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The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit. In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Ma The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit. In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host's disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder? Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices. Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.


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The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit. In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Ma The creator of such beloved storybook characters for children as Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore, A. A. Milne was also the author of numerous dramas, essays, and novels for adults — among them, this droll and finely crafted whodunit. In it, Milne takes readers to the Red House, a comfortable residence in the placid English countryside that is the bachelor home of Mr. Mark Ablett. While visiting this cozy retreat, amateur detective Anthony Gillingham and his chum, Bill Beverley, investigate their genial host's disappearance and its connection with a mysterious shooting. Was the victim, whose body was found after a heated exchange with the host, shot in an act of self-defense? If so, why did the host flee, and if not, what drove him to murder? Between games of billiards and bowls, the taking of tea, and other genteel pursuits, Gillingham and Beverley explore the possibilities in a light-hearted series of capers involving secret passageways, underwater evidence, and other atmospheric devices. Sparkling with witty dialogue, deft plotting, and an intriguing cast of characters, this rare gem will charm mystery lovers, Anglophiles, and general readers alike.

30 review for The Red House Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    An excellent, locked-room mystery, by the grand pooh bah, A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery is great fun. I already was in on the secret thanks to spoilers in Eight Perfect Murders which I just finished, but I was intrigued by the description and I'm really glad I read it. The main sleuth and his sidekick style themselves, playfully, as a modern Holmes and Watson, modern, as in the 1920s, when this was written. Our hero of the piece, Anthony Gillingham, decides to visit a friend of his, Bill Bev An excellent, locked-room mystery, by the grand pooh bah, A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery is great fun. I already was in on the secret thanks to spoilers in Eight Perfect Murders which I just finished, but I was intrigued by the description and I'm really glad I read it. The main sleuth and his sidekick style themselves, playfully, as a modern Holmes and Watson, modern, as in the 1920s, when this was written. Our hero of the piece, Anthony Gillingham, decides to visit a friend of his, Bill Beverley who is staying at a local house. Gillingham arrives at the Red House just as it's owner's brother has been murdered. Gillingham is asked to stay and give his account to the police and for the inquest, as is Bill. The other guests are shuttled away, back to London. Tony having no knowledge of the victim or the people looks at the mystery of who killed the bother of Mark Ablett and of where Mark is as a puzzle that may be fun to solve and enlists Bill to help. The intrepid two go great guns at the mystery. Tony is very smart and comes up with some scenarios right away. Bill, doing his best impression of Watson, tries humbly to keep up. Sometimes Tony is wrongheaded and unlike Holmes, deprecates himself for it. I liked his modesty, especially.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    How I love this mystery! It's terribly, terribly English and Edwardian, a la Agatha Christie's best, and bursting with delicious humor. Goes to show that A.A. Milne wasn't a one-trick pony. Like E.B. White, he could write great stories for adults as well as children. I don't think the edition pictured includes this wonderful dedication page that appears in mine: "To John Vine Milne: My Dear Father, Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not eno How I love this mystery! It's terribly, terribly English and Edwardian, a la Agatha Christie's best, and bursting with delicious humor. Goes to show that A.A. Milne wasn't a one-trick pony. Like E.B. White, he could write great stories for adults as well as children. I don't think the edition pictured includes this wonderful dedication page that appears in mine: "To John Vine Milne: My Dear Father, Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one. Here it is: with more gratitude and affection than I can well put down here. A.A.M." If you're a really nice person who has a weakness for detective stories, give The Red House Mystery a whirl. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Read in preparation for reading Eight Perfect Murders, otherwise published as Rules for Perfect Murders. Antony Gillingham arrives at a country house, The Red House, just as a murder is committed. He is a man who lives by his wits, taking up whatever occupation appeals to him or offers itself to him at any time, and so he becomes an amateur sleuth for the purposes of finding out whodunnit. