Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

Here is one of my favorite pianists, Glenn Gould playing J.S. Bach, the Well-Tempered Clavier.

This was such a fun read, I raced through it.

Sir Eustace is sent a sample box of chocolates to his club. He is disgusted anyone would send him something so trite, especially since he doesn't like chocolates. Next to him is Mr. Bendix. Mr. Bendix has lost a bet with his wife and owes her a box of chocolates. Might he nab the box and give it to her? Why not save a few pounds, he figures.

Sir Eustace gladly gives him the chocolates and Mr. Bendix takes them home and gives them to his wife who proceeds to help herself, insisting that her husband eat a couple, which he does out of politeness. He does not care for chocolates.

On his way back to work, Mr. Bendix becomes violently ill and ends up in the hospital. When he finally is released, he discovers his wife is dead.

The chocolates were laced with poison and the immediate conclusion is, who was trying to kill Sir Eustace? After all, they were sent to him.

The police investigate but come to a dead end.

Enter a criminologists club. This is a group of men and women who solve murders as a hobby. One member is a lawyer, but the rest are mystery writers.

What ensues is a couple of chapters devoted to each member as they solved the crime. Not only do they solve it to their satisfaction, but they also demolish each other's theories to their own satisfaction.

However, one of them turns out to be right and the ending is satisfyingly unexpected.


Brian Joseph said...

This does sound like a fun book. I think that the wrong people eating chocolates has been a plot device for a lot of stories.

Thanks for the link. Glenn Gould was so very talented.

mudpuddle said...

i liked this book quite a bit. i've read some others by Berkeley also and liked them too... there are many 19th C. mystery writers who are ignored, mostly, and undeservedly so, imo... it's fun unearthing some of the more obscure ones except their works are often expensive and hard to find.

love Glenn Gould a lot, especially his Bach...

Sharon Wilfong said...

Thank you, Brian. I think you're right. In fact, as I was reading this story, I was wondering if I had not already read the plot somewhere else.

Sharon Wilfong said...

HI mudpuddle,

I do like the older mystery writers. It is too bad that some great writers sink into obscurity. In fact Josh gave me a book that is an anthology of forgotten writers who deserve to still be read.

Gould is about my favorite pianist.

ashok said...

Good review...

Sharon Wilfong said...

Thank you, Ashok.

Carol said...

I haven't read any of this author's books but I think he wrote quite a few prefaces for the authors featured in the British Library Crime Classics??

Sharon Wilfong said...

Hi Carol

I'm not sure if Berkely wrote prefaces for the authors in BLCC, but I think he writes a good old fashioned mystery.