The Teahouse Detective series is a collection of short stories featuring Polly Burton of the Evening Observer and ‘The Old Man in the Corner.’
I choose The Teahouse Detective: The Case of Miss Elliot as my second nomination for Reprint of the Year.
Republished by Pushkin Vertigo, The Teahouse Detective: The Case of Miss Elliot (volume II) is a wonderful collection of short stories. Why did I choose The Case of Miss Elliot? Why not The Old Man in the Corner (volume I of the series)? Simple – the stories in Volume II are better than that of Volume I. Tin-tin-tin! 😀
The stories included in this volume are The Case of Miss Elliot, The Hocussing of Cigarette, The Tragedy in Dartmoor Terrace, Who Stole the Black Diamonds, The Murder of Miss Pebmarsh, The Lisson Grove Mystery, The Tremarn Case, the Fate of the Artemis, The Disappearance of Count Collini, The Ayrsham Mystery, The Affair at the Novelty Theater and The Tragedy of Barnsdale Manor.
The Old Man has a solution to all the cases he presents to Ms Polly Burton. In fact, Polly visits the cafe often so that she could have a chat with the Old Man. If he could solve a couple of impossible mysteries/unsolved cases, why isn’t he a detective? Well, the answer’s in The Mysterious Death in Percy Street (volume I).
The Old Man manages to find a seat in the front row during the inquest. How does he do that? Be it a tiny village or a city, if he finds the case interesting, he never misses an opportunity to be present at the inquest. Fidgeting with a piece of string, sitting in the same corner every time and ordering a glass of milk and a piece of cheesecake, the Old Man is one of the best armchair sleuths.