The Viaduct Murder
THE VIADUCT MURDER
      by Ronald A. Knox
Viaduct2.jpg (16004 bytes)           An out-of-print masterpiece of detective fiction: One of the seminal works of the genre, The Viaduct Murder was first published in 1925. It was selected by Howard Haycraft to be included in the ultimate mystery list: The Haycraft-Queen Definitive Library of Detective-Crime-Mystery Fiction, Two Centuries of Cornerstones 1748-1948.

          Marryatt (the clergyman), Carmichael (the retired don), Reeves (the former member of the military intelligence), and Gordon (the vacationing golfer) are playing golf in Paston Oatvile when Reeves slices his drive from the third tee. In searching for the ball they come upon the dead body of Mr. Brotherhood below the railroad viaduct. When they find his hat 15 yards away from the body they suspect "there’s been dirty work." The foursome set out to solve his murder.

          Father Knox has provided us with a witty, clever, and thoroughly delightful, classic British mystery story.

Review

"The Viaduct Murder is British mystery at its most classic, most entertaining best.  Knox knows how to weave a good yarn."  THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW, June, 2002. ("Shelley's Bookshelf")

Born in Leicestershire, England, on February 17, 1888, to an Anglican family, Ronald (Arbuthnott) Knox was a fascinating person. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he was appointed chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford, in 1912 and converted to Catholicism in 1917. At the same time that he served as Roman Catholic chaplain of Oxford University (1926-1939) and as domestic prelate to the Pope (1936), he wrote classic detective stories.

According to his niece, Penelope Fitzgerald, a fine author in her own right, Msgr. Knox was probably the best known Roman Catholic Bishop of his day. He singlehandedly translated the St. Jerome Latin Vulgate Bible into English. His works on religious themes include: Some Loose Stones (1913), Reunion All Round (1914), The Spiritual Aeneid (1918), The Belief of Catholics (1927), Caliban in Grub Street (1930), Heaven and Charing Cross (1935), Let Dons Delight (1939), and Captive Flames (1940).

Msgr. Knox’s Roman Catholicism caused his father to cut him out of his will. This did not make much difference, however, as Knox earned a good income from his detective novels. His mystery stories include: The Viaduct Murder (1925), The Body in the Silo (1933), and Still Dead (1934).


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