The Bishop Murder Case is the fourth mystery novel about the immensely popular fictional detective Philo Vance, a sleuth and aesthete, by S. S. Van Dine, the pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright (1888-1939), an American art critic and detective novelist. Philo Vance is a fictional character featured in a total of 12 crime novels, published in the 1920s and 1930s. During that time, Vance was immensely popular in books, movies and on the radio. He was portrayed as a stylish, even foppish dandy, a New York bon vivant possessing a highly intellectual bent. The novels were chronicled by his friend Van Dine (who appears as a kind of Dr. Watson figure in the books as well as the author). Van Dine's first three mystery novels were unusual for mystery fiction because he planned them as a trilogy, but plotted and wrote them in short form, more or less at the same time. After they were accepted as a group by famed editor Maxwell Perkins, Van Dine expanded them into full-length novels. Although Van Dine was one of the most educated and cosmopolitan detective writers of his time, in his essays, he dismissed the idea of the mystery story as serious literature. He insisted that a detective novel should be mainly an intellectual puzzle that follows strict rules and does not wander too far afield from its central theme. [Elib]… (more)
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
The Earth is a Temple where there is going on a Mystery Play, childish and poignant, ridiculous and awful enough in all conscience. Conrad
Of all the criminal cases in which Philo Vance participated as an unofficial investigator, the most sinister, the most bizarre, the seemingly most incomprehensible, and certainly the most terrifying, was the one that followed the famous Greene murders.
Vance had risen, but before he could speak Arnesson came forward and shook his finger in mock reprimand at Drukker. 'You really should learn control, Adolph. You take life with such abominable seriousness. You've worked in interstellar spatial magnitudes long enough to have some sense of proportion. Why attach so much importance to this pin-point of life on earth?' Drukker was breathing stertorously. 'These swine -' he began. 'Oh, my dear Adolph!' Arnesson cut him short. 'The entire human race are swine. Why particularize? ... Come along. I'll see you home.'
I have often wondered if the architect was deliberate in his choice of decoration.
Description in Albatross 48 (1933): A champion archer is mysteriously pierced through the heart by an arrow. The ensuing investigations are fraught with baffling horrors but, thanks to the unique methods of Philo Vance, friend of the District Attorney, the weird problem is solved. Vance is one of the great amateur detectives and a worthy successor to Sherlock Holmes.