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22gigantes.com - A wealthy banker, Sir Garth Fratten, dies suddenly from an aneurysm on the Duke of York's Steps. His doctor is satisfied that a mild shock such as being jostled would be enough to cause Sir Garth's death. It all seems so straightforward, and there is no inquest.But Fratten's daughter Inez is not satisfied. She places an advertisement in the London newspapers that comes to the attention of Scotland Yard, and Inspector John Poole is assigned to make enquiries.Poole's investigation leads him into a world of high finance where things are not as they seem; a sordid world in which rich young men make fools of themselves over chorus girls.
Most helpful customer reviews 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. A Bit Overrated By Douglas J. Bassett Wade is one of those Golden Age of Detection figures that is nearly forgotten today, although there is a small yet vocal school of enthusiasts who wish to change that and get his books republished. To the extent a modern reader can find any of his books at all nowadays it's probably a small number of titles that were republished by Harper Perennial in the Eighties (although even these are becoming a bit scarce.)Wade is often mislabeled as a "humdrum" writer, I agree with Curt Evans that he's really not. This book does have its procedural aspects to it, but unlike say Croft (who's all about the procedure) Wade is clearly trying to write a crime novel with more of the flavorings of a regular novel (at least, of his time). Here a financier is killed in a fairly clever way on, you guessed it, The Duke of York's Steps, and it's up to Inspector Poole to find out what's what.This book has been praised in recent years for its relative sophistication, and that's a fair take. It features a number of clichés of the period -- the Rich Financier, the Faithful Friend, the Dutiful Policeman, the Ne'er Do Well Son -- but tries at least to give these characters some depth. So the rich financier/victim is not a despicable human being, but rather a faltering, failing old man worried about his children, the ne'er do well is not completely corrupted, but rather ashamed of his past and trying to make amends, etc. All this is nicely done -- indeed I'd go so far as to say the setup is the best part of the book.I part ways with enthusiasts, though, in that I don't think much of the actual detection here. While the murder is very cleverly done, it requires a whole set of improbabilities both to pull off and to be discovered (there's really no reason that, given this particular murder actually existed, it wouldn't have resoundingly succeeded, except the dour ponderousness of the plotting itself -- ie, the only reason this murder is discovered is that we are reading a book in which murders are discovered). That can be fun in certain types of books, but something like this, which is reaching for realism, it feels off. Worse, this book reminds me of some of Connington's work in that it's incredibly dated. The final reveal here might have been surprising for readers at the time, but seems to me screamingly obvious -- I had the villain picked out very early on.I think it's natural for enthusiasts to overrate a writer they feel has been too much underrated in the past; I think that's what's going on here. Still, there's enough intriguing things here that I certainly would be interested in reading other Wades. 2 of 4 people found the following review helpful. So so Mystery By Mary Ingram I just discovered Henry Wade recently. This book was written in1929 and concerns what was called then "The Glorious Age". Iwas born later but I personally wouldnt care to call that age,glorious-an age that led to the worse depression this countryever had. This one is about a wealthy financier in London whois asked to join a new corporation that is newly forming.The corporation supposedly needs him on their board as he isknown and respected over all London. He is not completely surehe wants to join it but studies over their records. He iselderly and has been in not too good health in the past year.Some of the board of the new corporation he is consideringdo not want him on the board; the chairman of the board hadserved with the financier in the 1st world war (one that wasknown as the war to end all wars; that didnt work out very welleither). One day the financier and a close banker friend arewalking down the steps which was known as the Duke of York'sSteps when all of a sudden the financier falls to the groundtrying to hold on to the banker friend's coat. After beingtaken home, he died and it was ruled an accident. what causedthe fall was a man rushing down the steps bumped into him.It was ruled an accident. The financier had 2 children in their20's and the daughter wasnt completely satisfied with thecourt's ruling She though that at least the man who hadbumped into her father could have called and offered sympathyand apology(remember this was the 20's where for the mostpart people would care enough to find out how the person waswhereas now, to many people not living in that era would beastonished that she would expect the man to cal- a sadcomment on our times). A Detective is assigned to the case.The investigation I thought wasnt up to par. Perhaps this wasone of the author's earlier books. Still if you cannot findthe book you want to read, you could do worse than trying this one.. See all 2 customer reviews...
About the Author Henry Wade was the pen name of Major Sir Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, CVO DSO, 6th Baronet and Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire (1954 to 1961). Aubrey-Fletcher was the only son and second child of Sir Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher, 5th Baronet, and Emily Harriet Wade. He was educated at Eton College and New College, Oxford, and fought in both the First World War and Second World War with the Grenadier Guards, and in 1917 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and French Croix de guerre. He married Mary Augusta Chilton in 1911 and they had five children. He was a member of Buckinghamshire County Council and was appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1925. He played Minor counties cricket between 1921 and 1928 for Buckinghamshire. A noted mystery writer, his stories were published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and he was a founding member of the Detection Club.
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