I’m a sucker for the idea of a murder occurring within a maze. I suppose I’ll have to wait for John Dickson Carr’s All in a Maze or Murder in the Maze by JJ Connington to actually experience one. Philip MacDonald’s The Maze is more of the abstract kind, referring to the task of sifting through the testimony presented at an inquest. His idea is an interesting one. Most mystery novels would have us observe the investigation from the point of view of a character, taking in the setting, cast, and mannerisms, sprinkled with private observations. What if you stripped all of that away from a detective novel? What if you left the reader purely with the evidence of the case?
MacDonald makes a statement in his introduction that this would put you on a level playing field with the detective. You would have access to every last drop of information that the investigators have – no more, no less. Could you solve the crime?