Writing under the pseudonym Neil Gordon, A. G. Macdonell wrote several crime and thriller novels. In the classic genre of ’20s and ’30s crime fiction, Macdonell managed to introduce a different element, unusual twists that keep the reader captivated and anxious to discover what came next.
Silent Murders begins with murder of an elderly tramp on the road between King’s Langley and Berkhampstead. Nobody really knows who the tramp was or what his background was. To his gentlemen-of-the-road peers he was known as ‘Stuck-up Sam’. The only unusual aspect of the crime was a square of cardboard tied to the last surviving button of the tramp’s ragged overcoat and on which was written the word ‘Three.’ The next victim could not have been different; for the gentleman silently shot through the open window of a taxi, stationery in traffic, was Mr Aloysius Skinner, Chairman of the Imperial Cochineal Company. A clue, for what it was worth, was a piece of white cardboard on which was printed in ink the single word ‘Four’, presumably thrown through the open window by the murderer.
Another murder took place at a quiet family tennis party in suburbia, with the host’s elder brother being the unfortunate victim of the bullet. The police assumed the bullet was intended for the host, Mr Henry Maddock, a gentleman of great wealth with a dubious background in Africa from where poverty had changed with peculiar suddenness to riches.
But with skill, ingenious twists, and a fast moving story-line, a tale is woven to show that not all was what it seemed. . .
New introduction by Alan Sutton.
A. G. Macdonell, (1895-1941) was a journalist and satirical novelist. Without doubt his best-known work was England Their England, but the success of this overshadows his other books, many of which were classics in their own way. The Autobiography of a Cad must surely rank as one of the funniest books ever written and Lords and Masters is a cutting and hard-hitting satire with frightening prescience, foreseeing the Second World War as inevitable.
His American trip in 1934 is amusingly related in A Visit to America, but his other non-fiction is also powerful and beautifully written, with his highly regarded Napoleon and his Marshals providing one of the best accounts of the Napoleonic Wars in one single volume.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm