Title: The Red House Mystery
Author: A. A. Milne
Page Count/Review Word Count: 214
This book was kind of a let down, and that’s true even bearing in mind the fact that I knew my uncle didn’t think much of it – and we have pretty similar taste in books, especially when it comes to detective novels.
I think the problem that I had here is that the first dozen or so pages were given over to one of Milne’s essays in which he basically claimed that this is the perfect mystery novel. It’s not the perfect mystery novel – it’s a deliberate imitation of the classic detective novel, but it just doesn’t add anything. I think perhaps he was hoping to parody the genre, but the outcome is just a novel that’s kind of okay but mostly unnecessary, and a weird addition to the literary canon of the man who created Winnie the Pooh.
The truth is that despite what my uncle said, I’d been looking forward to reading this. I’ve always liked detective novels, and this one is something of a classic. Unfortunately, it’s more like a fantasy novel by Richard Dawkins – written by someone with talent who was working with the wrong genre.