PHILIP MacDONALD – The Rasp. British hardcover: Collins, 1924. US hardcover: Dial Press, 1925. Hardcover reprints (US): Scribner’s (S.S.Van Dine Detective Library), 1929; Mason Publishing Co., 1936. Paperback reprints (US): Penguin #586, 1946; Avon G1257, 1965; Avon (Classic Crime Collection) PN268, 1970; Dover, 1979; Vintage, June 1984; Carroll & Graf, 1984.

   Philip MacDonald’s 1924 mystery, The Rasp, was the first appearance of his series sleuth Anthony Gethryn. I read and enjoyed this quintessential English Country Manor Mystery and figured out whodunit by page 70, by which time


one character had left tracks to the scene of the crime at the time it was committed, so she couldn’t be guilty; another character was fund clutching the murder weapon, so he couldn’t have done it; another was seen rifling through the murdered man’s desk, a fourth had his alibi exploded as a tissue of deliberate lies, and a fifth confessed to the crime – -so they must have been innocent as well.

   There was, however, one character who did nothing incriminating, merely stood around expressing polite interest and helping when he could, and he … you guessed it.


Editorial Comment:   As it so happens, my review of this same book is much longer. You may find it here. But is longer better? You tell me.