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable, locked room murder mystery. It’s full of By Joves! and I say, old chap! and men Read in preparation for reading Eight Perfect Murders, otherwise published as Rules for Perfect Murders. Antony Gillingham arrives at a country house, The Red House, just as a murder is committed. He is a man who lives by his wits, taking up whatever occupation appeals to him or offers itself to him at any time, and so he becomes an amateur sleuth for the purposes of finding out whodunnit. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable, locked room murder mystery. It’s full of By Joves! and I say, old chap! and men walking across the lawn arm in arm. It’s of its time (the early 1920s) and class. The Red House’s servants and local villagers are of the ooh arr variety - simple folks in more than one way! Milne dedicated the book to his father and I felt there were quite a few in jokes for his amusement. There is a lot of humour in it for us as well. Milne clearly had a very dry wit. I guessed some elements of the outcome early on but that just held my interest in trying to work out how we got to Z from A (Gillingham’s analogy is an algebra problem). At the end, Milne out-Christies Christie and Gillingham out-Poirots Poirot with his forensic analysis of how and why the crime was committed. Between 4 and 5 stars for me but because it entertained me so much, I’m giving it 5.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    The Red House Mystery is a whodunit with an interesting plot albeit being lengthy, tedious and at times confusing. At breakfast one day, Mark Ablett, the owner of The Red House, announces the arrival of his black sheep of a brother Robert Ablett from Australia. Robert arrives but soon his body is found in the same room where Mark was heard threatening him. Mark having been disappeared, everyone thinks the worse. Has Mark killed his own brother? If so, was it premeditated, an accident or self-defens The Red House Mystery is a whodunit with an interesting plot albeit being lengthy, tedious and at times confusing. At breakfast one day, Mark Ablett, the owner of The Red House, announces the arrival of his black sheep of a brother Robert Ablett from Australia. Robert arrives but soon his body is found in the same room where Mark was heard threatening him. Mark having been disappeared, everyone thinks the worse. Has Mark killed his own brother? If so, was it premeditated, an accident or self-defense? If Mark is innocent then who is the real perpetrator? Where is Mark?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    I'd call this more of a locked room mystery than an isolated closed circle, but it definitely has some of the same charms as that kind of story and it certainly is a country house mystery. The thing that worked best for me was the writing itself-- the mystery was only OK, but I think that's probably because it was an early version of this kind of twist. Short & sweet, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in classic mystery or the origins of the genre. Sadly, Pooh was not the culprit I'd call this more of a locked room mystery than an isolated closed circle, but it definitely has some of the same charms as that kind of story and it certainly is a country house mystery. The thing that worked best for me was the writing itself-- the mystery was only OK, but I think that's probably because it was an early version of this kind of twist. Short & sweet, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in classic mystery or the origins of the genre. Sadly, Pooh was not the culprit

  6. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I was only vaguely aware of this book when I saw a reference to it as being one of the Eight Perfect Murders earlier this year. Fortunately, by the time I came across it as one of the offerings in Audible's new free library program, I'd forgotten what element of the murder made it so perfect, so that I was left to enjoy The Red House Mystery with no preconceptions. The word "confection" popped into my head when thinking of how to describe it. Also "silly", but in a good way. Nothing to take very I was only vaguely aware of this book when I saw a reference to it as being one of the Eight Perfect Murders earlier this year. Fortunately, by the time I came across it as one of the offerings in Audible's new free library program, I'd forgotten what element of the murder made it so perfect, so that I was left to enjoy The Red House Mystery with no preconceptions. The word "confection" popped into my head when thinking of how to describe it. Also "silly", but in a good way. Nothing to take very seriously, just good fun all around. Although I guessed the "who" fairly early on, the "how" and "why" remained mysteries much longer. I wouldn't say this is of the same caliber as one of Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey golden age novels, but it was a quick read and not a bad bit of fluff.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    Even though I was on a very action packed holiday, I still think the length of time it took me to read this novel shows I wasn't totally engaged by it. I've read the comments on the Reading the Detectives Group https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/... & I think their suggestion that this was written as a parody was a good one. I was a bit obtuse on this, as I read it "straight." Reading it with my sense of humour switched off, I found it long winded, far too many characters early on & I guessed t Even though I was on a very action packed holiday, I still think the length of time it took me to read this novel shows I wasn't totally engaged by it. I've read the comments on the Reading the Detectives Group https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/... & I think their suggestion that this was written as a parody was a good one. I was a bit obtuse on this, as I read it "straight." Reading it with my sense of humour switched off, I found it long winded, far too many characters early on & I guessed the murderer & (view spoiler)[the victim (hide spoiler)] very quickly. What I did like was the relationship between this book's Holmes & Watson. The dialogue between Anthony & Bill was quite wonderful & I certainly wouldn't have minded reading another of their adventures.