Trial and Error – Anthony Berkeley (1937)

TrialAndErrorMy only experience with Anthony Berkeley so far has been The Poisoned Chocolates Case.  Famous as it is for its multiple solutions, I was just as struck by Berkeley’s acerbic wit.  Each character was so deliciously smug in their observations of others, and yet so completely blind to their own foibles.

Trial and Error may not feature as tight of a mystery as The Poisoned Chocolates Case, but it more than makes up for it with a steady feed of wry observations.  Anthony Berkeley, through his characters, is so delectably smarmy that I can only imagine that he was the blueprint for Christianna Brand’s work that was to come in the following decades.  No other mystery writer seems to come close when it comes to communicating an entire story solely via sardonic observations.

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