The Red House Mystery (1922) is a detective novel by A.A. Milne. Known more for his series of Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems for children, Milne also wrote novels and plays for adults, including this successful whodunnit. The Red House Mystery, Milne’s only detective novel, was highly successful upon publication and is noted for its use of an amateur sleuth as well as its intricate, puzzle-like plot. Despite earning the ire of Raymond Chandler, Milne’s novel was reprinted in the U.S. and in Britain numerous times.
At his house in the English countryside, Mark Ablett hosts a small party of diverse guests including a widow and her young daughter, a retired military officer, an actress, and a young socialite named Bill Beverley. During this party, Mark’s brother Robert unexpectedly returns home from Australia, where he has been for some time. Shortly after this long-awaited homecoming, Robert is found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, and, amidst the chaos, Mark suddenly disappears. Having arrived late to the party, Tony Gillingham, with the help of his friend Bill Beverley, endeavors to investigate the mysterious events of the evening. Aided, or at least tolerated, by an uninterested police force, Gillingham does his best as an amateur detective to gather evidence leading not only to the identity of Robert’s murderer, but to the discovery of Mark’s whereabouts. The Red House Mystery is an innovative whodunnit filled with humorous quips, twists and turns, and a puzzle with which even the most seasoned reader of mysteries will struggle.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of A.A. Milne’s The Red House Mystery is a classic of British detective fiction reimagined for modern readers.