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I read and thoroughly enjoyed Peter Swanson’s Eight Perfect Murders last week and wanted to read those books referenced. So who knew AA Milne wrote anything outside the hundred acre woods? Not me! Having the memory of a goldfish, I had already forgotten the spoilers revealed by Swanson, so despite the very dated style, I found I had to keep reading because I needed to know how the murder was done. Now I know.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I really liked this book, which is A.A. Milne's only mystery novel. Written in 1922, it reads like a cross between Wodehouse and Christie, which is probably the highest compliment I can give. It's a locked room mystery that features a self-aware amateur sleuth who just happens to arrive at the scene of the crime - the Red House - as he stops in to see a friend. Even though there's really only one suspect, the fun of the book is figuring out what actually happened. I read this because it's listed I really liked this book, which is A.A. Milne's only mystery novel. Written in 1922, it reads like a cross between Wodehouse and Christie, which is probably the highest compliment I can give. It's a locked room mystery that features a self-aware amateur sleuth who just happens to arrive at the scene of the crime - the Red House - as he stops in to see a friend. Even though there's really only one suspect, the fun of the book is figuring out what actually happened. I read this because it's listed in Eight Perfect Murders, but I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys golden age mystery or just wants an escapist read. It has secret passageways, midnight stakeouts, and ghost sightings, and it gently skewers Sherlock Holmes while including a Watson to aid in the investigation. The writing is sharp and funny, and it made me laugh. Very fun. Other thoughts: (view spoiler)[ - Somewhat unbelievable that no one realized Robert's body was actually Mark's body, but I forgive the book. I will accept it. But don't they always check dental records? I guess everyone is like "oh they don't have dentists in AUSTRALIA, the place where you go to hide out a scandal." - I loved the dialogue between the servants in the first part of the book and was sad that it didn't continue throughout. - I was on the edge of my seat any time Antony and Bill tried to follow or outfox Cayley. I love that Antony makes Bill dive the lake. Sucks to be Watson! Bill: "I don't know if this had occurred to you, but every bit of water looks like the next bit." LOL - I had trouble with the whole romance plot so I just ignored it. I think there was enough motive for Cayley without the engagement. I mean, what was going to happen? Miss Norbury was going to finally give in? - I love all the 1922 detail. "Don't bother to dress for dinner, of course." Oh, of course not! There's been a murder, so I can forego my collar. Honestly, the most relatable thing about Mark is that he has upstairs clothes and downstairs clothes. (hide spoiler)]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    A A Milne wrote a little remembered mystery book before he delved into the 100 Acre Wood and created one of the most beloved classic characters in fiction - Winnie the Pooh. The mystery is set during a country house party, in 1922. Our amateur sleuth arrives to visit a friend, to find someone hammering on the door and a body within. Asked to help, he decides to play Sherlock Holmes, with his friend acting as his Watson. The host has gone missing and his ne'er do well brother, who had just return A A Milne wrote a little remembered mystery book before he delved into the 100 Acre Wood and created one of the most beloved classic characters in fiction - Winnie the Pooh. The mystery is set during a country house party, in 1922. Our amateur sleuth arrives to visit a friend, to find someone hammering on the door and a body within. Asked to help, he decides to play Sherlock Holmes, with his friend acting as his Watson. The host has gone missing and his ne'er do well brother, who had just returned from Australia, is lying dead. This is a charming book, much better than I thought it would be. My only complaint is that I worked out who the murderer was fairly quickly. The whole book is a little tongue in cheek, almost as though Milne were merely trying out the genre as a writing exercise. However, saying that, it is a very enjoyable read and comparable with other mystery books written at the time. Had Milne decided to carry the books into a series, I think he could have been very successful. However, he obviously went on to other things, so it is lucky that we do have this book to sample what he could produce as a crime writer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    3.5* “Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So, after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one.” Milne, famous creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, wrote