And at the sentencing on Monday, Rogers reiterated her claims that Mineo was truly responsible for his death. After the judge sent Rogers away for a minimum of 15 years, prosecutors expressed frustration.
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There are much better plots by these same writers and by others of their school. They, like their male counterparts, had to be unusually healthy and fit. Not a deliberate fraud, because Milne would not have written the story if he had known what he was up against. Later gang! Creator Kuhns, Eleanor.
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Every detective story writer makes mistakes, and none will ever know as much as he should. Conan Doyle made mistakes which completely invalidated some of his stories, but he was a pioneer, and Sherlock Holmes after all is mostly an attitude and a few dozen lines of unforgettable dialogue. It is the ladies and gentlemen of what Mr. Howard Haycraft in his book Murder for Pleasure calls the Golden Age of detective fiction that really get me down.
This age is not remote. For Mr. For all practical purposes it is still here. Two-thirds or three-quarters of all the detective stories published still adhere to the formula the giants of this era created, perfected, polished and sold to the world as problems in logic and deduction. These are stern words, but be not alarmed. They are only words. Let us glance at one of the glories of the literature, an acknowledged masterpiece of the art of fooling the reader without cheating him.
Milne, and has been named by Alexander Woollcott rather a fast man with a superlative "one of the three best mystery stories of all time.
A Simple Murder book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Five years ago, while William Rees was still recovering from his s. A Simple Murder: A Mystery (Will Rees Mysteries Book 1) and millions of other books are available for instant access. view Kindle eBook | view Audible.
The book was published in , but is quite timeless, and might as easily have been published in July , or, with a few slight changes, last week. It ran thirteen editions and seems to have been in print, in the original format, for about sixteen years. That happens to few books of any kind. It is an agreeable book, light, amusing in the Punch style, written with a deceptive smoothness that is not as easy as it looks. Mark is the owner of the Red House, a typical laburnum-and-lodge-gate English country house, and he has a secretary who encourages him and abets him in this impersonation, because the secretary is going to murder him, if he pulls it off.
Nobody around the Red House has ever seen Robert, fifteen years absent in Australia, known to them by repute as a no-good. A letter from Robert is talked about, but never shown. It announces his arrival, and Mark hints it will not be a pleasant occasion. One afternoon, then, the supposed Robert arrives, identifies himself to a couple of servants, is shown into the study, and Mark according to testimony at the inquest goes in after him. Robert is then found dead on the floor with a bullet hole in his face, and of course Mark has vanished into thin air. Arrive the police, suspect Mark must be the murderer, remove the debris and proceed with the investigation, and in due course, with the inquest.
Milne is aware of one very difficult hurdle and tries as well as he can to get over it. Since the secretary is going to murder Mark once he has established himself as Robert, the impersonation has to continue on and fool the police. Since, also, everybody around the Red House knows Mark intimately, disguise is necessary. But this is not enough. The cops are going to have the body and the clothes on it and whatever is in the pockets.
Therefore none of this must suggest Mark. If the reader will buy this and the sales record shows he must have Milne figures he is solid. Yet, however light in texture the story may be, it is offered as a problem of logic and deduction. If it is not that, it is nothing at all. There is nothing else for it to be. If the situation is false, you cannot even accept it as a light novel, for there is no story for the light novel to be about.
If the problem does not contain the elements of truth and plausibility, it is no problem; if the logic is an illusion, there is nothing to deduce. If the impersonation is impossible once the reader is told the conditions it must fulfill, then the whole thing is a fraud. Not a deliberate fraud, because Milne would not have written the story if he had known what he was up against.
He is up against a number of deadly things, none of which he even considers. Nor, apparently, does the casual reader, who wants to like the story, hence takes it at its face value.
But the reader is not called upon to know the facts of life; it is the author who is the expert in the case. Here is what this author ignores:. The coroner holds formal jury inquest on a body for which no competent legal identification is offered. A coroner, usually in a big city, will sometimes hold inquest on a body that cannot be identified, if the record of such an inquest has or may have a value fire, disaster, evidence of murder, etc. No such reason exists here, and there is no one to identify the body.
A couple of witnesses said the man said he was Robert Ablett. This is mere presumption, and has weight only if nothing conflicts with it. Identification is a condition precedent to an inquest.