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The Floating Admiral by Detection Club

The Floating Admiral

by The Detection Club

Other authors: E. C. Bentley (Contributor), Anthony Berkeley (Contributor), G.K. Chesterton (Contributor), Agatha Christie (Contributor), G. D. H. Cole (Contributor)10 more, Margaret Isabel Cole (Contributor), Freeman Wills Crofts (Contributor), Clemence Dane (Contributor), Edgar Jepson (Contributor), Milward Kennedy (Contributor), Ronald Arbuthnott Knox (Contributor), John Rhode (Contributor), Dorothy L. Sayers (Contributor), Henry Wade (Contributor), Victor L. Whitechurch (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Detection Club (2)

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English (12)  German (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
An interesting experiment in group writing that rather fails as a detective story. Members of The Detection Club got together in 1931 on a cooperative project to raise fund for the organization. Each athor writes a chapter of a murder mystery, and each one must be consistent with any clues or plot points developed in the previous chapter.
This is a difficult, I might say impossible feat to pull off. That is, the authors liv up to the agreement, but since each in puts their spin on the story, the reader is presented with a messy plot and characters whose motives and actions are wildly incoherent.
All that said, it’s a bit entertaining to see the different writing styles juxtaposed. I felt a distinct sense of relief when reading the chapters by Christie and Sayers: here, I thought, are polished, witty professionals at work. The final chapter, “Cleaning Up the Mess,” shows Anthony Berkeley’s amazing way with a plot. Oh, and the chapter by John Rhode was the best of the rest.
I’m not sorry I read it, but it’s only for fanatics of the Golden Age of detection. ( )
  bohemima | Sep 18, 2018 |
Like most golden age detective novels this made the perfect holiday reading. The writing was a bit uneven (a chapter or two dragged a bit), but that is only to be expected in a collaboration. Half the fun was reading the solutions at the end. While Agatha Chrisite's was justifiably famous I was charmed by (and sympathetic with) Clemence Dane's plaintive complaint that she had no idea how it would ever be resolved. ( )
  uemmak | Aug 9, 2018 |
This novel tends to prove that having a lot of famous authors doesn't necessarily make for a better novel.

As the novel develops, each author adds various plot elements such as "discoveries", new characters, and red herrings, so that by the last chapter the stage is very cluttered indeed. It was Anthony Berkeley's job to pull it all together at the end and to "make sense of the mess". The reader isn't really given a lot of help in deciding which things to eliminate from consideration and by the end we have two bodies, and a police Inspector who appears to be totally confused. The result is that the final chapter is more like a novella, very long, and final plot is very complicated.

It does help that the narrator, David Timson, is so good and provides a sense of continuity with his voice, as well as distinguishing cleverly between characters. I'd like to be able to say that I recognised the various styles of the authors, but I'm not sure that I did. You are told at the beginning of each chapter who has been responsible for this chapter.

I have talked to fellow readers about this concept, particularly in relation to teams of writers responsible for novels. Just recently we came across an Australian novel written by 5 authors, and two writers in a team like Nicci French, Michael Stanley, and Charles Todd are quite common. ( )
  smik | May 10, 2018 |
Eh. The mystery, as a mystery, is kind of meh. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, including the detective. And it was a nice police procedural, showing his discoveries step by step - until the last author turned him into a know-it-all, as he lied (ok, implied completely false things) to his superiors in detail. Then tada! accused a completely different person, and claimed he'd never mentioned _who_ it was he was making that detailed case against. At that point I wasn't interested enough to go back and see what he'd actually said. So the more interesting part of the book is the gimmick, where each author got the preceding part of the book and had to decide who'd done what and write their part aiming the reader (and the next author) in the direction of that solution. It was interesting reading the solutions in the back. Dorothy Sayers did by far the most complex and complete dissection of the answer - and she got a lot of it right, everything but the actual murder (who was where, motivations, etc). But she got the murder itself completely wrong, far more complicated than it in fact was (or rather, more complicated than the final author let it be). I'm pleased I read it, but I doubt I'll ever reread - not worth the time. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Sep 9, 2015 |
Ab oddity; a mystery in which each chaper was written by a dierent member f the DEtectun Cub. Not a good coherent ystery, but ce to have the controbtions frm some class authors. ( )
  antiquary | Oct 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
The Detection Clubprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bentley, E. C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berkeley, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, G.K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Christie, AgathaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cole, G. D. H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cole, Margaret IsabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crofts, Freeman WillsContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dane, ClemenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jepson, EdgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, MilwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knox, Ronald ArbuthnottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rhode, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sayers, Dorothy L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wade, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitechurch, Victor L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristiannaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caricchio, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grastorf, Dennis J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hart, CarolynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Αργυροπούλ… ΤζένηTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martínez Osete, JuanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicolaas, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oyuela, María AntoniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Penzler, OttoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
van der Harst, P.A.H.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiegand, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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(Introduction by Dorothy L. Sayers)

