Rating: 3 out of 5 chocolates
Excerpt from the back of the book: "Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A. Milne's only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. When the police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself 'Sherlock Holmes' and, together with his friend and loyal 'Watson', delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man. The Red House Mystery is a lost gem from a time before Tigger, and a perfectly crafted whodunnit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters."
It was such a pleasant surprise to stumble upon this book while I was still working at Borders. As far as I'm aware, it is not a well-known fact that the creator of the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh had written a crime novel. And what a novel it is! It makes you wonder if he would have been equally well known if he stuck with the crime genre, as he had created The Red House Mystery before Winnie-the-Pooh.
This book keeps building the suspense as the story develops, and right up until near the very end you're left frantically turning page after page in eagerness to know what really happened. With every clue unravelled by Anthony, the story's 'Sherlock Holmes', I had to keep re-guessing who the killer was - which is always a good thing when it comes to mysteries, since it adds to the thrill of it.
I did however, find the dénouement slightly disappointing, but I guess it's explicable enough since the main protagonist should not be on par with Sherlock Holmes, and his own amateur abilities could only be stretched so far. Plus, the unforeseeable twist at the end more than makes up for the manner in which the resolution was delivered.