Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ask a Policeman by The Detection Club

I got this mainly because it said "AGATHA CHRISTIE" in really large font on the cover. As it turns out, she only wrote the preface. But I guess she was the most well-known member, so her name has to be biggest.

Ask a Policeman is a group-mystery. Basically, someone wrote the set up (unpleasant man gets murdered, everyone has a motive) and 4 members write their deduction down.

The twist is, all of them are writing with a detective that isn't theirs. In other words, it's Fanfiction (of a sort).

After all four of them have given their solution, an actual solution was presented. Oh, and all four accused a different person of being the culprit, so clearly they weren't going for the "everyone is right" type of book. Unless we're talking about that Poirot story where everyone was a murderer.

I think my problem with the book is that I'm not familiar with any of the characters. I only know Peter Wimsey, who was written by (if I remember correctly) Dorothy L. Sayers. So I have no idea which aspects were parody and which weren't.

Out of the four sections, I think the second, "Sir John takes his cue" by Gladys Mitchell was my favourite. So.... Gotta check out who this Sir John was, and what Gladys Mitchell wrote.
My least favourite section was "The Conclusions of Mr. Roger Sherringham" by Dorothy L. Sayers. It was just too ridiculous and felt like it was dragged on. I guess out of the four, it most resembled parody. Or a farce. Either one.

By the way, the Lord Peter section (by Anthony Berkeley) was a little bit silly, but not bad. It reminded me that I might want to check out more of Lord Peter's books, since I've only read one.

All in all, it's not a bad book. I'm quite tempted to read all the author's works, then come back and reread this, because I have a feeling that I've missed a lot of important details.


  1. Such an interesting premise. It sounds like it didn't quite work--at least not completely. I might have to check this out anyway just out of curiosity.

    1. I think that if you're familiar with all the different detectives, it would work, but since I've only heard of Lord Peter, most of the jokes flew over my head.


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