Michael Innes was the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh J. This novel, however, even though it shares the same detective, Sir John Appleby, reminds me rather more of one of Margery Allingham's Campion novels. His other well-known character is 'Honeybath', the painter and rather reluctant detective, who first appeared in 1975 in 'The Mysterious Commission'. But on my second read, I realized that maybe I was the dullard. Stewart he published a number of works of non-fiction, mainly critical studies of authors, including Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling, as well as about twenty works of fiction and a memoir, 'Myself and Michael Innes'. After graduation, he went to Vienna to study Freudian psychoanalysis for a year and following his first book, an edition of Florio's translation of 'Montaigne', was offered a lectureship at the University of Leeds.
Sir John has risen to the highest echelons of Scotland Yard and is concerned with purely administrative duties. But that doesn't prevent him from being pulled into an active role in the murder of a rare books seller. Something for me to look forward too when I finish reading all the Appleby books. Priestley's thrillers, though I felt that Innes' pace was rather less well-crafted than Priestley's, particularly in the first half of the book. Michael Innes, the pen name of J I M Stewart, was an Oxford university professor who wrote crime novels mainly for his colleagues entertainment and his own amusement.
He returned to the United Kingdom in 19 Michael Innes was the pseudonym of John Innes MacKintosh J. The Diogenes Club Mycroft Holmes' haunt created by Arthur Conan Doyle was the first time I can remember hearing about such places and though I knew that the doors would always be closed to me, I couldn't help being fascinated from the first moment I learned about these dens of upper class male ritual. Respected Fine Art experts are deceived in one of the most intriguing murder cases Inspector Appleby has ever faced, beginning with Gribble, a collector of forgeries whose latest acquisition is found to be a forged forgery! There's also not a lot of exposition except in the preliminary set-up conversations at the club and things move along briskly to a rather exciting end. And of course this conversation will also prove pertinent when a second murder occurs. Like other writers of the era he occasionally pops in some classical literary quotations and references that are all pretty obscure to readers nowadays. The year 1936 saw Innes as Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, during which tenure he wrote his first mystery story, 'Death at the President's Lodging'.
I adore the work of Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale. Sir John is drawn into investigating a potential case of forged forgeries! In the words of Appleby himself: 'Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. Here we are, still at it, I also a woman of a certain age. My mystery and movie passions come from her. I will add though, that I am not too fond of the Honeybath books. We also get strange snippets of general knowledge in these books.
There are not enough people seriously involved to make it difficult to work out the identity of the villain. The only other Michael Innes novel I have read to date is Operation Pax, which reminded me strongly of some of J. Other than that, this is one of Innes' more down to earth murder plots, totally lacking in phantasmagoria and the flights of fancy well, except for the young woman who looks like a Botticelli Venus the author was sometimes inclined to indulge in. Again, this resemblance is most marked Originally published on my blog in March 1998. This seems off kilter to me but maybe I'm nit-picking.
As Michael Innes, he published numerous mystery novels and short story collections, most featuring the Scotland Yard detective John Appleby. One of the services Sir Gabriel offers through his art gallery is free inspection of family heirlooms to see if someone has a treasure hiding among their pictures. Appleby turned to Inspector Parker. Appleby is used to all sorts of esoteric ploys and gambits. He was Lecturer in English at the University of Leeds from 1930-1935, and spent the succeeding ten years as Jury Professor of English at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. I don't know about you, but I love the whole idea of these stuffy private clubs to which so many men retreated in so many books from the golden age of mysteries.
But this is another source of interest to follow up and I like to think of these dons all chuckling over the hidden jokes. Inclined, say, to unreasonable jokes in the course of business. The illustration I sought, for which Google directed me to you, was her knight holding a child which you said was from The Book of Old Songs and Ballads. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The 'Times Literary Supplement' said of him: 'A Master - he constructs a plot that twists and turns like an electric eel: it gives you shock upon shock and you cannot let go. There aren't that many characters in this tale of murder, kidnapping and high level forgery but somehow, Innes manages to make you not instantly know who the killer or killers are and that to me, is a great magicians trick. Innes's most famous character is 'John Appleby', who inspired a penchant for donnish detective fiction that lasts to this day.
Two people approach Appleby in his club one evening, with curious tales of the art world - one is a collector of forgeries, whose latest acquisition is a forgery of the work of a famous forger; the other is a respected dealer who has just been offered a previously unknown Rembrandt. But irritated is just what we musn't get. There are just too many links to too many of Sir John's acquaintances for him to stay out of it. The only other Michael Innes novel I have read to date is Operation Pax, which reminded me strongly of some of J. But later - well, very mad indeed. Have I ever asked you if you liked or read the Charles Honeybath books by Innes? So glad you found me once again. The binding may be slightly damaged but integrity is still intact.
This amount is subject to change until you make payment. The plots are a little formulaic and usually occur among elegant and aristocratic socialites, at dinner parties, in country houses, art galleries and London, but sometimes overseas. Though I must say I've never heard of the Staircase novels. He fully enjoys being back in the hunt and eagerly follows the clues. His other well-known character is 'Honeybath', the painter and rather reluctant detective, who first appeared in 1975 in 'The Mysterious Commission'. I do have one quibble though just to prove that even Innes hits a bump in the road now and again and here it is: later in the tale, Appleby asks his wife to carry out an errand - something which I think should have rightly been done by a member of his staff, thereby involving her in the case and unknowingly putting her in danger.