Five Brian Flynn Re-Reads

Still busy with my work on the mighty Flynn – here’s hoping the blog will get back to normal in a couple of weeks time, especially as new stuff to read is beginning to pile up. But I’ve been re-reading the first Brian Flynn titles in order to put together some vaguely informative thoughts on each of them, and as they all qualify for the Just The Facts, Ma’am challenge, i thought I’d remind you/inform you of those books. Remember, October isn’t that long to wait for those reprints…

1: The Billiard Room Mystery

I enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. No particular idea why, but this country house mystery of a murder in the Billiard Room (as you may have guessed) is a great first novel. Flynn writes with a deliberate attempt to entertain the reader and this certainly works here. And (for a reason that you might think of after you’ve read it) this was, I’m informed by his estate, written a few years before it was actually published.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: WHO In line with Flynn’s intent to channel the spirit of Holmes and Conan Doyle, we’ll go for the Watson narrator.

2. The Case Of The Black Twenty-Two

Finally read the unabridged version, and it’s much improved. Simultaneous murders with a slightly graphic description of a head wound, plus a locked room (although it’s never clear why someone bothered with that). Good stuff, with a rather subtle idea floating around it.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: WHAT A colour in the title.


3. The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye

The book that instantly converted me to Flynn (and the second with the MacGuffin in the title) I was delighted that the memory didn’t cheat. I think some of the less flashy titles slightly edge it, such as The Creeping Jenny Mystery, but this is a damned fine mystery novel, with a genuine wow moment – for me at least – at the finale.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: HOW Death by poison

4. The Murders Near Mapleton

Double murder, Christmas, the confusing use of the word bon-bon… A great puzzle mystery, I think one of his best.

Oh, the bon-bon thing? An archaic word for Christmas crackers. Makes a lot more sense for a written threat to be inserted into one of those, rather than a sweet.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: WHEN During a recognised holiday

Um… 6. Invisible Death

The last book published by John Hamilton, coming out a month or so after the first title published by John Long. I’d assumed that The Five Red Fingers was Book 6 and this was Book 5, especially the first edition of Fingers has a “by the author of The Silver Troika” in the front of it (that’s the original title of this one). But Flynn rather conclusively mentions the five cases that Bathurst has solved, including the Julius Maitland affair, which clearly makes this book six.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: WHY Going to have to use up the “author from the same country as me” box on this one.

Only one more re-read to go – The Five Red Fingers –  so I’ll pop this one in now.

Just The Facts, Ma’am: WHEN During a special event, namely Royal Ascot.

Well, that was weird. While writing this, I optimistically had a hunt for images for the books and hey presto, three new cover images. Very nice – I love the Five Red Fingers one. I think it’s the UK first edition, but I could be wrong…

Anyway, that’s six more for Bev’s challenge. Back soon…


  1. I’m sorry to say that I have still only read one book by Flynn (THE MURDERS NEAR MAPLETON) which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I hope to change that when Dean Street begins it’s series of reprints.

    Liked by 1 person

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