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Archive for the ‘Innes, Michael’ Category

I got hold of a copy of this book thanks to Bookmooch, and, as usual, couldn’t wait to get started on it–it was just perfect for a sleepy afternoon after meeting an important work deadline. This is, no mistake about it, late Innes–very late Innes, i.e., patchy at best. There’s a semi-ruined Cornish castle by the sea, not one but two missing family treasures, an archivist who meets an unfortunate end, a highly suspect speleologist, and Inspector Appleby–my apologies, Sir John Appleby. And, of course, there is the family that owns the castle, and they were the best part of the book: eccentric, given to practical jokes and more serious subterfuge for which they take each other as objects, and sketched efficiently and sometimes comically by Innes. I didn’t care for the over-complicated plot and the ultimate feeling of anti-climax I got from this slim novel, but then, this is, as I’ve already remarked, late Innes. Reading through some of the Appleby novels is a courtesy, not an unmitigated pleasure.

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