one detective mystery, seemingly as a gesture for his father (as the dedication shows). Imagine my curiosity! And as it happens, I rather enjoyed it, even though it was a little too tongue-in-cheek for my liking. Much of the ‘action’ con 3.5* “Like all really nice people, you have a weakness for detective stories, and feel that there are not enough of them. So, after all that you have done for me, the least that I can do for you is to write you one.” Milne, famous creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, wrote one detective mystery, seemingly as a gesture for his father (as the dedication shows). Imagine my curiosity! And as it happens, I rather enjoyed it, even though it was a little too tongue-in-cheek for my liking. Much of the ‘action’ consists in Anthony Gillingham, our would be investigator, taking on the mantel of Sherlock Holmes, finding himself someone to play the role of Watson, and thus attired, making the use of his grey cells to come up with various theories. The setting is pure classic murder mystery - a house with secret passages, a library, a lake, etc. The characters peopling this space did feel stereotyped but then they were not the focus of the novel. No, Milne concentrated on the conundrum, toying with the reader and the poor ‘Watson’. From what I’ve gathered, the contemporary public enjoyed it and wanted more, but our author was attracted by very different pastures. Mind you, there is a parallel between mysteries and children stories - they both end with the order re-established and thus offer a very similar kind of ‘comforting feeling’. I guess that is one of the reasons mysteries are so popular :O)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    AA Milne wrote this novel - his only foray into the murder mystery genre - in 1922, during the period he worked as a columnist for Punch magazine and before the Winnie-the-Pooh books were published. It's a pleasant read, with an attractive amateur sleuth hero and an entertaining if slightly dim sidekick. Much more of a why-and-howdunnit than a whodunnit (the culprit is reasonably obvious early on), the charm of the work is more in the witty prose and the clever allusions to Sherlock Holmes and D AA Milne wrote this novel - his only foray into the murder mystery genre - in 1922, during the period he worked as a columnist for Punch magazine and before the Winnie-the-Pooh books were published. It's a pleasant read, with an attractive amateur sleuth hero and an entertaining if slightly dim sidekick. Much more of a why-and-howdunnit than a whodunnit (the culprit is reasonably obvious early on), the charm of the work is more in the witty prose and the clever allusions to Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson than in the mystery itself. Had it not been for the way in which the mystery is resolved, I would have been tempted to give this an extra 1/2 star. However, I have a (probably quite unreasonable) aversion to the lengthy-and-discursive-confession-by-the-culprit device. When I come across it - in this case it takes the form of a letter written by the culprit to the sleuth - it makes me a bit crazy. I'm not sure that the adventures of Anthony (amateur sleuth) and Bill (sidekick) could have been spun into a series. In reality, probably not. Still, I'm glad that Milne had a go at the genre and I'm glad I read his effort. This was a quick and easy read and fun to share with my friend Jemidar and others in the English Mysteries Club.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    WHAT a delightful book!! I really, really enjoyed this little mystery by A.A. Milne. I had no idea he had written anything besides Winnie-the-Pooh and was excited when this was picked for our book club! An interesting mystery, dead bodies, intrigue and quirky characters make for a lovely read and keeps you guessing over and over [though I had most of it figured out by the end - that is the problem when you read a ton of mysteries every year; it didn't take away from the pure joy of reading this] WHAT a delightful book!! I really, really enjoyed this little mystery by A.A. Milne. I had no idea he had written anything besides Winnie-the-Pooh and was excited when this was picked for our book club! An interesting mystery, dead bodies, intrigue and quirky characters make for a lovely read and keeps you guessing over and over [though I had most of it figured out by the end - that is the problem when you read a ton of mysteries every year; it didn't take away from the pure joy of reading this] until the end. So glad that I got to read this and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    Who knew A.A. Milne wrote a mystery before he began his poetry and stories for children? Clearly a great many people, because his Red House Mystery has been issued in 142 editions. It’s a delight. Clever, gently satirical, lively and absolutely of its time (1922). So many clues the air is full of red herrings - yes, I’m visualising a red house full of flying red fish.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cphe

    Very British locked room mystery that is solved by an amateur sleuth. No real surprises involved. Very early on the identity of the culprit is known, it's the "how" that is convoluted. Very British locked room mystery that is solved by an amateur sleuth. No real surprises involved. Very early on the identity of the culprit is known, it's the "how" that is convoluted.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Coni (coni_reads or skingproject)

