Malice Aforethought – Frances Iles (1930)

I’ve been meaning to get around to this book for years.  Malice Aforethought is probably the most consistent title to come up whenever inverted mysteries are discussed, and I had a feeling that I should get to it before I read too many books in that vein.  In part, I had gotten the impression that there may be some unique twist to this book that was later copied by others, although having now read this, I don’t think there’s really anything that spoilable.

Anthony Berkeley (here writing as Francis Iles) has been really enjoyable for me so far.  His characters have this delightful smug selfishness, and his wry observations through them tell as much about the thinker as they do about whoever the snarky thoughts are directed at.  It makes the stories a humorous read without ever veering in the direction of comedy.  Yeah, some of his characters are inevitably asses, but that’s the fun part.

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