The Immaterial Murder Case

By Julian Symons

First published: UK, Gollancz, 1945

4 stars

Symons - Immaterial Murder Case.JPG
Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC

Enjoyable—firmly in the line of Carr and Innes, complete with map and time-table, and a nice twist in the solution (wrong acroidal solution followed by the Carrian logical solution), but the plot’s very cluttered and hard to follow.

Plotting wasn’t Symons’s strength at all—he lacked the clarity in exposition of the humdrums!  Artistic / night-club setting reminded me of the unreadable Face on the Cutting-room Floor.  Interesting that he should later disavow this book and refuse to have it reprinted—not enough of a “crime novel”?

Note also a spoof on the Great Detective (one of Symons’s many bug-bears): the outrageous Teak Woode.  Inspector Bland solves the mystery.