Jim Henderson is one of six guests summoned by the mysterious Edwin Carson, a collector of precious stones, to a weekend party at his country house, Thrackley The house is gloomy and forbidding but the party is warm and hospitable except for the presence of Jacobson, the sinister butler The other guests are wealthy people draped in jewels Jim cannot imagine why he belongs in such company After a weekend of adventure with attempted robbery and a vanishing guest secrets come to light and Jim unravels a mystery from his past....
|Title||:||Weekend at Thrackley (British Library Crime Classics) (English Edition)|
|Publisher||:||British Library Publishing 10 Juni 2018|
|Number of Pages||:||301 Pages|
|File Size||:||687 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Weekend at Thrackley (British Library Crime Classics) (English Edition) Reviews
Dieses 1934 erschienene Buch gehört sicher nicht zu den Sternstunden der Kriminalliteratur und es ist durchaus nachvollziehbar, weshalb es über Jahrzehnte nicht wieder aufgelegt worden ist. Es hat keinen straffen Plot und ist auch kein whodunit, sondern es ist von vornherein völlig klar, wer die Guten und wer die Bösen sind. Von der Struktur her erinnert das Buch an einiges, was Edgar Wallace geschrieben hat; allerdings hat dieser Autor doch einiges mehr an Sprachwitz zu bieten und setzt auch manches Paradoxon und Übertreibungen effektvoll ein bis zu einem offensichtlich bewusst kitschigen Ende.Das Buch, das sich auch wegen des ausgezeichneten Englisch schnell und zügig weg liest, hat mich gut unterhalten und auch amüsiert, sodass ich es durchaus empfehlen kann, auch wenn es sicher höherwertige Bücher unter den englischen Krimis der 1930iger gibt.
Alan Melville’s mysteries are among my very favorites from the Golden Age. I loved Death of Anton, as well as Quick Curtain. I fervently hope British Library will reprint others. Weekend at Thrackley was Melville’s first novel, and is surprisingly accomplished for a twenty-four-year-old novice.Jim Henderson, a well-bred but penniless young man, is invited to a country house by a man who claims he knew Jim’s father. Thrackley turns out to be an isolated mansion surrounded by gloomy pines and a formidable barbed wall. The host, Edwin Carson, is small and ugly, and an obsessive collector of precious gems. His servants are all very large men and look like thugs. In this depressing atmosphere, a gaggle of rich guests gather to enjoy country amusements and to feast on gourmet food. Among them is Carson’s daughter Mary, whom Jim finds irresistibly attractive.The stage is set for crime and romance, and Melville delivers both with a lively pen. Alan Melville was a wit, and this is a lighthearted read as well as a plot full of sinister characters and startling twists.Weekend at Thrackley was made into a movie, and Melville bought a bungalow out of his profits and named it Thrackley. I learned this amusing factoid from the very interesting introduction. If you like vintage mysteries, this one is a classic and not to be missed.
Weekend at Thrackley is utterly implausible and thoroughly delightful. Like Quick Curtain and Death of Anton, this novel by Alan Melville is humorous, engaging, and deftly written. I hope his three other novels will soon be back in print. Btw, unlike some of the other reviewers, I paid for my copy of this book.
Although this book is advertised as a Golden Age English manor house mystery, it has little to do with that tradition. It was written at the right time, and take the right form. An varied group of people are invited to the isolated country home of a mysterious wealthy eccentric none of them know, and the weekend is filled with mysterious happenings, hidden passages, shocking revelations and--of course--murder.However, in a proper example, a well-crafted mystery with clues and detection is the solid center of the tale. The author is free to add humor, social commentary, romance; or even literary touches like character development, mood, tone or style; or include an exposition on some topic of the author's interest.Weekend at Thrackley differs by using a Victorian Penny Dreadful mashup of a plot--think Sweeeny Todd--as its core and surrounding it with a barely connected, P. G. Wodehouse-style, comedy of moronic upper-class twits choreographed into a complex dance of twittery. In more talented hands this could be an offbeat classic, but the author appears to be playing at his styles without the boldness required to make the story either hair-raising or laugh-out-loud funny.The only successful practitioner I know of this hybrid style is Joesph Kesselring, writing about the same time, most famous for Arsenic and Old Lace. In the case of both authors, the point seems to be that evil foreign influences represented by physical ugliness and greed pose dire threats to wholesome, attractive, oblivious, trusting and honest natives. The conflict is wildly exaggerated for comic and dramatic effect, but the political point seems serious.Weekend at Thrackley acquires considerably more weight if you consider how in 1934 totalitarian fascism and communism were spreading both internationally and more quietly among England's elite, while most of English society would ignore both the ideological and military threats until long after the shooting had started. Thrackley is surrounded by over-the-top walls and hedges--which seem to be a double metaphor for the military protection of the English Channel, and the disconnect between the elite and the people. The actual foreigner in the plot lacks virtue but is treated sympathetically, the danger all comes from English people corrupted abroad. The main character served honorably in WWI, but has been neglected by his country for the 15 years of peace.The main difference between this book by Alan Melville and Joseph Kesselring's play--aside from the quality of the writing--is Melville wanted to tear down the walls separating the upper class from the people, and let in sunlight to cleanse the afflictions aristocrats had acquired abroad; while Kesselring's darker vision saw the US as ruled by a domestic murderous elite in league with foreign forces. Melville was a conservative looking to return to Victorian virtues, Kesselring a populist looking to smash the elite and return power to the people. And both of them were more right than wrong.I recommend this book as a mildly entertaining black comic farce, with a schoolboyish message interesting in the context of its times. It's not a classic English detective story, nor a chilling tale of horror, nor a fully realized comedy; but it has enough aspects of each of those things to keep the pages turning.
Captain James Henderson has been out of the Army since the end of WWI. Unfortunately, he has found it difficult to get a job. There apparently is not a lot of demand for military men in London.When he is invited to a house party in Surrey, he is surprised. The invitation comes from a man he has never met. But, a free weekend in the country, and free food and something to do are all too good to ignore.Then he finds his old school friend, Freddy Usher, is invited as well. Freddy knows a little bit about their host. Edwin Carson is a man who is a well known collector of gems. Some of his activities may have been out of the norm, but evidently he has never been arrested.The other guests invited to the house party are each owners of rare and unusual gems. Jim has even more questions about why he has been invited.Mr Carson is an unusual man and not very nice. His butler, Jacobson, is not a nice man. In fact, there are questions about nearly everyone who lives in Thrackley. Except for Mr Carson's daughter, Mary. She seems, charming, intelligent, kind and lovely.This is the first mystery written by Alan Melville. He did not believe it was very well done. But, in reality, it is a very well done mystery of the period.I am a fan of British mysteries from the Golden Age between the Wars. This one is just what I like about that era. It has twists and turns. It has interesting and unusual characters. I liked all of it.Jim must give up his lazy life in order to solve puzzles, and put roadblocks up to prevent crimes from being committed. He does all he can to protect the guests and thwart Mr Carson and his minions. Jim is heroic and uses skills learned in the military to be a hero.The secondary characters all add a great deal of texture to the story. Along with Jim and Freddy, there is a glamorous actress, a wealthy busybody, two spoiled brats and several villains. Everyone is present in this unusual house party and each of them help move the plot forward.One thing I did not enjoy, nearly every guest seemed to be too trusting, but maybe that is because I am looking at this from a much different time.I liked this book.I received the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are completely my own.