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The List of Adrian Messenger by Philip…

The List of Adrian Messenger (original 1959; edition 1969)

by Philip MacDonald

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159975,058 (4.18)6
Title:The List of Adrian Messenger
Authors:Philip MacDonald
Info:Bantam (1969), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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The List of Adrian Messenger by Philip MacDonald (Author) (1959)

  1. 00
    And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Killer working on a selected group, and with a high body count.
  2. 00
    The Ninth Guest by Gwen Bristow (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Killer working on a selected group, and with a high body count.

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
What a great novel! This is a classic British mystery that kept my engaged and intrigued. While it is 11th in a series, I have never read any of the others and I didn't feel I missed a thing by starting with this one. It's definitely a stand-alone mystery.

A British novelist, Adrian Messenger, shows up with a list of seemingly unrelated people and wants his friend, who is in law enforcement, to check them out. Just find out if they are still alive or not. That's all he wants to know. When Messenger is subsequently killed in a questionable airplane accident, the search begins to find out if the list is related to his death and how the people on it are related to each other. The answer will take them into the upper echelons of British aristocracy.

While easy to read, the book does assume the readers are smart and clever. I like a book that assumes I'm intelligent. It's a smart, classic mystery writing at it's best! ( )
2 vote Mrsbaty | Apr 29, 2013 |
Although a bit old fashioned stylistically, this book is presents a terrific puzzle and its solution and resolution are very satisfying. ( )
1 vote jrtanworth | Jul 6, 2011 |
Although this is a better than okay thriller it is the basis of a really good film -- falling into that small category of movies that were better than the books they were based on. What makes it especially rare is the movie isn't better simply because the book is bad. ( )
  mmyoung | Feb 2, 2010 |
A puzzling mystery featuring detective, Anthony Gethryn (13th in the series), who must discover the key to the ten names on the late Adrian Messenger's list. A movie of the same name borrowed the title and a few plot points, but otherwise, this mystery is very different and much more engrossing. Recommended. ( )
  y2pk | Sep 11, 2009 |
I love the movie but the book is even better. I’d like to read another “Anthony Gethryn” mystery but none are in print. They are so old and weren’t that popular I may never be able to track one down but I’ll keep a look out. Of course, this may have been the best one! It is an interesting coincidence that the villains in both of the two mysteries I’ve read (so far) this month were highly intelligent “mastermind” criminals with no concern for anyone or anything outside their own self interests. In The Secret Adversary (Agatha Christie) the criminal decided to become this mastermind in order to use his high intelligence to the best advantage in a field—crime-- that he felt had never been exploited properly by the very intelligent. In List the criminal was merely out for great personal gain—wealth and prestige—but his great intelligence and utter lack of concern for anyone but himself made it possible for him to carry out his aims for several years without arousing suspicion. I guess mystery authors love mastermind criminals as much as mastermind detectives. ( )
  MusicMom41 | Jun 1, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MacDonald, PhilipAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curell i Gotor, HortènsiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsh, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The tale hinges, like so much in humanity's sorry history, on a piece of paper. In this case, no broken treaty or injudicious epistle from one Personage to another but a slip upon which Adrian Messenger wrote the names of ten men.

This was the list Adrian Messenger turned over to a friend at Scotland Yard. He offered no explanation, no apology for the trouble that checking on such an unconnectable, unassociated group might cause — only the cryptic remark that his list might represent "a sin far older than any politics." He had no time to give warning...

And that was how it began — the strange case that called for the extraordinary talents of Anthony Gethryn and plunged him into a desperate man hunt for the nameless, faceless killer who, after five years of diabolical preparation, now stood ready to commit his final and most vicious act.

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The potential heirs to a family fortune are being killed off, and George C. Scott must find the killer in time to save the young grandson.

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