8 thoughts on “In The Spotlight: Baroness Orczy’s The Old Man in the Corner

  1. Thanks for this Margot! As far as I can recall, I’ve only read The Edinburgh Mystery, which I enjoyed very much (although it may be that there some of Orczy’s stories in other anthologies which I’ve forgotten!) Must pick up some more!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this, KBR! I thought The Edinburgh Mystery was very neatly done, so I’m glad you mentioned it. And one of the nice things about at least this particular collection is that it’s available free (at least in the US) because it’s in the public domain. If you get the chance to read more of her stories, I hope you’ll like them!

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  2. I don’t think I’ve read these but I read what I think is the second collection of Old Man in the Corner stories, called The Case of Miss Elliot. I quite enjoyed them, but as often with these very early mystery stories (Holmes excepted), I find the format isn’t as slick as it had become by the time the Golden Agers were writing. These seemed more like elaborate puzzles – not, as you say, locked room mysteries exactly, but with that same feel of the physical clues often being more important than the people or the motivations. Good fun, but not up there with my favourites! And no addition to my TBR this week – could this be an omen for the year ahead? 😉

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    1. You make a very interesting point, FictionFan, about the format of some of these older stories. They are puzzles more than they are anything else, aren’t they? And as you point out, not much in the way of characters, really. It’s interesting how it took some time for crime writers to start making characters and interactions the focus of their stories… And as for your TBR? We’ll have to see what the year brings, won’t we? 😉

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, D. Wallace, and thanks for the good wishes. These stories are definitely logic puzzles that invite the reader to put the pieces together. If you read any of them, I hope you’ll enjoy them!

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  3. Margot: Excellent ‘analysis. I recall this book. I remember best The Old Man’s maxim:
    First think of the one absolutely undisputed, positive fact.
    He also reminded me so much of Nero Wolfe that I wrote about Hercule Poirot and Wolfe chatting about The Old Man.

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