The Detection Club is a two-book series by Jean Harambat. Part I ends with a cliffhanger; Part II is where the story ends.
The Detection Club: Part I
The story starts with The Detection Club members welcoming the latest and only American writer to their team – John Dickson Carr. Msgr Ronald Knox’s Ten Commandments are read out and hurrahs are shouted. Then comes flying a very surreal looking bird *Flip Flop Flip Flop*, drops a letter and flies away.
The Detection Club members are G.K. Chesterton (President since the creation of the club), John Dickson Carr, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Baroness Emma Orczy, Major A.E.W Mason and Monsignor Ronald Knox.
What’s the letter all about? Here you go:
Dear Members of the Detection Club
It is with great pleasure that I invite you to Briarcliff House on my island in Cornwall, off Pentreath on the 1st of April.
Challenges and enchantments await.
The Modern Times are underway my dear writers. The future is full of hope and promise. Come witness the renaissance of crime fiction. Witness the possibility of the perfect work: bold, completed, self-contained.
I await your visit with the utmost excitement. Dear club members, I will not accept a refusal!
Believe me at all times with admiration and respect. Your faithful and obliged servant
Mr Roderick Ghyll
The seven members embark on a journey to the Briarhouse Cliff. What awaits there is nothing short of a science-fiction-y mystery. Mr Ghyll introduces them to his family and other members of the house. He says a special someone would meet them at dinner – Eric.
The same night, someone gets murdered – the body is missing and the room is locked. Oh, fish! Here we go! Eric reveals the identity of the killer but the writers aren’t convinced. So, off they go in search of clues.
The first book ends with ‘finding’ the dead body.
By the way, Part I reminded me a tad of And Then There were None – A mansion in an island and a murder.
The Detection Club: Part II
This book is 60 pages long while the first is 94 pages long. This book has a happy ending – Agatha Christie speaks of her (second) marriage with an archaeologist.
It goes without saying that the writers finally ‘catch’ the killer. But the events leading to the denouement is definitely worth a read or two.
Soon after the murder, the writers either work in pairs, alone or not work at all. One can find Baroness Emma Orczy always dozing. Catching up with zzzz’s, are we? 😉 Agatha Christie and G.K Chesterton form quite an investigative pair. At times, it felt like they were more than just friends. Or maybe, I misread their friendship! Knoz and Mason are always fighting. Dishoom Dishoom!
Our locked room mystery expert John Dickson Carr is mad about maps. Even when asked to shut up, he goes on and on explaining his findings on the map. Blah, blah, blah! Our very own Dorothy L Sayers works alone and is always found with a gun. Bang bang! But when the gun is needed, well, um… as you all know, a gun can only hold a certain number of bullets… 😉
Who’s who: From the cover image of Detection Club II (see above): (standing) Blond hair with a red tie is G.K. Chesterton; green dress with a cigarette in her mouth is Dorothy L Sayers; Purple dress with giner hair is Agatha Christie. (Sitting from left to right): John Dickson Carr, Baroness Orczy, Mason and Knox.
I liked Baroness Orczy’s characterization the best. She’s super cute. 🙂 Also, it’s funny that she spends the whole time sleeping. 😀
Oh, before I forget, here’s a snippet of a conversation between Agatha Christie and Millicent.
Millicent asks AC if she’s in the process of writing a new Hercule Poirot. Here’s what our Aggie has to say:
That awful little Belgian? If I met him in real life, I’d commit such a murder it would make all the others I’ve concocted up till now look like small potatoes.
French fries, anyone? 😉
The book is full of such hilarious excerpts taken from the authors’ real life. AC and GKC have a conversation about AC’s first husband; Sayers talks about her anthologies; Baroness Orczy is… zzzz…
If you are a fan of GAD, I highly recommend you to read this two-book collection. I had a great time reading this. Kate Jackson, thanks for introducing me to this book. 🙂
My Rating: 5/5
Many thanks to NetGalley and Europe Comics for the ARC.
Image Credits: NetGalley