• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


The Case of the Bonfire Body

Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 6 months ago

Bush, Christopher - The Case of the Bonfire Body (1936)



Review by Nick Fuller


One of Bush’s better books. The plot, which involves a headless handless body in a bonfire, a dead doctor, who, according to circumstantial evidence, committed the first murder and was in his turn murdered by his victim, and an old case of burglary, is well-constructed, while the solution involves unbreakable alibis and several double identities on the part of both the murderer and the victim — what Travers calls “inverse double identity”. Despite the general sloppiness of his plots and the flatness of his style, Bush’s solutions have a pleasing mathematical symmetry. Although the book seems to get lost in a November fog towards the middle, with too many unknown bodies and unknown quantities, like an algebraic equation where one must find x given that 1 + 1 + x + y = z, the fog clears, the quantities are assigned, to work out to a simple and logical solution. One’s chief problem is the clue of the Limerick Crown, which Travers accidentally gives to the beggar whom he believes to be Johnson, and whose discovery on the body of an unknown tramp proves that two people played the part of Johnson. While necessary for this purpose, it also reveals something unfortunate about Travers’s intelligence. Considering that Johnson is a convicted thief, and that Travers believes he gave him the Crown, Travers’s belief that it will turn up elsewhere and his inability to see any connection between the two proves that he is an idiot. Still, this is ingenious, grisly and fairly tight.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.