The Footsteps at the Lock

Urbane mystery, set in the pastoral reaches of the upper Thames, concerns the disappearance of young heir to a fortune Insurance company investigator Miles Bredon takes on the case Delightfully tongue in cheek tone, baffling clues, challenging mystery counterpointed by poetic evocation of the river and countryside Fine novel by author of 10 celebrated commandments forUrbane mystery, set in the pastoral reaches of the upper Thames, concerns the disappearance of young heir to a fortune Insurance company investigator Miles Bredon takes on the case Delightfully tongue in cheek tone, baffling clues, challenging mystery counterpointed by poetic evocation of the river and countryside Fine novel by author of 10 celebrated commandments for writing detective fiction.
The Footsteps at the Lock Urbane mystery set in the pastoral reaches of the upper Thames concerns the disappearance of young heir to a fortune Insurance company investigator Miles Bredon takes on the case Delightfully tongue

  • Title: The Footsteps at the Lock
  • Author: Ronald Knox
  • ISBN: 9780486244938
  • Page: 211
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Footsteps at the Lock”

    1. Nigel and Derek are cousins who don’t like each other. Both are ne’er do wells who eternally need money, with Derek also suffering from poor health and a drug problem. Inexplicably, they decide to take an extended canoe excursion through English countryside waterways. During this excursion, Derek disappears (or does he?) and is thought to have been murdered, with Nigel being the obvious perpetrator. Onto this scene arrives Miles Bredon, investigator for the Indescribable Insurance Company, a [...]

    2. Another mystery novel with detective Miles Bredon solving the problem while playing patience.The mystery itself is a tangle with the least probable solution. Bredon discusses the possible solutions with inspector Leyland, but keeps some of his ideas from him (and from the reader) so as to surprise both.

    3. Father Knox was an influential theologian, classical scholar and critic. He is well-known in the mystery field as one of the founders of of Holmesian scholarship as well as the author of the celebrated "ten commandments" for writing detective fiction. These commandments are as follows:1. The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know.2. All supernatural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of [...]

    4. BOTTOM LINE: Set in 1928 Oxford and London, and many of the canals, waterways and pubs in the upper reaches of the Thames, with special attention to Shipcote Lock. We follow two young men in a boat, on a summer’s journey with serious undertones. Classic puzzler from the 1920s and on many "best of" lists. All in all this was an enjoyable read but I had one major problem: I managed to guess precisely where the all the twists and turns would come, and pretty nearly exactly what they would be! But [...]

    5. A book completely of its period. At its centre are two unlikeable cousins, Derek and Nigel, and wills leaving one or the other of them large sums of money, depending on who survives whom and when. Derek is stupid, unimaginative, and addicted to drugs; Nigel is pretentious, vain, and fancies himself a Wildean aesthete. Trying to please a dying rich aunt by pretending to like each other, they go on a boating trip down the Thames, where first one and then the other disappears under very mysterious [...]

    6. Ronald A Knox was a mystery writer in the early part of the 20th century who belonged to a club peopled by such writers as Christie, Sayers and G. K Chesterton. He made a list of the ten commandments of detective fiction which includes such gems as 1. The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story2. No supernatural explanationsand 3. No Chinaman must figure in the story which may mean a foreign servant or passerby. He also says at #10 that if twins or doubles are used in the story [...]

    7. In the Golden Age style, a mystery puzzler set south of Oxford. Two academic cousins spend a weekly jaunt paddling the Thames through the country-side. A surprising coupling given that the cousins dislike one another. By journey's end, the canoe is found half-sunk and one cousin is missing but the other has a too-smooth alibi. An investigation ensures, as vast sums hang in the balanceheritance and backstop insurance proceeds hang in the balance on whether the cousin is dead or not. While the wit [...]

    8. Ronald A. Knox was a detective fan before he was a mystery novelist. One might think that's always the case, but I mean something more. I get the impression he began writing as a way to become even more immersed in the genre. That's my explanation for why Footsteps at the Lock isn't better than it is. The initial mystery is definitely intriguing: two cousins who don't get along and are both up for an inheritance go boating and one disappears. But the detection becomes more and more puzzle-domina [...]

    9. A mystery written eighty-some years ago by the most literate translator of the Catholic Bible has to have some interest to it. And it does. Monsignor Ronald A. Knox has created what is undoubtedly the most complex and detailed mysteries ever penned. Ironically, it takes place in the rural upper reaches of the Thames, in a bucolic atmosphere marked by canal locks, isolated farms, and an occasional country inn. If it weren't for the fact that Knox is a great stylist (as his translation of the Bibl [...]

    10. Competent, mildly enjoyable Golden Age specimen by the framer of the "Ten Rules of Detective Fiction" and author of the clever if racist story "Solved by Inspection." There are too few suspects, a confusing outdoor crime scene that will have you frequently consulting the supplied map, and deductions from information known to Bredon but concealed from the reader (e.g. shadows in a photograph, contents of a railway guide and a medical record book: for a mystery by the framer of the "Ten Rules," th [...]

    11. I love old mysteries with a map attached--the Dell mapback series is one of my favorites. However, this mystery pretty much requires the map to make head or tail of the story. I did like the Oxford locale and breezy banter, but Knox doesn't write well enough to make a plot of such complexity enjoyable. Beautiful cover picture, thoughW, features an American amateur detective-type called Erasmus Quirk--a year before the introduction of Ellery Queen. Coincidence?

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