Monday, 16 March 2009

The Club of Queer Trades

Having read some GK Chesterton before, I was mildly disappointed by this book of detective stories. The book starts off so well, setting up the main characters and an organisation of individuals who earn a living doing things that no-one else does. The first few mysteries are genuinely strange, and are always resolved with a note that the persons involved are connected with the Club of Queer Trades. However, the fact that these stories are linked together turns out to be an extremely wafer thin twist at the end, and for me the conclusion was quite disappointing.

The characterisation, the trades that the various individuals engage in, and the way that the story makes you feel like you are there - living and breathing in Victorian London - all conspire to make you fall in love with the book. Ultimately though, while the individual strands of the six stories are enjoyable, the resolution of the book left me quite nonplussed. Read The Man Who Was Thursday instead.

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