Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Affair at Royalties

What's worse than a bad mystery? An author who's writing a "satire" of mysteries but doesn't understand a thing about them! This is The Affair at Royalties, quite possibly the worst mystery I've ever read and definitely the most frustrating I've read in years. Its sheer stupidity is mind-boggling.

(Note: This is more of a rant- far from my finest review, it is an "adaptation" of a post I made online. However, I decided to include the video in this blog because it, as well as the text that follows, got some fairly positive feedback which ultimately convinced me to create this blog.)

On the front cover of this book, Ruth Rendell is quoted as calling Geogre Baxt "brilliant and exquisitely funny". I protest: this book, a satire of Christie (apparently) is in actuality a direct slap in the face to Christie. Lazy plotting, psychotic characters, dull character angst, and a mean-spirited tone dominate this book. For anyone who enjoys mysteries, this is the worst. It genuinely ticked me off, not only because I wasted a week of my life reading this, but also because I could have used that week to read anything else.

Please, enjoy the video and leave comments on how I've done, suggestions on improving, and the like. At this point in time, I have no intention of making a series of videos (which may or may not change, though probably not), but I might write about the many mysteries I read.
Please note that the insanely cool-looking ideas on the front cover had literally nothing to do with the book. There's no bloodstained knife through a book (though there is a bloodstained knife)- hell, there's not even a book. There's no invisible man, no impossible crime, and Laura Denning might as well not be human.

I actually wasted my money and purchased two George Baxts that day at the bookstore. Yes, I was a total fool. Maybe I should remember the old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" next time. I have no intention of reading the second, The Alfred Hitchcock Murder Case, a satire of Hitchcock, after this Christie satire.


  1. Hi,
    I write short stories which sometimes have a crime drama aspect. I remain unpublished as yet (been writing oooh, for a whole 5 months). My name is Laura Denning. Found this and was confused! Can you enlighten me? Cheers

  2. George Baxt was an author who gained prominence in, I believe, the 60s, writing books about a super-cool gay black detective named Pharaoh Love. (For that time, it was a shock- not just black, but also gay!) Sergio over at Tipping My Fedora insists that Baxt is a wonderful author, but this book, "The Affair at Royalties" is an abysmal failure, where its protagonist, Laura Denning, is the main character: a mystery author suffering from amnesia.