The Crime of the Century

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Mysterious Press, 1975 - Fiction - 162 pages
2 Reviews
Serialized in a British newspaper in 1975, this edition of Amis's whodunit benefits from an introduction by the master satirist himself. The plot involves the murders of young women in London and the special committee set up to coordinate investigations with the police, when even Scotland Yard's most famous detectives fail to catch the killer. The professional sleuths, therefore, consult with an odd assortment of amateurs: Chris Dane, crime novelist; Benedict Royal, an intellectual rock star; Sir Neil Costello, QC; members of Parliament; and psychiatrists, including Marcus Varga, who's flakier than his patients. As the murders continue, so does Amis keep adding ingenious red herrings while playing fair by planting clues for readers sharp enough to spot them. The solution, however, will strike most mystery buffs as tops in the art of literary legerdemain. An alternate denouement, submitted by one of the newspaper's subscribers, closes the book and emphasizes just how foxy the author is.

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User Review  - hvhay - LibraryThing

It's Kingsley Amis, so I thought how bad could it be? It's not entirely devoid of wit and style, so 2 stars. But it was pretty unintelligible, for me anyway. Perhaps it came across better as a serial, I don't know. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SusanListon - LibraryThing

Tried to read this, bogged down. Thought, oh come on, it's so short, try again. I got a lot farther this time, but bogged down again. Too many characters that I can't tell apart, doesn't matter who dun it because I won't know for sure who it is anyway. Read full review

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About the author (1975)

Kingsley Amis is generally considered one of the "angry young men" of the 1950s. He was born in London in 1922 and educated at the City of London School. He received a degree in English language and literature from St. John's College, Oxford, in 1947. Until 1961 Amis lectured in English at University College, Swansea, and for the following two years at Cambridge. In 1947 Amis published his first collection of poems, Bright November. Frame of Mind followed in 1953 and Poems: Fantasy Portraits in 1954. His first novel, Lucky Jim (1954), established his reputation as a writer. He followed with That Uncertain Feeling (1956), and I Like It Here (1958). A longtime James Bond devotee, Amis wrote a James Bond adventure after the death of Ian Fleming in 1964. Amis's study of the famous spy was titled The James Bond Dossier (1965). Amis received the Booker Prize for the Old Devils (1986). Amis's later works include Memoirs (1990), and The King's English, a collection of essays on the craft of writing well. Amis was knighted in 1990. He died in 1995.

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