    I had no idea that the author of Winnie the Pooh also wrote a mystery novel. I really had a lot of fun reading this one. It was a parody of English mysteries and I found it rather amusing. The main character of Anthony Gillingham is a young man with the means to pick up random jobs here and there, just to see what they are like. He is in between one of his odd jobs, when he stumbles into a murder scene while coming to visit his friend Bill at The Red House. He startles one of the house's resident I had no idea that the author of Winnie the Pooh also wrote a mystery novel. I really had a lot of fun reading this one. It was a parody of English mysteries and I found it rather amusing. The main character of Anthony Gillingham is a young man with the means to pick up random jobs here and there, just to see what they are like. He is in between one of his odd jobs, when he stumbles into a murder scene while coming to visit his friend Bill at The Red House. He startles one of the house's residents who has heard a gunshot and is trying to get inside a locked room to find out what happened. After finding out it is a murder, Anthony decides he wants to act like Sherlock Holmes and make Bill his Watson. These two go out investigating the murder while not letting the police investigators or anyone else in the house know what they were up to. It was fun to read about them coming up with theories and also trying to follow up on their theories while sneaking around, especially when they had an idea who they thought might be the murderer. I really wanted to read more about Anthony and Bill going on to solve other crimes, but sadly this seems to be the only mystery that Milne wrote. I read this book as part of my project to read all the books referenced in Eight Perfect Murders. This book also fulfills the Building Blocks challenge in A Book for All Seasons group where we were asked to locate and review a book titled or primarily about some form of structure in which people can enter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    It may be that this story was spoiled for me by Raymond Chandler who in his 1944 essay, The Simple Art of Murder, (my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) ripped The Red House Mystery to shreds. Still, I found that all Chandler's barbs were on target: Milne had written a mystery in which the only interest was to solve the crime as a logic puzzle, after all, the characters were uninteresting and unsympathetic, the whodunnit puzzle element was all that was left. But here, the pro It may be that this story was spoiled for me by Raymond Chandler who in his 1944 essay, The Simple Art of Murder, (my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) ripped The Red House Mystery to shreds. Still, I found that all Chandler's barbs were on target: Milne had written a mystery in which the only interest was to solve the crime as a logic puzzle, after all, the characters were uninteresting and unsympathetic, the whodunnit puzzle element was all that was left. But here, the problem was that logically speaking, the crime was nonsensical and would have been solved in an instant if the police had followed normal police procedures. Winnie the Pooh was sublime. This was just silly. Download my starter library for free here - http://eepurl.com/bFkt0X - and receive my monthly newsletter with book recommendations galore for the Japanophile, crime-fiction-lover in all of us.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    In my ignorance I never knew that Milne had written anything except the Pooh books. So when I found this title as well as some plays at Gutenberg, I was eager to see what his other work was like. I was not disappointed in this locked room mystery: it was fun to read: the amateur detective Antony Gillingham and his friend Bill Beverley were quite clever and the solution all made sense, even if I could not work it out myself. I never seem to be able to in this type of mystery story, even when I am In my ignorance I never knew that Milne had written anything except the Pooh books. So when I found this title as well as some plays at Gutenberg, I was eager to see what his other work was like. I was not disappointed in this locked room mystery: it was fun to read: the amateur detective Antony Gillingham and his friend Bill Beverley were quite clever and the solution all made sense, even if I could not work it out myself. I never seem to be able to in this type of mystery story, even when I am getting the exact same clues....that is why I would be Bill and not Antony, I suppose. Besides, here is what Bill says at one point in the story: "I say, what fun! I love secret passages. Good Lord, and this afternoon I was playing golf just like an ordinary merchant! What a life! Secret passages!" Yep, I definitely want to be Bill when I grow up.