The Case of Miss Elliot: The Teahouse Detective is a collection of short stories as told by a journalist recalling her conversations with the “old man in the corner”. Each story relates a recent well-known crime and is solved, using intelligence and reasoning only, by an unnamed, and quite unusual gentleman who sits at a table in the corner of an A.B.C. (Aerated Bread Company) teashop.
Each of the stories provide all of the elements you need to come up with a solution. It felt like individual puzzles that the reader is asked to solve along with the detective. That may not have been the original intent, but as a long time reader of mysteries, I loved it!
The old man and his listener never leave the café and yet his description of the crime, it’s background, and solution are not passive. The action comes from descriptive prose. You can vividly see the characters, their emotions, and their actions.
Being a fan of the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” I was surprised that I had never heard of this series of books. I enjoyed these stories immensely and look forward to reading more.
Thank you to NetGalley and Pushkin Press for the advance reader copy made available for my review.