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Book reviews - The Benson Murder Case

The Benson Murder Case

Author: S. S. Van Dine
New York in the 1920s is the world’s most glamorous city, gleaming skyscrapers reaching for the heavens, and the hot notes of the jazz bands rising even higher. Drinking it like the finest French champagne is Philo Vance, an expert in art with the deepest pockets, the brainiest brains, and the most gloriously ludicrous pretentions in the history of crime fiction. When a scheming young stockbroker is murdered – in a delicious locked-room scenario based on a real case of the day – Vance steps in to solve the puzzle not merely because he is bored and seeking new entertainment, but because honor compels him to point out the myriad ways in which the police are getting it wrong. The cops of course are profoundly grateful, like all members of the lower orders when their mistakes are pointed out. Peter Wimsey would be appalled, but the reader will be delighted. Philo Vance (here in his first outing) is the sleuth you love to hate.

US publication: 1926
Detective: Philo Vance
Genre: novel