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The Venner Crime

Page history last edited by Glenda Browne 15 years, 5 months ago

From http://www.geocities.com/bevis1uk/Rhode.htm


Stylistically similar to the better-known The Claverton Mystery (or The Claverton Affair, its slightly less banal American title), which shortly preceded it, The Venner Crime is one of Rhode's stronger books. Starting with the enigma surrounding the disappearance of a man who had been suspected but exonerated of the murder of his wealthy uncle, the novel soon plunges Dr. Priestley into one of the most serious -- and ultimately dangerous -- cases of his career. As in The Claverton Mystery, the tone is darker and more sombre, and Priestley is extremely active, taking the initiative right from the beginning of the tale. Indeed, Priestley in The Venner Crime offers readers one of the strongest incarnations of that epic figure of the detective novel: the determined investigator who simply will not -- indeed, cannot -- relent until he has wrested the light of truth from the forces of darkness. It's a shame that John Street gradually made Priestley so much less ambulatory after introducing Jimmy Waghorn a few years later. I believe that in his prime, Priestley was, in all ways, one of the Great Detectives of the genre. As a chair-bound oracle in the later books, his mind still works mightily, but he is not quite so compelling a figure as before, when he still got out and about.



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