Death in the Tunnel: A British Library Crime Classic
Poisoned Pen, 2016 (1936)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ir Wilford Saxonby traveled alone on the 5 o'clock train, in a locked compartment. He made sure that he would be able to have a compartment to himself, tipping the trainman to assure he could have his wish granted. Unfortunately, Sir Saxonby was found dead behind that locked door – shot in the heart. Suicide? Maybe.
inding no reason for suicide, Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard calls in his friend Desmond Merrion, a wealthy amateur expert in criminology. The two men are told of a mysterious red light showing in the two-mile long Blackdown Tunnel. A light that should not have been there. The train slowed at that red beam, but again picked up speed when the light disappeared.
he clever plot of this British novel works with the well-known locked door puzzle. The answer is nothing short of brilliant. As were the men who solved the puzzle. The reader follows along as the Inspector and his friend work out just what did happen. However, for me, the solution was hard won and, disappointingly, my interest began to flag.
eath in the Tunnel
was written in 1936, the
Golden Age of Crime Writing
. Miles Burton was a pen name of Cecil John Street (1884-1965). Another was John Rhode. Street wrote many mysteries that were loved by his fans. Even today, scarce copies of his books are prized by collectors.
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