Before he wrote Winnie the Pooh for his son, A.A. Milne wrote The Red House Mystery for his father. It is a typical country house mystery, complete with stereotypical characters including an amateur gentleman detective, Anthony Gillingham . Anthony is on his way to visit his friend, Bill Beverly at the title house. He arrives in time to discover a dead body. The police quickly come to their own conclusions. However Anthony is not yet convinced and persuades Bill to play Watson to his Holmes.
The book is largely cerebral, but not intellectual. The who dunnit is very straightforward. The motive somewhat more mysterious. There are no car chases, or long drawn out fight sequences rather most of the action occurs in Anthony’s mind. The reader is privy to his thought processes throughout the book. I quite enjoyed this aspect.
The Red House Mystery is a cheeky little mystery, never taking itself seriously. The narrative flows easily and there is hardly a mention of a bear, a donkey, or a piglet. It is a splendid way to pass a lazy afternoon.