Death at the President’s Lodging is a detective novel written by Michael Innes, first published in 1936. The novel features Inspector John Appleby, a recurring character in Innes’ detective fiction, and is set in an Oxford college.
The plot revolves around the death of the President of St. Anthony’s College, who is found murdered in his lodgings. Inspector Appleby is called in to investigate the case, and soon discovers that the President was not a popular figure among his colleagues.
As the investigation progresses, Appleby encounters a wide range of suspects, including the President’s wife, his mistress, and various members of the college staff. The plot is complicated by the presence of a mysterious Frenchman, a stolen manuscript, and a set of cryptic clues left by the victim before his death.
The novel is notable for its intricate plot, its use of literary and historical allusions, and its detailed portrayal of academic life in Oxford. It is also considered one of Innes’ most successful novels, and helped to establish him as a leading figure in the golden age of detective fiction.
Death at the President’s Lodging is a classic example of the genre, combining elements of mystery, suspense, and intellectual puzzle-solving in a satisfying and entertaining read.
Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes is a classic example of the golden age of detective fiction, and one of the author’s most successful novels. The book features the character of Inspector John Appleby, a recurring figure in Innes’ detective fiction, and is set in an Oxford college, providing a rich and detailed backdrop for the investigation.
One of the strengths of the book is its intricate and complex plot, which features a wide range of suspects and a series of cryptic clues left by the victim before his death. Innes is particularly skilled at creating a sense of suspense and intrigue, as the reader is kept guessing about the identity of the murderer and the motive for the crime.
Another notable aspect of the book is its use of literary and historical allusions, which add depth and richness to the narrative. Innes was a professor of English literature, and his love of the subject is evident in the many references to Shakespeare, Tennyson, and other writers and poets. The novel is also notable for its detailed portrayal of academic life in Oxford, which adds an extra layer of interest for readers who are fascinated by the traditions and rituals of the university.
One potential weakness of the book is that some readers may find the style and language somewhat old-fashioned, with long and sometimes convoluted sentences, and a reliance on intellectual and cultural references that may not be familiar to all readers. However, for those who appreciate the style and traditions of the golden age of detective fiction, this will be a strength rather than a weakness.
Death at the President’s Lodging is a well-crafted and satisfying detective novel, with a rich and detailed setting, a complex and engaging plot, and a memorable cast of characters. It is a must-read for fans of the genre, and a worthy introduction to the work of Michael Innes.
You can buy a copy of the book from Amazon here.