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At the Villa Rose

At the Villa Rose by A.E.W. Mason
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Harry Wethermill, the brilliant young scientist, a graduate of Oxford and Munich, has made a fortune from his inventions, and is taking a vacation at Aix-les-Bains. There he meets, and immediately falls in love with, the young and beautiful Celia Harland, who serves as companion to the aging but warm-hearted Madam Dauvray of Paris. All this is observed by Julius Ricardo, a retired financier from the City of London, who spends every August at Aix, expecting there to find a pleasant and peaceful life. Imagine his consternation when he learns that Mme. Dauvray has been brutally murdered, and imagine Harry Wethermill's consternation when he learns that every finger of suspicion is pointed at the now vanished Celia Harland.
Implored to do so by Wethermill, Ricardo asks his friend Inspector Hanaud, the great detective of the Paris Sûreté (who is also vacationing in Aix) to involve himself in the case so that the truth may come out. Hanaud agrees to do so (with the permission of the Aix police, of course), and goes to work. Will he be up to the job? And will Harry Wethermill ultimately be glad that he called in the great man? We can only wait to find out. But surely Hanaud will exercise his powerful little grey cells – one of several characteristics he shares with a famous Belgian detective of later decades, and indeed some scholars of mystery stories suggest that Agatha Christie, in her invention of Hercule Poirot, owes a debt to Mason and his invention of Inspector Hanaud. And indeed Julius Ricardo has than a passing resemblance to Arthur Hastings, Poirot's sidekick, who is invariably a few confused steps behind the detective.
(Introduction by Nicholas Clifford)

First Page:

AT THE VILLA ROSE

A.E.W. Mason

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. SUMMER LIGHTNING II. A CRY FOR HELP III. PERRICHET'S STORY IV. AT THE VILLA V. IN THE SALON VI. HELENE VAUQUIER'S EVIDENCE VII. A STARTLING DISCOVERY VIII. THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP IX. MME. DAUVRAY'S MOTOR CAR X. NEWS FROM GENEVA XI. THE UNOPENED LETTER XII. THE ALUMINIUM FLASK XIII. IN THE HOUSE AT GENEVA XIV. MR. RICARDO IS BEWILDERED XV. CELIA'S STORY XVI. THE FIRST MOVE XVII. THE AFTERNOON OF TUESDAY XVIII. THE SEANCE XIX. HELENE EXPLAINS XX. THE GENEVA ROAD XXI. HANAUD EXPLAINS

AT THE VILLA ROSE

CHAPTER I

SUMMER LIGHTNING

It was Mr. Ricardo's habit as soon as the second week of August came round to travel to Aix les Bains, in Savoy, where for five or six weeks he lived pleasantly. He pretended to take the waters in the morning, he went for a ride in his motor car in the afternoon, he dined at the Cercle in the evening, and spent an hour or two afterwards in the baccarat rooms at the Villa des Fleurs... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 5 reviews)

Reviewer: - July 2, 2016
Subject: Villa Rose
Good story. Excellent narration . Agatha owes this guy a lot .
Reviewer: - December 3, 2015
Subject: Villa rosa
Very ingertaining mystery. Very well read. I recommend it.
Reviewer: - June 16, 2013
Good mystery . Well read.
Reviewer: - February 18, 2013
Subject: Good mystery
A good mystery with some surprises, and very well read. Good characters.
Reviewer: - February 9, 2013
Subject: Good mystery, excellent reader
This was a good mystery, but not my favorite. But excellent reader!


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