The Eighth Detective is a clever thinking-man’s thriller that uses golden-age mystery tropes in an imaginative way. It’s a modern homage to the genre. And, surprisingly, a debut!
It’s 1930 in Spain. Megan, Henry and Bunny meet to discuss their old Oxford school days. Bunny says, “The three of us need to have a conversation, away from Spanish eyes.” However, tiring after a long walk home, Bunny has a siesta from which he never awakens. It’s a locked room mystery where the assailant had to go up a staircase next to where Megan and Henry were sitting. Both Megan and Henry propose complicated solutions rarely found outside the last chapter of Agatha Christie mysteries. It ends with a surprising twist.
Luckily, Megan, Henry, and Bunny’s tale is just one of seven stories within this book. The overarching plot is of the author of the stories, Grant. He is working with an editor, Julia, to get his tales ready for publication. It has a behind-the-scenes effect that is enchanting. Next, throw some math in there showing the “mathematical structure of mysteries”. Add what the minimum number of items are necessary for a plot to be a mystery with a story or two to use as an example. Stir well.
I adored The Eighth Detective. It is definitely one of my favorites. If you too want to see how the sausage is being made, I suggest reading this enchanting tale. 5 stars!
Thanks to Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.