When members of the official police force are invited to express an opinion about the great detectives of fiction, they usually say with a kindly smile: "Well, of course, it's not the same for them as it is for us.
(Prologue by G. K. Chesterton)

Three glimpses through the rolling smoke of opium, three stories that still hover about a squalid opium joint in Hong Kong, might very well at this distance of time be dismissed as pipe dreams.
Everyone in Lingham knew old Neddy Ware, though he was not a native of the village, having only resided there for the last ten years; which, in the eyes of the older inhabitants who had spent the whole of their lives in that quiet spot, constituted him still a "stranger."
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Book description
Ein Angler entdeckt ein treibendes Boot mit dem toten Admiral Penistone: er wurde ermordet. Aber warum, von wem und wie? Das fragt sich vor allem Inspektor Rudge. - Verschiedene Autoren schreiben den Krimi weiter fort, müssen dazu alle Hinweise der Vorgänger aufnehmen und geben jeder auch ein eigenes Ende. Weitere Autoren sind: Canon Victor L. Whitechurch, G.D.H. und M. Cole, Henry Wade, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Ronald A. Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane und Anthony Berkeley
OP een avond in het hoofdkwartier bijeen besloten de leden van de illustere club van Engelse detectiveschrijvers hun gezamenlijke krachten op één detectiveroman te beproeven. Ieder van de leden zou een hoofdstuk voor zijn of haar rekening nemen zonder te weten welke plot de auteur van de voorgaande episode in gedachten had. Dit boek is het resultaat van hun gezamenlijk werk.

It was a typical foggy day when the members of the world-famous Detection Club gathered at the club's London headquarters.

Each contributor tackled the mystery presented without knowing what solution the previous authors had in mind.
For the first time in history, the creators of Hercule Poirot & Miss Marple, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Father Brown all applied their expertise to the same case.
The result - the unique classic that you are about to read!
"Is that your hat?"
"Yes, Inspector, certainly it is. But will you tell me why you ask me this - and what you have all come about?"
"I will, sir. This hat was found in your boat early this morning. Your boat was drifting with the tide up-stream. And in her was the dead body of your opposite neighbour, Admiral Penistone - murdered, Mr. Mount."
The Floating Admiral is a collaborative detective novel written by fourteen members of the Detection Club in 1931. The twelve chapters of the story were each written by a different author, in the following sequence: Canon Victor Whitechurch, G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole, Henry Wade, Agatha Christie, John Rhode, Milward Kennedy, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ronald Knox, Freeman Wills Crofts, Edgar Jepson, Clemence Dane and Anthony Berkeley. G. K. Chesterton contributed a Prologue, which was written after the novel had been completed.

In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G.K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue and Anthony Berkeley to tie up all the loose ends. In addition, each of the authors provided their own solution in a sealed envelope, all of which appeared at the end of the book.

As Sayers explained in the introduction to the book, "Each writer must construct his instalment with a definite solution in view—that is, he must not introduce new complications merely 'to make it more difficult' ... [E]ach writer was bound to deal faithfully with all the difficulties left for his consideration by his predecessors." (from Wikipedia)
Introduction by Dorothy L. Sayers
Prologue: "The Three Pipe Dreams" by G. K. Chesterton
Chapter I.: Corpse Ahoy! by Canon Victor L. Whitechurch
Chaper II: Breaking the News by G. D. H. and M. Cole
Chapter III: Bright Thoughts on Tides by Henry Wade
Chapter IV: Mainly Conversation by Agatha Christie
Chapter V.: Inspector Rudge Begins to Form a Theory by John Rhode
Chapter VI.: Inspector Rudge Thinks Better of It by Milward Kennedy
Chapter VII.: Shocks for the Inspector by Dorothy L. Sayres
Chapter VIII.:Thirty-Nine Articles of Doubt by Ronald A. Knox
Chapter IX.: The Visitor in the Night by Freeman Wills Crofts
Chapter X.: The Bathroom Basin by Edgar Jepson
Chapter XI.: At the Vicarage by Clemence Dane
Chapter XII Clearing up the Mess by Anthony Berkeley
Appendix I.: Solutions
Appendix II Notes on Mooring of Boat
Counsel's Opinion on Fitzgerald's Will
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044124095X, Paperback)


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In 1931, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and ten other crime writers from the newly-formed 'Detection Club' collaborated in publishing a unique crime novel. In a literary game of consequences, each author would write one chapter, leaving G.K. Chesterton to write a typically paradoxical prologue.… (more)

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