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Inspector Appleby Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Appleby Books

Death at the President's Lodging / Seven Suspects (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hamlet, Revenge! (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lament for a Maker (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stop Press / The Spider Strikes (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret Vanguard (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
There Came Both Mist and Snow / A Comedy of Terrors (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby on Ararat (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Daffodil Affair (1942)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Weight of the Evidence (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby's End (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Night of Errors (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Operation Pax / The Paper Thunderbolt (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Private View / One-Man Show / Murder Is an Art (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby Plays Chicken / Death On a Quiet Day (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Long Farewell (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hare Sitting Up (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silence Observed (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Connoisseur's Case / The Crabtree Affair (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bloody Wood (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby At Allington / Death By Water (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Family Affair / Picture of Guilt (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death at the Chase (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Awkward Lie (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Open House (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby's Answer (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby's Other Story (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gay Phoenix (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ampersand Papers (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sheiks and Adders (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby and Honeybath (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Carson's Conspiracy (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby and the Ospreys (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Inspector Appleby Collections

Appleby Talking / Dead Man's Shoes (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby Talks (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby Talks Again (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby Intervenes (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Appleby File (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Appleby Talks About Crime (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Inspector John Appleby of the Scotland Yard is a creation of Michael Innes. There’s an excellent annotated list of all Michael Innes’ works that point out about the great mystery of Inspector Appleby, how he jumped from taking up early retirement as being a police inspector at the Scotland Yard to become an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the time when he appears as Sir John Appleby in A Private View. This is a rather prolonged story revolving about the art theft in which the comic arch-dealer Hildebert Braunkopf makes his first (yet brief) appearance. Inspector Appleby subsequently becomes the Commissioner before he retires. This is the second time that he has held this post. Michael Innes himself basically jokes about Inspector Appleby “cutting the unusual path just for himself through the C.I.D. rank to surprising elevation of becoming Commissioner of The Metropolitan Police.”

Death at the President’s Lodging

Inspector Appleby is initially called to The St Anthony’s College; the place where the President had been murdered while in his Lodging. Several scandals abounds when it later becomes evident that the only people who had the motive of murdering him are the only individuals who had that opportunity. This is because the President’s Lodging usually opens off Orchard Ground; a place that’s locked at night and the only people who have the key are Fellows of the College.

In Death at President’s Lodging, Michael Innes manages to create an intricately plotted mystery novel – the full solution which is quite impossible to work out perfectly. The atmosphere of the 1930’s male dominated country of fusty academics is re-created brilliantly here. There are several references to classical and ancient academic study. However, they certainly help to set the book and the characters within the context of their own world. You might take a while so as to settle into the narrative. Nevertheless, you will certainly come to appreciate it as being a well written mystery. Quietly and a bit ponderously written, The Death at the President’s Lodging novel takes careful and slow reading. There’s little in the way of the action and the interplay along with the dialogue between novel characters drives much of this mystery.

The book opens in the grounds of The St Anthony’s college on a morning following the death of Dr. Umpleby, the college President. The local police Inspector Dodd is already present on the scene, waiting for the arrival of Inspector Appleby, his colleague from Scotland Yard. The president lived in part of the college’s grounds that were kept locked at night. The entry to the place is only possible using a key that’s in the possession of only a section of the people. Adjacent to the lodging that the President spent the night in is the college’s residence of Little Fellows, where 4 college fellows live in presently. Each of the 4 fellows seem to have been at the grounds at a certain point on the evening that the murder happened. The telephone calls in between different parts of this college and the late night visits add to the confusion of explanations that are explored in greater depth by Inspector Appleby. Inspector Appleby finds himself staying at this college during the course of his investigation. As the murder’s investigation gets underway, Inspector Appleby discovers tensions and professional rivalries between the fellows at St. Anthony’s. this seems to give any one of them the motive to either murder Umpleby or even contrive so as to lay a trap in order to implicate another. The span of this novel and Inspector Appleby’s investigation lasts for about 3 days – and while Inspector Appleby conducts his investigations, going over each part of the alibi with the fine toothed comb – 3 bumbling undergraduates believe that they can actually solve the mystery by themselves. With unexpected help of these 3 interfering students and St. Anthony’s burglar proving to be of greater help than was supposed to be, Inspector Appleby unravels all the complexities of this case, with swift intelligence.

Death at President’s Lodging might not turn out to be the quick read that most people expect. However, it’s a literary and academic mystery that’s subtly and intricately plotted. Characters aren’t really explored in depth, which might seem as a shame. However, all the details seem to be in the motivations and the thought processes of some of the characters. Some of the thought processes are actually improbable – the convoluted plots being executed in a matter of very few minutes. You will certainly enjoy the detailed way Inspector Appleby explained precisely what happened. The last few chapters will particularly make for a fascinating reading. You will be interested in reading more Appleby mysteries so as to see how the characters develop and how Michael Innes developed to become a mystery writer after this novel.

Hamlet, Revenge!

At Seamnum Court, the seat of Duke of Horton, The Lords Chancellor of England is killed at the climax of the private presentation of a Hamlet, in which he actually plays Polonius. Inspector Appleby decides to pursue some of the most renowned names within the country which unearths dreadful suspicion.

Michael Innes takes his time to set the stage, introducing most of the cast of his characters to the reader in what’s essentially an English country household murder mystery with a unique twist bearing in mind that Scamnum Court is closer to the castle than the house. The Duchess and Duke of Horton have more than 200 house guests (along with the associated servants). The pace in this novel picks up considerably after the murder occurs (during the amateur performances of Hamlet) and Appleby is sent forth to investigate by the Prime Minister himself because there’s the possibility of espionage. A few hours after his arrival, Inspector Appleby is confronted with another corpse.

Michael Innes’ style of writing is a bit dry with the hidden wit. Even though it might not be to every person’s taste, most readers love it. As Inspector Appleby says at a certain point during his investigations: “Order, method: this is the little grey cells!” Later, one of the guests suggests that the Duke should send for “…a real detective. There’s an extremely good man whose name I’ve forgotten; a foreigner and extremely conceited — but, they say, he’s thoroughly reliable.” The man is none other than Inspector Appleby.

Hamlet, Revenge is a great tribute than it may appear at first sight. Poirot wasn’t nearly as renowned as he is today. Even though things got quite convoluted towards the end of this book, the ultimate solution was unexpected and satisfying.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Inspector Appleby

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