Friday, April 19, 2019

28. A Comedy of Terrors by Michael Innes

I believe I found this book in the free shelf on St-Viateur.  I've seen Michael Innes name around a lot, but have never actually read anything by him.  I took this one on the appeal of the British parlour mystery.  It definitely delivers on the sub-genre, being about an upperclass family meeting on their estate that is now surrounded by business and industry.  Unfortunately, the book itself just wasn't all that good. The writing was overly complex, trying to be more classical but, at least to my ear, ended up being convoluted and counter-intuitiive.  The plot was weak and without any emotional punch:  an uncle gets shot through the window but doesn't die; the family all snipe amongst each other so any of them could have done it but nobody has a really strong motive.  Some of the characterizations, in particular the two smug, superior youngest members of the family, were funny and at times the nasty wit made me chuckle.  I suspect that Innes may have been trying on a style here.  It didn't work for me.  I will check up on him and see what else I can try.

1 comment:

EJC said...

I just finished it today and thought I would see what others thought. I totally agree with what you wrote. Not his best at all. Took me forever to finish it.