This post serves a double purpose: firstly to reassure you that the promised spoiler-heavy discussion about The Box Office Murders, a.k.a. The Purple Sickle Murders (1929) by Freeman Wills Crofts is on the way, and secondly to let you know about the next spoiler-heavy review coming in April.
Having recently made the novel-length acquaintance of both Richard Austin Freeman and his sleuth Dr. John Thorndyke in Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight (1930), I’m keen to meet them both again. So, with a quick survey of the GAD Facebook group suggesting that Freeman’s second novel The Eye of Osiris, a.k.a. The Vanishing Man (1911) would provide a high standard of puzzle for me to get my teeth into, that is where I shall be heading.
My edition, the House of Stratus reprint, leftmost in the above image, summarises the plot thusly on the back cover:
John Bellingham is a world-renowned archaeologist who goes missing mysteriously after returning from a voyage to Egypt where fabulous treasures have been uncovered. Bellingham seems to have disappeared leaving clues, which lead all those hunting down blind alleys. But when the piercing perception of the brilliant Dr. Thorndyke is brought to bear on the mystery, the search begins for a man tattooed with the Eye of Osiris in this strange, tantalisingly enigmatic tale.
Sounds perfect! When do I start?!
These are usually collaborative affairs in which I ride on the coat-tails of the insight provided by a fellow blogger, but, to be honest, I’m curious to see what I’d write if I could just review something without having to edge round spoilers. That was, after all, the launching principle of these Spoiler Warning posts, and I’ve been fortunate to benefit from some wonderful collaborations with very insightful people, but just this one I’m going all Coca-Cola Classic and heading back to my roots, y’know?
As such, I’m doing this one tout seul and it’ll probably turn out to be the shortest and least successful so far. I guess we’ll all find out in April, eh? Worry not, though; there’s already a planned collaboration for July’s SW, and it’ll more than make up for the disappointment of this one…