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    The so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" was a largely British phenomenon that took place in the 1920s and 1930s and its masters are among the most well-known names in the mystery genre (Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, etc.). The stories of this time had a number of conventions (which they did not invent, but certainly popularized), and they were so prevalent that several essays were written codifying them. These will be familiar to anyone with a passing familiarity with old The so-called "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" was a largely British phenomenon that took place in the 1920s and 1930s and its masters are among the most well-known names in the mystery genre (Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, etc.). The stories of this time had a number of conventions (which they did not invent, but certainly popularized), and they were so prevalent that several essays were written codifying them. These will be familiar to anyone with a passing familiarity with older mysteries: the amateur detective, the country house, a murder, a cast of suspects staying at the house, all clues revealed to the reader and sleuth at the same time, hints of romance, etc. Apparently, the man who later gave the world "Winnie the Pooh" was interested enough in the detective genre that he decided to have a stab at it himself. The resulting book, which, while anemically titled, has to be considered a very entertaining example of the "Golden Age" novel. The protagonist is Andrew Gillingham, a young man receiving a fine inheritance who, rather than gadding about (a la Bertie Wooster), finds it interesting to try out different professions for a year or so. One day, while out in the country, he realizes that a good friend is a guest a nearby manor house. He heads out for a brisk walk to pay a surprise call on his friend, only to stumble into the immediate aftermath of a murder (in the office, with a revolver). It doesn't take long for him to realize that instead of being a supporting player in the police investigation, he can, instead, try out a new profession -- that of detective. And so the game is afoot, as the sharp young man uses his powers of logic and deduction to try and reason out the murder (with the typically plodding help of his sidekick friend). If you've read many of these kinds of stories, you'll probably be able to figure it out reasonably easily (although I didn't), but the real charm of the book is in the light, witty prose, which carries the reader along effortlessly. It's a style likely to appeal to fans of P.G. Wodehouse, though obviously not as farcical as that. It's well worth reading if you've got a taste for the world of Britain between the wars. Had Milne not made his fortune with Pooh Bear, this book demonstrates that he certainly could have done well as a mystery writer and he did write several other mystery plays and stories, just not novels. The real mystery is why this particular novel has never been made into a film!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Where I got the book: free public domain download on the Kindle. A rather coy little country-house murder mystery set just after World War I, and yet the war is never mentioned. Which sets the tone: a little bit of escapist fantasy, Winnie-the-Pooh's creator's try at a genre that took off like a rocket in the between-wars period, providing an intellectual puzzle to distract the reader from the fact that their world was up sh*t creek without a paddle. And a very self-conscious stab at the genre at Where I got the book: free public domain download on the Kindle. A rather coy little country-house murder mystery set just after World War I, and yet the war is never mentioned. Which sets the tone: a little bit of escapist fantasy, Winnie-the-Pooh's creator's try at a genre that took off like a rocket in the between-wars period, providing an intellectual puzzle to distract the reader from the fact that their world was up sh*t creek without a paddle. And a very self-conscious stab at the genre at that: Antony, the detective, makes it clear that we're moving around inside a novel with pronouncements such as "I oughtn't to explain till the last chapter." He sees himself as Holmes and his pal Bill as Watson; hilariously the two are always walking around arm-in-arm, which makes the modern reader put an unintended slant on their relationship. Those were simpler times. I found the story quite entertaining but ground my teeth when Milne fell back on the murderer's confession in the form of a letter. That. Is. Cheating. No wonder Antony found the exercise so delightfully easy. He didn't actually do the work. And there were other ways in which Milne made things too easy, such as eliminating most of the possible suspects (including all the women, so that there wouldn't be any love interest) by sending them away early in the story. I don't suppose I'm the only reader who figured out whodunnit very early on. But still, it's worth reading as a fun snapshot of a time and a genre. The novel was a success and Milne's agent wanted him to write more but he refused, preferring to exploit his only child write the famous Pooh novels. Perhaps even a mystery novel came too close to real life for a man who'd had a "debilitating illness" during the War, for which I read shell shock or what would now be called PTSD. I'm sure it's way more complicated than that, but writers lay themselves open to analysis by amateurs and I stand on my rights.