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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6161726,267 (3.26)23
Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton and nine other writers from the legendary Detection Club collaborate in this fiendishly clever but forgotten crime novel first published 80 years ago. Inspector Rudge does not encounter many cases of murder in the sleepy seaside town of Whynmouth. But when an old sailor lands a rowing boat containing a fresh corpse with a stab wound to the chest, the Inspector's investigation immediately comes up against several obstacles. The vicar, whose boat the body was found in, is clearly withholding information, and the victim's niece has disappeared. There is clearly more to this case than meets the eye - even the identity of the victim is called into doubt. Inspector Rudge begins to wonder just how many people have contributed to this extraordinary crime and whether he will ever unravel it... 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 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, with Agatha Christie's ingenious conclusion acknowledged at the time to be 'enough to make the book worth buying on its own'. The authors of this novel are: G. K. Chesterton, 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.… (more)



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English (16)  German (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
What an interesting and fun experiment this must have been for the members of the Detection Club to write a mystery - in full compliance with club rules - where one author built on the previous chapters but without having a collective idea about what the plot should be.

As much as I loved seeing each author bringing their individual style to the project, the overall product left me stranded after a few chapters - by the time Ronald Knox summarised all of the clues the preceding chapters had presented to the reader I was lost. After Knox had finished with his list, I had largely lost interest.

However, the solutions that the authors had included in the appendix (not the actual solution to the mystery but the individual solutions that each of the authors predicted) made up for the struggle to finish the book.

And I have to say, Dame Agatha's chapter and solution stole the show for me. She clearly had fun writing her parts for this project and clearly did not take herself seriously in this at all. It was so much fun to watch this. ( )
  BrokenTune | May 26, 2020 |
The Detection Club is a celebrated group of British mystery writers, formed in 1930 during the so-called ‘Golden Age’. In 1931, 14 members of the club – including Christie, G.K. Chesterton, Canon Victor Whitechurch and Dorothy L. Sayers – wrote this collaborative experiment. Each of the fourteen chapters was written by one of them, after which a suggested solution was sealed in an envelope, and the book was passed on to the next author for the next chapter. It’s far from perfect, but "The Floating Admiral" is a fascinating read: these 14 authors were experts in their field, and – although the sealed solutions show that many had picked up on at least the general direction of the clues – it’s marvelous to see how these professionals manage to pick up on the existing elements and weave them into a constantly-changing narrative. "The Floating Admiral" is tough to find these days, but if you can, grab it. (Personally, I recommend dating someone whose father collects such books; it’s a no-fail option.) ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
The fact that it the chapters were written by different authors makes it interesting. Plot as thought of by each author is given at the end of the book. This gives different possibilities that interest the reader. Well written and compiled. ( )
  rodzmerl | Jan 18, 2020 |
Enjoyed this one; I liked the character development, no mean feat when the book is written by a dozen different authors! I want to see Inspector Rudge in more books! ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (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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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
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