Regular price: £8.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Basket

Summary

A special release of the very first crime novel by John Rhode, introducing Dr Priestley, the genius detective who would go on to appear in more than 70 best-selling crime novels during the golden age.

When Harold Merefield returned home in the early hours of a winter morning from a festive little party at that popular nightclub the Naxos, he was startled by a gruesome discovery. On his bed was a corpse.

There was nothing to show the identity of the dead man or the cause of his death. At the inquest, the jury found a verdict of ‘death from natural causes’ - perhaps they were right, but yet?

Harold determined to investigate the matter for himself and sought the help of Professor Priestley, who, by the simple but unusual method of logical reasoning, succeeded in throwing light upon what proved to be a very curious affair indeed.

This Detective Club classic is introduced by crime writing historian and expert Tony Medawar, who looks at how John Rhode, who also wrote as Miles Burton and as Cecil Waye, became one of the best-selling and most popular British authors of the golden age.

©2018 John Rhode (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"One always embarks on a John Rhode book with a great feeling of security. One knows that there will be a sound plot, a well-knit process of reasoning and a solidly satisfying solution with no loose ends or careless errors of fact." (Dorothy L. Sayers in The Sunday Times)

"He must hold the record for the invention of ingenious ways of taking life." (Sunday Times

"Any murder planned by Mr Rhode is bound to be ingenious." (Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but predictable

I enjoyed the writing and the verbal delivery, but the solution to the mystery was blindingly obvious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dull

Fairly predictable story, which would be okay if anything actually happened in it. Instead it's just a logical problem dealt with from the armchair of Dr Priestly with a bit of befuddled questioning by the main character and Priestly's unbelievably wet daughter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 22-11-18

Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea, But I Enjoyed It

Mostly because I have a soft spot for that between-the-wars world of P. G. Wodehouse, when, before the Internet, life was less instantaneous, gentlemen were still expected to act gently, women were ladies and fictional crime, even when tinged with the lurid, was written of in a hands-off manner that robbed it of most of its voyeuristic thrills. Also, I have absolutely no objection to a mystery in which, before the final summing up, I’m able to figure out some—not all, but some—of the solution.

I bought this one on the strength of a short story by John Rhode in Tony Medawar’s Bodies from the Library, a collection of until-now lost or forgotten mysteries from crime fiction’s Golden Age. And I will continue to use that helpful volume as a Baedeker to the works of the less-remembered lights of that era.

For all that, I do have some reservations. Chiefly, The Paddington Mystery lacks that buoyant sense of humor that sustains the storylines of the better Golden Age works. And I admit that, at times, I did feel the story could have moved a tad more quickly. Finally, through 13 chapters Gordon Griffin sounds as if he has a stuffed-up nose. Then, at chapter 14, he suddenly gets better: crisper, cleaner. It’s not his fault, of course; someone was asleep at the soundboard. In spite of that, he still does a fine job; characters are easily distinguishable, and he understands and can express the shape and cadence of well-wrought English sentences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful