The Notting Hill Mystery: A British Library Crime Classic
Charles Warren Adams
Poisoned Pen, 2015 (1865)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
oisoned Pen Press, in conjunction with British Library Crime Classics, is reprinting mysteries written during the
golden age of crime writing
The Notting Hill Mystery
by Charles Warren Adams is one of these gems. Published in 1865, it is considered by some to be the first ever detective novel!
by Wilkie Collins wasn't published until 1868.
ven today, this one-hundred fifty year-old novel holds up well. A sinister man, Baron R-, is accused of murdering his wife. Insurance investigator Ralph Henderson is slowly building a case against this Baron which includes '
a kidnapping by gypsies, slow poisoners, a diabolic mesmerist, a rich uncle's will and, oh yes, three murders.
he tale is told through '
diary entries, letters, chemical analysis reports, interviews with witnesses and a crime scene map.
' These techniques did not appear in later publications until the 1920s. They worked well then and still do so today.
ncluded in these well-written British Library Crime Classic mysteries are depictions of England and the lovely countryside. They allow me at times to place my open book on my lap, close my eyes and
(a new word coined by a friend) in memories of my trips to Great Britain. A real bonus. Look for more of these stellar publications. They's well-worth a read.
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