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The Hand in the Dark

Arthur J. Rees

Book Overview: 

An ancient English country house with a storied and bloody history is the setting for this intriguing mystery. It is the autumn of 1918. The War to End All Wars is still raging in Europe, but in this peaceful setting a bored young wife hosts a party for friends from London, including war workers, servicemen, and a famous explorer and expert on jewels. Hours later she is dead of a gunshot wound, an heirloom pearl necklace is missing, and Scotland Yard is homing in on possibly the wrong suspect. Can the famous private detective Mr. Colwyn bring the murderer to justice?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .roblems of this strange case, and he was anxious to return upstairs. He took the first opportunity of terminating the conversation and leaving the room.

It was his intention to conceal himself in one of the wardrobes of the bedroom in the hope that the owner of the trinket he had found would return in search of it. As he reached the landing he was surprised to see that the door of the murdered woman's bedroom was wide open, although he remembered distinctly that he had closed it when he left the room to accompany the butler downstairs. With a quickly beating heart he hurried across the room to the spot where he had left the trinket. But it was gone.

CHAPTER VII

It was the morning after the murder, and five men were seated in the moat-house library. One of them attracted instant attention by reason of his overpowering personality. He was a giant in stature and build, with a massive head, a large red face from which a pair of little bloodshot e. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I would have given this book four stars if it wasn't for the fact that it was very slow to start. I almost gave up on it but it got better about a third of the way in. A wealthy young aristocrat marries a beautiful young working class socialite and she hates being shut away in the country. A week...more

One of the best "English country house" mysteries I have ever had the pleasure of reading!

Interesting plot, characters were well defined. First time for this narrator, who did a pleasantly clear reading.

Dated writing and opinions but good story.

Just as described by the Classic Mysteries podcast. An interesting story about a murder committed while everyone at an English house party were seemingly seated at dinner. The son of the house, exempted from war, had just recently married a city girl, not the type anyone had expected him to marry...more

Sadly this story is rather longwinded and showing it's age in a way that isn't to it's advantage. The Shreaking Pit by the same author is a far better book, according to his Wiki page Mr Rees was meant to have been a prolific writer, however I have only found three stories written by himself and...more

Dating from 1920, this book shows its age. A newly-married woman is shot while the entire household is at dinner. Blame focuses on one person, until a private detective is brought in to show up the heavy-handed, slow-thinking police. The beauty of this book is less in the actual elements of the s...more

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