Dr. Priestley’s Quest (John Rhode)

By John Rhode

First published: UK, Bles, 1926

Plenty of action in this one, as Priestley and Merefield work out who killed two brothers.  I solved it fairly easily, and so should you, but it’s good fun.  Influenced by Conan Doyle.

Blurb (UK)

Rhode - Dr Priestley's Quest.JPG
Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC

Perhaps the greatest achievement of Dr. Priestley’s career as a criminologist was his masterly solution of the strange mystery which is related in this volume.  The curious problem presented by the case of the Heatherdale brothers was well suited for the exercise of his peculiar powers of logical reasoning.

From the first dramatic disclosure of Mr. Gerald Heatherdale the narrative proceeds by a series of startling events to a conclusion which few readers will be able to foretell.

And when you have read this story, you will want to read John Rhode’s previous books, “The Paddington Mystery” and “A.S.F.” – if you have not already read them.

Contemporary reviews

Sydney Morning Herald (12th June 1926):

It is often difficult to review detective novels, because stories of this kind usually depend almost entirely for their effect upon the ingenuity of the plot.  As a rule they make no other claim to distinction; artful construction is the basis of their appeal.  Yet to give an outline of the plot would be manifestly unfair to the authors whose business it is to beguile the reader into following a false scent, and then to surprise him with an unexpected denouement.  So of Dr. Priestley’s Quest, by Mr. John Rhode, we shall content ourselves with saying that we have met the sagacious doctor in previous books, and have been amazed at the skill with which he probes the most perplexing mysteries.  He is more than a detective: he is a criminologist, a philosopher, with remarkable powers of ratiocination.  In this capital tale he runs true to form; indeed, he surpasses himself, if that be possible.