#892: “He happens to be around when so many murders crop up…” – Bodies from the Library 2 [ss] (2019) ed. Tony Medawar

With the Bodies from the Library 5 (2022) collection due in a couple of months, and spin-off Ghosts from the Library (2022) coming later in the year, the time seems ripe to revisit one of the earlier collections which — given the timespan over which I first read them — I failed to review on publication. And since, for reasons too complicated to bore you with here, the second volume was the first one I encountered, it’s there I’ll head today.

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#715: The Woman in the Wardrobe (1951) by Peter Shaffer [a.p.a. by Peter Antony]

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The one thing a book cannot guard against is the expectations that build up around it — and the rarer a book proves to be, the more apocryphal its contents, the higher those expectations tend to rise. The Woman in the Wardrobe (1951) by Peter Shaffer has been staggeringly unobtainable for decades now and, with no less an authority than Robert Adey promising “a brilliant new solution” for its locked room murder, had much to live up to. We can’t blame the book for the solution not being new — not even slightly, Bob — but we can blame it for the flaws that disappointingly crop up in several key regards.

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