Author Anthony Berkeley helped usher in the Golden Era of detective fiction. The Poisoned Chocolates Case
is his 5th novel. It revolves around the exclusive Crimes Circle Club whose six members have an interest in murder, detection and criminal psychology; as an intellectual exercise, they've decided to solve a recent murder that has Scotland Yard stumped. The club members give themselves one week to study the case and come up with their own solutions, which they'll then present at their next meeting.
The crime they are trying to solve begins with a simple box of chocolates which is delivered anonymously to Sir Eustace Pennefeather at his club, the Rainbow. Not wanting them himself, he passes the chocolates onto Graham Bendix, who then gives them to his wife. Neither knows that the chocolates have been poisoned until Mrs. Bendix dies. It seems the intended target was Sir Eustace, but who would want to murder him? That's what the Crimes Circle intends to figure out.
It's a fun premise for a murder mystery. As each club member presents his or her solution, you as the reader learn a little bit more about the murder, but never enough to solve it completely, especially when the other members quickly refute the others' premises. I thought it was an interesting way to tell a story. And I liked Berkeley's style of writing and his sense of humor, like when he writes that candidates for the Crimes Circle Club "must have a brain and be able to use it" or when he writes that Mrs. Bendix "was not so serious-minded as not to have a healthy feminine interest in good chocolates". Is this the best murder mystery ever written? No. But it is a good one, and I enjoyed reading it. (With a box of chocolates nearby!) And because this book is "Older Than My Mom" it fills another Reading Bingo
square which is an added bookish bonus. (Although it could also be in the running for the Ugly Cover square.)
:) Sounds like fun!ReplyDelete
It was...it's not a fast-paced page-turner of a mystery, but it was an enjoyable read all the same.Delete
I thought this one was fun too - and of course I was completely baffled for much of it :)ReplyDelete
Apparently he wrote quite a few more books, but I haven't found any of them yet.
I was baffled, too. For me, the ending was a fun surprise. And I wouldn't mind reading more of his mysteries, but you're right, they are really hard to find.Delete
This sounds like a fun mystery! I fear my knowledge of mystery writers is limited to contemporary authors and Agatha Christie. That's probably something I should work on!ReplyDelete
I wasn't familiar with this author at all until I ran across this book on Goodreads. But I'm glad I did. It was a fun mystery.Delete
I like the sound of this one! The Reading Bingo square "Older Than My Mom" makes me laugh :)ReplyDelete
Reading bingo makes reading more fun. :) Thanks for dropping by!Delete
This sounds really good! Will have to see if I can find it.ReplyDelete
I hope you can; his books don't seem to be too readily available. My library doesn't carry any of them, but maybe yours does. :)Delete