In which Mr. Pottermack commits the perfect crime, only to discover this is the last thing in the world he wants. Worse still is that “oversight”, which leads Dr. Thorndyke to discern that something is amiss.
Let me first apologize for the extreme brevity of this review. As soon as I finish a book I’m starting another, before writing about the last.
Now, about Mr. Pottermack.
This is a splendid inverted mystery (from the man who invented them), with the added bonus of Thorndyke’s forensics and a bit of sneaky psychology. The narrative is so well done. Moving from the commission of the crime, through Pottermack’s wonderfully inventive attempts at concealment which, unknowingly, vie with Thorndyke’s analysis of the situation as a puzzle to be solved, it felt very much like a one-sided game of one-upmanship, with only one player aware of the game.
You probably won’t believe me, considering this is Freeman, but I was thoroughly engrossed and often found myself in a state of nervous anticipation, waiting for what was going to happen next. And yes I know, there is that section near the end where Thorndyke reiterates the entire case. But I felt the way it was presented actually heightened the suspense—before finally offering judgment on Mr. Pottermack.
An absolutely brilliant read. Highly recommend! I just wish I had been able to find an affordable copy of the Hogarth edition, which is beautiful compared to my Dover edition!
My Judgment – 4.25/5
Prior Rulings – JJ @ The Invisible Event
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2013 Scattergories #36 Hobbies Can Be Murder [Lepidopterist]
Calendar of Crime – October #7 Book title has word starting with “O”