Friday's Forgotten Books - Appleby's End - In Reference to Murder

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January 14, 2011


Patti Abbott

I always enjoyed these books immensely.

BV Lawson

They're a bit trippy in a way, but if you're in the mood for a romp with a little social commentary underlying the sometimes-biting humor, then these can be fun. Not all his books were quite as bizarre as this one, I take it -- I haven't read any non-Applebys, something I should rectify.

Todd Mason

And if it's the HERALD TRIBUNE that was saying that, odds are it was William White/"Anthony Boucher," burst from his disguise as H. H. Holmes...Innes was always on the periphery of my reading, and I, too, should look into picking up more than I have.

George Kelley

I have a stack of Innes books that are waiting for me to read them. I'll have to buy that Crippen & Landru collection, too. Nice review!


I began reading Michael Innes for the first time last year and haven't stopped yet. Just today I received APPLEBY'S END in the mail from Better World Books. Can't wait to read it!

BV Lawson

I have to admit, I hadn't read much Innes, either, Todd. But I'm determined to plow through my TBR list. I saw one blogger aim for 211 books in 2011 -- not a bad goal!

BV Lawson

Hi, George! Yes, I think I'd really like to read the short stories. There are 18 of them included, and I think it would be a nice way to get a better overview of the Appleby character.

BV Lawson

Yvette, sounds like you're in for a fun ride. It may be slightly thick at the beginning, but stay with it and it will suck you in.


I first encountered Innes through Julian Symons's Mortal Consequences many years ago. I read most of the Appleby books and enthusiastically recommended Innes (and the rather similar writer Edmund Crispin) to a number of people, who, almost without exception, hated them. I am glad to see (however belatedly) that someone agrees with me.

BV Lawson

I actually don't mind all the literary and cultural references. They add to the puzzle and to the atmosphere for me. I guess I can see why many of today's crime fiction readers who want "stuff to explode" or something more hard-boiled will definitely be disappointed. You have to go into them knowing the type of experience you're going to have and then it can be a lot of fun!

Les Blatt

Glad you enjoyed "Appleby's End," which really IS (as you indicated) on that border between the real and the surreal. I enjoy Innes; I think his best, really, was "Lament for a Maker," but there's plenty to admire in the other books as well. And the Crippen & Landru collection is great fun as well. Thanks for the review!

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