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The Case of the Black Twenty-Two
Anthony Bathurst Mystery – Book II
BY Brian Flynn

Dean Street Press
7 October 2019 /ASIN: B07XQPMGZ4

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Young London lawyer Peter Daventry is given instructions from a wealthy client to bid for three valuable items that once belonged to Mary, Queen of Scots, in an auction. This is an unusual request for the firm to undertake, but Peter goes to view them first, only to discover the next day that not only have they been stolen, but the security guard on duty has been murdered. Even stranger, the American millionaire who wanted the items has also been murdered at his country house. When Scotland Yard is puzzled, it is a good idea to send for Anthony Bathurst…

This is the second Brian Flynn mystery to be released in paperback and ebook format by Dean Street Press. He was one of the more obscure authors from the Golden Age of mysteries but one of the better ones, and a long overdue reprint. This novel was originally published back in 1928 and has many of the features that fans of mysteries from this era love, including plenty of period detail and a locked room mystery to solve. You won’t guess what the black twenty-two is, and, indeed, it does not make an appearance until nearly the end of the book. This is one of several mysteries to unravel, and you can expect an exciting read as the detectives try and work out who could have killed two people miles apart and why.

To say more would spoil the plot, as, like a lot of mysteries from this era, we start out knowing nothing, and gradually the plot widens out to include many strands until they all start to mesh together, and we see what it is all about. If you think this period begins and ends with Christie, Sayers, and Marsh, a trip to the Dean Street Press website is a good idea. I look forward to reading all the works of this author and the other golden age writers that this publishing house is making available to modern readers.

The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye #3
The Billiard-Room Mystery #1

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020