by William R. Loeser

ANTHONY WYNNE – Death of a Banker.   Hutchinson & Co., UK, hardcover, 1934.  J. B. Lippincott, US, hc, 1934.

ANTHONY WYNNE Death of a Banker

   Anthony Wynne’s Death of a Banker begins with the titular character done in on horseback in the middle of a field before the eyes of an assembled throng — a variation of the locked room.

   The investigation hardly begun, Mr. Wynne’s series character, Dr. Eustace Hailey, and a member of the official force he drags along for company have their attention distracted from the crime by the necessity to extract a member of foreign royalty from the clutches of a character wearing a sign saying “villain.”

   For some reason, the prince prefers present company. The two duos chase each other over land and sea, on occasion the good guys are kidnapped, and there are numerous “confrontations,” which all parties use to call each other names and catch their breath before the chase resumes.

   The allotted number of pages being written, Dr. Hailey pulls the solution (a good one) out of his hat; Scotland Yard agrees to cover up the prince’s guilt (Who else? The choices for least likely person are few; between two characters, one of whom is referred to as “blackguard” on every page); and Mr. Villain meets the end we have been so eagerly awaiting.

   Mr. Wynne’s “The Cyprian Bees,” also featuring Dr. Hailey, is a good short story, but I immediately disposed of all his novels I owned.

– From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 2, Mar-Apr 1979       (very slightly revised).