Read The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy by James Anderson Free Online
Book Title: The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy|
The author of the book: James Anderson
Edition: Avon Books
Date of issue: 1978
ISBN 13: 9780380019199
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 477 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.2
Read full description of the books:
Oh, boy! This is a good one. Written in 1975 and reprinted by the Poisoned Pen Press, James Anderson's The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy, set in the 1930s, has it all, starting with a classical-era detective who warns everyone at the very start that he's no good at this job and has been promoted above his abilities and that he yearns to be back on the uniformed force. But this modest, self-deprecating sleuth ("I'm not sanguine. Not sanguine at all" - think Peter Falk's Columbo) manages to figure out the most complicated country house murder/espionage case I've ever encountered.
No country house murder is quite right without a map and the book offers one of the second (first if you're English) floor of the house with its many bedrooms, linen closet, baths, and cupboards, along with a picture gallery and a large gun room to hold the earl's firearms collection. You knew there would be an earl. What's a mystery without a little nobility, not to mention a Bertie Wooster sort of fella called Algernon Fotheringay, a gorgeous French countess who drops in unexpectedly, two foreign diplomats who are alarmingly bad at diplomacy, the earl's wife and their jazz baby daughter, her impecunious friend, her uncle (whom the friend has been hopelessly in love with since childhood), a stuffy foreign office type, a dashing sports-car-driving journalist, and a wealthy American couple and their secretary. And of course the butler.
The map is particularly useful because during the night of the murder all the characters except two leave his or her room and visit the bedroom of one or more other characters or the gun room or the downstairs music room. There is a woman's scream, someone is hit on the head, someone goes missing, two characters get into a scuffle, someone is locked in a cupboard, and nobody turns on the lights. Delightful French-farce cum detective story.
I've just scratched the surface here. We have a famous jewel thief who steals the American woman's diamond necklace, two valuable guns are taken, mysterious phone conversations are overheard, the stable clock chimes every 15 minutes, making it easier to keep track of exactly where everyone was at what time. And then there's the problem of the dirt-caked, bloodstained egg cosy. How did it come to be hanging from a branch of lavender in the garden? Who jumped out the window?
This is also a locked room - or locked castle - mystery. The earl has installed a state-of-the-1930s-art burgler alarm which allows the police detective to pinpoint the moment when the murder victim left the house. Or does it? And where is the French countess. This could hardly be more complicated, more difficult to figure out, and more entertaining if Agatha Christie herself had written it with help from John Buchan and Marjorie Allingham. (Did I mention the secret passageway?)
2011 No 10
Coming soon, Stacy Schiff's biography of Cleopatra.
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Read information about the authorJames Anderson was educated at Reading University where he gained a History degree and although born in Swindon, Wiltshire, he lived for most of his life near Cardiff.
He worked as a salesman before becoming a copywriter and then a freelance journalist, contributing to many newspapers, house journals and specialist magazines. He later turned to writing novels, the first of which was 'Assassin' (1969).
As well as his general thrillers, he wrote three books featuring Inspector Wilkins beginning with 'The Affair of the Blood-Stained Egg Cosy' in 1975. The series continued with 'the Affair of the Mutilated Mink Coat' (1981) and ended with 'The Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cuff Links' (2003).
He also wrote three novels based on the television series 'Murder, She Wrote', which were 'the Murder of Sherlock Holmes (1985), Hooray for Homicide' (1985) and 'Lovers and Other Killers' (1986). In total he wrote 14 novels and one play.
He died in 2007.
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