Book Title: The Red House Mystery
Author: A.A. Milne
Genres: Mystery, Classics, Crime
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 ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and, together with his friend and loyal ‘Watson’, delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man.
‘The Red House Mystery’ is a lost gem from a time before Tigger and a perfectly crafted whodunit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters.
As soon as I saw that the legendary A. A. Milne had written a mystery novel I knew I needed to read it. I bought it back in January during my birthday book haul but it took me until August to actually get around to it.
Unusually for me I also read the introduction. To hear the author talk in that familiar style about his writing process was fascinating to me. As was his use of the word “watsonize” which may be my favourite thing to come out of reading it.
The story itself was frightfully British and in the ilk of Agatha Christie. There is a grand house and a visitor who sticks his nose in while trying to solve the crime. While this isn’t a ground breaking formula, it is something I can read time and time again without getting bored.
The twists and turns in this mystery really kept me guessing (as proved by my tweets below).
Other reviewers have suggested that the story is a parody. I’m not sure about that but it is true that the book didn’t take itself too seriously.
There is probably an argument that I am one of those book reviewers who give out 5 stars too easily. But this book was just perfect for me so it would be wrong for me to give it any less.