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Long long ago, not so very far away, I read this, completely delighted by the fact that the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh wrote a murder mystery. I loved it then, and so was happy when The Red House Mystery was chosen as a book of the month for the Goodreads English Mysteries Club. Unfortunately, I didn't love the reread so much. The writing was fun, with occasional Pooh-ish moments – "Perhaps it was true that inspectors liked dragging ponds, but the question was, Did Cayleys like having them dr Long long ago, not so very far away, I read this, completely delighted by the fact that the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh wrote a murder mystery. I loved it then, and so was happy when The Red House Mystery was chosen as a book of the month for the Goodreads English Mysteries Club. Unfortunately, I didn't love the reread so much. The writing was fun, with occasional Pooh-ish moments – "Perhaps it was true that inspectors liked dragging ponds, but the question was, Did Cayleys like having them dragged?" - But there were a great many moments that stopped me cold, thinking Sorry, what was that now? The latitude the amateur detective is given is a figment of the mystery writer's imagination; the ineptitude of the constabulary in their failure to make certain surely routine checks and confirmations was absurd; parts of the mystery itself were more than a little silly. But still. As a light and undemanding read it was enjoyable. In fact, it rather has to be read as undemanding, the sort of thing you just settle in with a cup of tea and enjoy without questioning. If you think about it too much it all falls apart.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jean Menzies

    Such a shame there aren't more of these fantastic mysteries. Such a shame there aren't more of these fantastic mysteries.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hákon Gunnarsson

    A.A. Milne is best remembered for his Winnie the Pooh, but he wrote a lot of other things, like this mystery. It didn’t go out of print for years after it initial publication, and in a way I can see why. It is a fun book. What it is not though, is a suspenseful novel. It is never much of a mystery who comitted the murder, it’s just a question of why he did, and that is resolved satisfactorily at the end. The tone of the book is light. Milne was working for the humor magazine Punch at the time of A.A. Milne is best remembered for his Winnie the Pooh, but he wrote a lot of other things, like this mystery. It didn’t go out of print for years after it initial publication, and in a way I can see why. It is a fun book. What it is not though, is a suspenseful novel. It is never much of a mystery who comitted the murder, it’s just a question of why he did, and that is resolved satisfactorily at the end. The tone of the book is light. Milne was working for the humor magazine Punch at the time of writing this book, and it shows. It is in many ways closer to Wodehouse, than Christie, even though it is a mystery. So I enjoyed the read. I wouldn’t put this among the best of the genre, but I enjoyed it just the same. The reader did a good job, except for one thing. You kind of get the feeling that the main characters are teenagers, but they are not.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Who knew that Mr. Pooh wrote murder mysteries? Not me. It was surprisingly good.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shalini Nemo

    Predictable, but fun.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I've heard this is supposed to be a spoof but I didn't see it. However as a period mystery it was completely charming. It didn't take itself seriously and that made it completely delightful to read. I've heard this is supposed to be a spoof but I didn't see it. However as a period mystery it was completely charming. It didn't take itself seriously and that made it completely delightful to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    Who would imagine, that one who wrote Winnie Pooh books, could write such a splendid mystery. Frankly , you get the idea of the killer far early , but it is the plot that keeps you scratching your head. Not to be missed by mystery readers. I want to so much add some details of the plot in the review, but it would just kill the joy of reading a very good mystery. Read this as a part of reading for Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson So, that's it. Just read it to enjoy it. Who would imagine, that one who wrote Winnie Pooh books, could write such a splendid mystery. Frankly , you get the idea of the killer far early , but it is the plot that keeps you scratching your head. Not to be missed by mystery readers. I want to so much add some details of the plot in the review, but it would just kill the joy of reading a very good mystery. Read this as a part of reading for Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson So, that's it. Just read it to enjoy it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    dianne

    "It knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, 'There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.'" The House at Pooh Corner What a delightful place to find myself - more writings of A.A.Milne. His brilliant insights from the Hundred-Acre-Wood sustained me through some tough times and finding his Grown Up writing feels a bit like landing in a huge feather bed, a soft place to fall in a dysphoric world. The humor, the humanity, the gentle poking at the remaining pomposity of All-Hail-Britanni "It knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, 'There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.'" The House at Pooh Corner What a delightful place to find myself - more writings of A.A.Milne. His brilliant insights from the Hundred-Acre-Wood sustained me through some tough times and finding his Grown Up writing feels a bit like landing in a huge feather bed, a soft place to fall in a dysphoric world. The humor, the humanity, the gentle poking at the remaining pomposity of All-Hail-Britannia! are all there to be found in this nearly flawless, bite