11 March 2010

Forgotten Book: SEVEN SUSPECTS, Michael Innes

This contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books comes from an academic who wrote more than 30 novels over a 50 year period.

Fantastic Fiction credits Michael Innes (John Innes Mackintosh Stewart) with the creation of a sub-genre of "donnish" crime fiction, that is, crime fiction and murder mysteries set in universities.

I read SEVEN SUSPECTS (aka DEATH AT THE PRESIDENT'S LODGING) in 1988, 52 years after it was published.

Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the President has been murdered in his Lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys...

Ironically before I read this novel, the beginning of Innes' Inspector Appleby series, he had stopped writing.
Well before I was born Innes was Jury Professor of English at the University of Adelaide that I would much later attend. More details and lists at Wikipedia.


George said...

I've read a number of the Appleby books. They never disappoint.

Les Blatt said...

May I also recommend "Lament for a Maker," which I think was Innes's best book. Set in the remote Scottish highlands, told, Moonstone-like, by a succession of narrators, it is a dazzling book with memorable characters.


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