Book Review: The Kennel Murder Case by S. S. Van Dine (Philo Vance, 6)

The Kennel Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine is a classic mystery novel first published in 1933. The story follows detective Philo Vance as he investigates the murder of a wealthy dog breeder, Archer Coe, who is found dead in his bedroom with the door locked from the inside.

The novel is filled with twists and turns as Vance unravels the web of lies and deceit surrounding Coe’s murder. The characters are well-drawn and interesting, with each suspect having their own motive for wanting Coe dead. The plot is intricate and well-plotted, with plenty of clues and red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

One of the strengths of the novel is Van Dine’s attention to detail. The clues and evidence are presented in a logical and methodical way, and the reader is given all the information they need to solve the mystery alongside Vance. The author’s writing style is also engaging and easy to read, with a dry wit and a flair for description.

Another strength of the novel is its depiction of New York high society in the 1930s. The characters are all members of the upper class, and Van Dine uses their interactions and behavior to comment on the societal norms of the time. The book also touches on issues of race and class, with Vance frequently making pointed observations about the hypocrisy of the wealthy elite.

The Kennel Murder Case is an entertaining and well-crafted mystery novel that has stood the test of time. Van Dine’s attention to detail and clever plotting make it a rewarding read for fans of the genre, while his social commentary gives it added depth and interest. You can buy a copy of this classic mystery here.


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