sized mystery. The peripatetic, independent, jack-of-all-trades amateur Sherlock (Antony) and his puppy-dog like buddy (guest at the manor house, site of the murder) Watson (Bill) complete a lovely pas de deux; the latter only realizing at the end, for instance, that every time Antony asks for a light he pockets the box of matches. But the obvious Milne, writing of the type that can be seen later in the characters in the Wood, is what i love best. Here are two bits. From the Introduction: ”It is, to me a distressing thought that in nine-tenths of the detective stories of the world murderers are continually effecting egresses when they might just as easily go out.” Later (in the thick of it) Antony and Bill are sitting alone in a park. Antony is talking: “‘...He’s bound to be suspicious of everybody in the house, and more particularly of us, because we’re presumably more intelligent than the others.’ He stopped for a moment to light his pipe, and Bill took the opportunity of looking more intelligent than Mrs. Stevens.” 1922, the year this book was written (before Winnie-the-Pooh) George V is King. The War To End All Wars has ended and no one can imagine that the adorable Edward (VIII, to be) would ever do such a thing!! For a moment, just, times were...quiet. Women have the vote in the USA and my mother is born. What could go wrong? Recommended for when a 1922 evening is needed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    Of COURSE A. A. Milne is best known for his Winnie-the-Pooh tales and other books for children, which is why this book was a surprise find for me; fortunately, it was also a true delight. I am a huge fan of the classic English country house mystery, and this book contains all of the usual elements: a murder, a locked room, a person gone missing, house guests, a gentleman on holiday who happens upon it all and becomes the story's amateur sleuth, and in the midst of all this—dressing for dinner. Th Of COURSE A. A. Milne is best known for his Winnie-the-Pooh tales and other books for children, which is why this book was a surprise find for me; fortunately, it was also a true delight. I am a huge fan of the classic English country house mystery, and this book contains all of the usual elements: a murder, a locked room, a person gone missing, house guests, a gentleman on holiday who happens upon it all and becomes the story's amateur sleuth, and in the midst of all this—dressing for dinner. The Red House Mystery is a very fun book that doesn't take itself too seriously; it is also a book clearly of its time, the 1920s. Unfortunately, this was Milne's only mystery, although the end of the story hints at further adventures; while I'm disappointed that those did not come to pass, his introduction to this edition explains why (and made me chuckle, which is why I'm excerpting it here): “When I told my agent a few years ago that I was going to write a detective story, he...made it clear to me...that what the country wanted from a 'well-known “Punch” humorist' was a 'humorous story”.... [T]he result was such that when, two years afterwards, I announced that I was writing a book of nursery rhymes, my agent and my publisher were equally convinced that what the English-speaking nations most desired was a new detective story. Another two years have gone by; the public appetite has changed once more; and it is obvious now that a new detective story, written in the face of this steady terrestial [sic] demand for children's books, would be in the worst of taste.” Truly English. Truly delightful. And I'm not talking about just Milne's introduction, but the book itself.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Charles Edwards-Freshwater

    First of all, who would of thought that the author of Winnie the Pooh also had a fun murder mystery inside him? The Red House Mystery is a perfect example of a diverting little puzzle based around a grisly murder that makes Golden Age crime writing such a joy. It has everything you would expect - a big country house, secret passages, mistaken identities and double crossings - in fact it's very much a textbook mystery that it feels almost familiar, which for the mood I'm in right now, was a comfor First of all, who would of thought that the author of Winnie the Pooh also had a fun murder mystery inside him? The Red House Mystery is a perfect example of a diverting little puzzle based around a grisly murder that makes Golden Age crime writing such a joy. It has everything you would expect - a big country house, secret passages, mistaken identities and double crossings - in fact it's very much a textbook mystery that it feels almost familiar, which for the mood I'm in right now, was a comfort rather than an annoyance. It's no Agatha Christie, but the mystery itself is rather enjoyable and peppered with the usual clues and subterfuge that make these puzzles a delight to lose a few hours in. What sets this one apart from some lesser offerings is undoubtedly the bromance at the core between the protagonist and his "Watson", Bill. I love these two as a duo, and there are lots of brilliant light-hearted scenes of them very much enjoying the whole thing - it's pretty fabulous reading. The whole story is also dripping in homosexual subtext (there are perhaps...two female characters?) and that's really rather good fun too. At the end of the day, it's a fun puzzle which will please the reader but not blow your mind. Recommended for a couple of sunny afternoons. 4 stars.

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