The Benson Murder Caseby S S Van Dine
This book contains S. S. Van Dine’s 1926 mystery novel, "The Benson Murder Case". When a baffling murder case piques the interest of New York dilettante Philo Vance, he offers his assistance to the police, and his friend - District Attorney Markham. After reconstructing the crime, Vance is able to determine the murderer’s height and, together with Markham, sets of to investigate the victim's love interests and business associates. A thrilling and masterful mystery novel, "The Benson Murder Case" will appeal to lovers of detective and mystery fiction, and it is not to be missed by fans and collectors of Van Dine’s work. The chapters of this book include: “Philo Vance at home”, “At The Scene of the Crime”, “A Lady’s Handbag”, “The Housekeeper’s Story”, “Gathering Information”, “Vance Offers an Interview”, “Vance Accepts a Challenge”, “The Height of the Murderer”, etcetera. Many vintage texts such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive, and it is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now, in an affordable, high-quality, modern edition. It comes complete with a specially commissioned biography of the author.
- Hesperides Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.13(d)
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SS Van Dine, the pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright, created the popular fiction detective Philo Vance. His first appearance was in The Benson Murder Case, which was published by Scribner's in 1926. Another 11 novels appeared, about one per year, until his early death in 1939 at the age of 51. There are some, like the current Philo Vance wiki author, who believe "Vance's character as portrayed in the novels might seem to many modern readers to be supercilious, obnoxiously affected, and highly irritating" and, actually, that's true. Throughout this tale, I heard the unmistakable inflected accent of Lord Peter Wimsey, without his corresponding business-like masculinity. As Ogden Nash quipped: "Philo Vance / Needs a kick in the pance". But that's really unfair. Yes, the book is a little padded, and the explanations at times wearyingly long-winded, but there's also terrific charm. And, without question, the work is an expression of its time: the period shortly after WWI when New York was re-emerging from the chill of war and for the first time feeling its strength as a true International capital -- and before the devastation that would hit four years later as the markets crashed. It was a time of much greater class delineation, and certainly an era where being called an immigrant was not yet pejorative. Much of this tale inhabits the privileged class of which Vance was securely, and proudly, a member. So, there's my own long-winded way of putting it: a charming bon-bon of classic early American detective fiction that's well worth devouring.
Philo Vance is a stuck up aristocratic art collector and know-it-all. He constantly makes a fool out of his best friend the D.A. and the New York Police. The story has many twists and turns and you find yourself trying to figure out whodunit till the end of the book. Considered one of the best mysteries ever written, it reflects the thinking, manners and taboos of the 1920's.
S.S. Van Dine is a pseudonym for Willard Huntington Wright. THE BENSON MURDER CASE is the first Philo Vance mystery. Vance is an amateur detective and young aristocrat who is a close friend of the new District Attorney, John F.X. Markham. Vance mentions to Markham that he may enjoy going with him on a murder investigation. When Alvin Benson is found slain, Markham invites Vance to join him while he inspects the crime scene. The story is set in a simpler New York City of the roaring twenties before the 1929 stock market crash. THE BENSON MURDER CASE was made into a movie in 1930 with William Powell playing the role of Philo Vance. The film did not closely follow the novel.