If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Appleby’s Answer by Michael Innes: A Review by Warren Bull

Appleby’s Answer by Michael Innes: A Review by Warren Bull

Appleby’s Answer was published in 1973. Michael Innes was the pen name of J.I.M. Stewart, a Scottish novelist and academic literary critic. In his “day job” he wrote in depth analyses of a number of writers including James Joyce, Joseph Conrad and Tomas Hardy. 
Stewart/Innes referred to his crime fiction works as “entertainments.” The protagonist in most of his mystery writing was John Appleby. The main character aged and progressed in his employment over the course of the novels. In Appleby’s Answer Sir john Appleby has recently retired from being Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. 
The novel begins with Miss Priscilla Pringle, a moderately successful author of crime fiction novels riding in a first class railroad compartment. She shares the compartment with a stranger. An elderly gentleman who is reading one of her books. He recognizes her from the author photo. They chat. She learns that then man is Captain Bulkington  who describes himself as a tutor preparing young men for military service or university. During a long amusing conversation, it is clear to the reader that neither person quite understands what the other person is saying. The elderly gentleman seems to be trying to elicit a method by which a person might be murdered without risk of exposure. Toward the end of their interaction the Captain  offers her 500 pounds to co-write a mystery with him that involves a difficult-to-detect murder. Miss Pringle believes he is a bit balmy, if not completely insane. She engineers an escape, leaving him no way to contact her.
After this promising beginning, the author takes us to a Crook’s Colloquium meeting where mystery writers meet and where Appleby is the guest speaker. The author clearly knows mysteries and mystery writers, which is evident in his humorous description of the event. 
Later Miss Pringle decides she will see what is going on with the Captain without his notice. She plans a discrete visit to the village he lives in. Thinking attending a church service might allow her to meet the local citizens, she enters a church. Shortly thereafter, the Captain enters with two of his students.

I don’t want to give away the rest. Suffice it to say that Appleby extracts her from a dicey situation.


Kait said...

I devoured Innes and did not know until right this minute that it was a pen name. How can that be? I need to revisit this old friend again.

E. B. Davis said...

I haven't read this, but you sure make it sound intriguing, Warren. I'll look him up.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, another book to be added to my TBR list. I'm going to my local bookstore this
afternoon. Maybe the owner will have this book or one of his other books.

KM Rockwood said...

I, too, had no idea the Innes was a pen name! I have read some of his work, but this one does not ring a bell. I'll have to look into it.