Thursday, June 5, 2014

"The Reader Is Never Left in the Dark"

By [Archibald] Kenneth Ingram (1882-1965).
Philip Allan & Co., Ltd.
1933. 308 pages. 7s. 6d.
No e-versions available and no print copies seem to exist.
The online ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION describes Kenneth Ingram as a "UK barrister, lay theologian, and author of some novels in the field of the fantastic"; it looks as if he wrote at least two crime stories.

From the original dustjacket:
A retired Professor who has spent most of his life in Asia is mysteriously murdered in his Dorsetshire home.
Two friends who have worked together in the investigation of previous cases are called upon by the Professor's family to explore this crime.
One is a criminal lawyer who relies on the rational method, the other trusts to his intuitional sense. The police also have their own theories, so that there are three agencies at work, each on its own line.
Which of these is successful, how the clues are disclosed, and who stole into the bedroom on a dark winter night to take the Professor's life are secrets which the reader is given every opportunity to solve as the story proceeds.
The Times Literary Supplement described Mr. Ingram's previous novel, The Steep Steps, as "an entertainment for the intelligence." This book certainly merits that description as well.
Concerning The Steep Steps (1931), we know nothing except that it sells for about $120 on E-bay.

A contemporary review of Death Comes at Night:
More and more of our novels of detection tend to have an interest—for example, by virtue of the numerous asides necessarily associated with the study of any life—over and above the thrilling theme.
Mr. Ingram kills his professor, who has spent most of his life in Asia.
Two friends investigate the "killing." One relies on intuition, the other on ratiocination. The police come into the argument.
Above all the reader is never left in the dark, and can draw his own conclusions—rightly or wrongly. — "Review," THE BOOKMAN [UK] (October 1933)

Category: Detective fiction

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