my most anticipated reads of this year. That book is going to focus on some of the best, unsolvable old classic mystery books, and I’d only read one so far. I’ve got to say, if all eight of them are as good as this one, that’s going to be one incredible book. After finishing The Red House Mystery, my level of anticipation has gone up even more for that book.

I LOVED this story. I will say, I wasn’t exactly hooked from the beginning. The mystery seems quite ordinary at first and I wasn’t sure this was going to be that awesome of an twisty ending. But the more and more I got into the mystery the more unsolvable it seemed and I truly could not figure out what had happened. It’s definitely the kind of book you have to pay attention to every detail. Something that seems so ordinary or just like a throwaway background detail actually turns out to have so much importance later in the book. I found myself going back often to reread a previous scene to catch the details I had missed. And then when the ending was revealed...I just kept saying “wow.” I was truly surprised. And what I found especially great about it was that the clues were all there, the mystery was solvable the whole time. Just the way it was written and the truly unpredictable nature of the ending made it to where I couldn’t see it until it was right in front of my face.

Not only was the mystery itself REALLY well-done, I also came to love the characters. Bill especially, he was the perfect mix of likable idiot but without being overdone. And there were some pretty funny moments in the book too that made me laugh. I especially loved them poking fun at typical “detective” books. A couple favorite quotes:
*****
“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.”
*****
“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.”

*****

So who knew that the author of Winnie the Pooh was actually a really great mystery writer too? A.A. Milne was incredibly talented in many genres, and I had no idea. I’m happy I read this book! I can’t wait to continue my journey into old classic mysteries. I hope they’re all as great as this one.
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Quotes Scarlett Liked

A.A. Milne
“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.”
A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery

A.A. Milne
“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.”
A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery


Reading Progress

January 30, 2020 – Shelved
January 30, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
February 6, 2020 – Started Reading
February 7, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-monthly-motif-challenge
February 7, 2020 – Finished Reading

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