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Death of Anton

Death of Anton was better than I expected. I wasn’t quite sure how a mystery centered around a traveling circus would work out. I recently read Ngaio Marsh’s Vintage Murder where the mystery focused on a traveling performing troupe and I didn’t enjoy a lot of it. I was afraid Anton would be of a similar nature and not keep my attention. I was wrong, and pleasantly so.


This was a humorous and clever read. Detective-Inspector Minto was funny and had several excellent observations and one-liners that had me chuckling. His thoughts on his sister’s marriage and fiancé were good for a laugh. Perhaps the best bit was about porridge at the hotel, confounding the poor waiter but giving readers an amusing scene. I should have known I’d laugh through this one because Melville’s Quick Curtain is one of the funniest mysteries I’ve ever read. Humor seems to be a hallmark of his writing.


The mystery itself is set up so that, even though the title tells you what the big investigation is going to be, there are enough other odd things going on that it’s clear Minto will have his work cut out for him. There are threads to follow all over the place and when they come together, it’s very well done and tied up neatly.


I have this one on my list of Amusing Mysteries. And rightly so. While the crime is a good one and the setting is unusual, Minto makes the book with his observations and commentary. I’d love to hear what other funny and humorous mysteries you’ve read.


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