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The Mystery of the Downs

Arthur J. Rees

Book Overview: 

The storm had descended swiftly, sweeping in suddenly from the sea, driving across the downs to the hills at high speed, blotting out the faint rays of a crescent moon and hiding the country-side beneath a pall of blackness, which was forked at intervals by flashes of lightning.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Detective Gillett took up a position by the open window, and sniffed gratefully at the soft air.

"Fine view, here," he said, waving his hand in the direction of the cliff road and open bay. "Fine, bracin' air—sea—country—birds—and all that sort of thing. You chaps in the country have all the best of it—the simple life, and no hustle or bustle."

Sergeant Westaway looked darkly at the speaker as though he suspected him of a desire to rob him of the grievance he had brooded over in secret for twenty-five years.

"It's dull enough," he said ungraciously.

"But the air, man, the air!" said the London detective, inhaling great gulps of oxygen as he spoke. "It's exhilarating; it's glorious! Why, it should keep you going until you reach a hundred."

"Too salt," commented Sergeant Westaway curtly.

"The more salt in it the longer it will preserve you," said Gillett. "What a glorious day it is."

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Community Reviews

This was a classic but I was unaware when I picked it up. So it doesn't compare to the fast past crime mysteries of today but I still thought it was quite interesting and had a lot of twists and turns. I thought early on I had it figured out but was surprised more then once. I really enjoyed it a...more

A man was murdered or died, Lots of people have information that might help but is everyone telling the truth. The people who were to inherit any of his money did not get it . it seems it was hiding before he died and he was the only one who knew where it was. Tons of info about cryptograms and h...more

Of its time but not place.

It seems a little odd to criticize an author whose book was written around the time of the first World War, but aspects of this mystery irritated me while I was reading it. The plot is complex and full of twists and turns and which seem to make sense, but why was it base...more

A slightly complicated classic mystery which ends up delving into much character history, but a rather good read none the less...more

A reasonable "classic" mystery, with a not-totally-unexpected twist ending. The dialogue is wordy, and the characters difficult to sympathize with: no one really comes across as anyone a reader would like to know better. One is content to accept them at face value and read them as a type: the cle...more