Friday, March 28, 2008

The Red House Mystery to be reprinted

A A Milne's sole detective story is to be reprinted in November as part of the Vintage Classics series.

From Publishing News:
...on a visit to the Random House archive at Rushden, Northants, searching for out-of-print titles with re-issue potential for the Vintage Classics series, Vintage/Pimlico Editor Alison Hennessey's eye was caught by “an odd little book with an amazing jacket”.

It transpired it was a little-known crime novel, The Red House Mystery, by A A Milne whose name is now indelibly linked to his children's stories, When We Were Very Young and Winnie-the-Pooh. First published by Methuen in 1922, it will reach a new generation of readers when it is published as a Vintage Classic in November.

“Rushden is a huge, amazing place, with so many lost gems,” Hennessey told PN. “I was sorry to leave. The Milne book was one of many on the shelves and it just leapt out at me. It has an interesting history, because apparently Milne deliberately set out to write what he called 'the perfect detective story'.”

The Red House Mystery, republished in several other editions since it first appeared and still available as a print-on-demand title in the US, was Milne's only detective story in which “secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper”. It will be published in the Vintage Classics series on 6 November, price £10.
The text of the book is also available on-line for free.


Martin Edwards said...

Milne also wrote one or two rather good short crime stories which deserve reprinting.

Xavier said...

Hurray for Ms. Hennessey!
How interesting that so many early mystery classics were written by mainstream authors. How sad, too, that a book once said to be one of the three best mysteries ever written is now a "little-known crime novel". Let us hope this reprint will bring Milne's coup de maître back in the limelight.