Last week, for my first nomination, I cited Carter Dickson’s She Died A Lady. A true classic of the genre, yes, and I stand by my nomination, but it’s hardly been rescued from obscurity. Yes, it’s been out of print for nine years – the last issue was 2010 by Langtail Press – but there are a lot of copies out there and, most importantly, people know about it. Crime fiction fans know about the best works of Carr and have probably already got a copy.
But they hadn’t, for the most part, heard of Brian Flynn.
I’m not going into what went into bringing the Mighty Flynn back into print again – it’s all detailed in this post – and yes, I’ll admit that I’m biased. But Flynn’s work, and in particular, The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye, the book that I am championing here, did not deserve to wallow in obscurity for nigh-on ninety years, and bringing it back into the public consciousness is something that I consider to be one of my major personal achievements.
The Mystery Of The Peacock’s Eye begins with a mysterious rendez-vous at the Westhampton Hunt Ball, before we find Anthony Bathurst, Flynn’s series sleuth, in consultation with the Crown Prince of Clorania, who is being blackmailed over an indiscretion at said event. When a woman linked to the events is found poisoned in a dentist’s chair, Bathurst teams up with Chief Inspector Richard “Dirty Dick” Bannister to track down a particularly cunning murderer.
I’ve raved before about this book – it was the one that got me obsessed with Brian Flynn – but let’s allow my fellow bloggers to have their say.
Classic Mysteries: “readers who love the twists and turns of the classic Golden Age mystery will have a very good time with Brian Flynn’s The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye.”
Beneath The Stains Of Time: “The Mystery of the Peacock’s Eye succeeded marvelously in making an ultimately simple, grubby crime appear like an inescapable, maze-like problem, but with all the clues to the very interesting solution sprinkled throughout the story”
Cross Examining Crime: “Flynn is very adept at keeping the action coming and getting the reader to look in every direction apart from the correct one!” “I loved it!”
Bedford Bookshelf: “Holy Crap, I did not see that coming! Clever writing, fun and intelligent protagonist, great plot.”
Dead Yesterday: “Flynn ably leads his readers down the garden path, including a whopping piece of misdirection that I completely fell for, along the way to a shocking conclusion.”
The Grandest Game In The World: “The clueing is fine, subtle stuff (we’re almost in Carr territory), and the false assumption right at the start is delicious.”
So, next week over at Cross Examing Crime, Kate will host the poll to vote for the Best Reprint Of The Year, so just remember – VOTE FLYNN! All the best bloggers agree with me – no idea why they’re nominating anything else…