Hamlet, Revenge! by Michael Innes is a classic British mystery novel featuring Inspector John Appleby of Scotland Yard. The story takes place in the grand Seamnum Court, where a party is being held with guests from the highest echelons of society. Amidst the glittering company, thinly veiled threats are being circulated among the guests, and it becomes clear that tensions are running high.
As the guests prepare for their amateur production of Hamlet, things take a dark turn when the Duke of Horton, the Lord Chancellor of England, is murdered during his portrayal of Polonius. With the threat of war looming, it is suspected that espionage may be involved, and the Prime Minister sends Inspector Appleby to investigate.
But before he can even begin his investigation, Appleby is confronted with another murder, and it quickly becomes clear that he is dealing with a complex and dangerous case. Acting on orders, Appleby must search for a sensitive government document, all while trying to unearth the motive behind the murders and find the killer with a deadly grudge.
What sets Hamlet, Revenge! apart from other classic British mysteries is its richly detailed setting and complex plot. Innes paints a vivid picture of the glamorous world of high society in the 1930s, and the descriptions of Seamnum Court and its surroundings are particularly impressive. The characters are also well-drawn and interesting, with each having their own secrets and motivations that slowly come to light over the course of the novel.
Inspector Appleby himself is a compelling protagonist, and his calm and measured approach to the case is a welcome contrast to some of the more emotional characters in the story. His intelligence and determination are evident throughout the novel, and it is always satisfying to watch him slowly unravel the mystery.
The murder itself is a classic closed-room mystery, with a limited pool of suspects and a seemingly impossible method of murder. Innes does an excellent job of building the tension and keeping the reader guessing until the final reveal.
Hamlet, Revenge! is a well-written and engaging mystery novel that will appeal to fans of classic British detective fiction. With its intriguing plot, richly drawn setting, and memorable characters, it is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good whodunit. You can get a copy from Amazon here.