Book Review : Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton

 A devilishly ingenious conspiracy

 

When Sir Wilfred Saxonby is found shot dead in a first-class compartment of the 5 p.m. train from London’s Cannon Street to Stourford, the police initially feel it is suicide committed when the train passed through a tunnel. Further investigation by Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard, with the help of his friend, Desmond Merrion, an amateur in criminology, reveal a plot of mind-boggling conspiracy. Thus a murder investigation begins.

This story focuses primarily on how the crime was committed to find the culprit. The theories are formulated by Merrion for Arnold to follow up.

It’s like one of those double-barrelled equations, when as soon as you know the value of x, you can find the value of y, and vice versa.

Using this postulation of x and y and with the assumption of suspects A and B, the genius of a plot unfolds.

This book was originally published in 1936, in the era of Agatha Christie. Miles Burton is one of the pseudonyms used by Cecil John Street(1884-1965). If you are a Christie fan, you will find the writing of Street much different. This book does not delve into the human psyche to understand the characters’ motivation. It digs into creating a hypothesis to reconstruct the sequence of events that may have supposedly occurred eventually leading to the death of Sir Saxonby, to find the culprits. If you know how it was done, then its easy to find who could have done it by gathering relevant evidence. The book consists of long narrations in the form of the thoughts of the two investigators where they try to figure out the rigmarole of the conspiracy. Devising a theory and finding the evidence to support it, is the mechanism used by them. Readers are transported back in times of steam engines and telegrams. If you are a fan of detective fiction, this British Library Crime Classic is a must read.

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On my shelf in June 2016

 

“I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” ― Gary Paulsen, Shelf Life: Stories by the Book

 

My stack of mysteries for June 2016

 

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On my shelf in April 2016

 

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

My stack of mysteries for April 2016

 

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On my shelf in March 2016

 

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” ― Ernest Hemingway

 

My stack of cozy mysteries for March 2016

 

 

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On my shelf in February 2016

 

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” 
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

 

My stack of cozy mysteries for February 2016

 

 

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On my shelf in August 2015

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.”  — George R. R. Martin

My stack of cozy mysteries for August 2015

 

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