The Awdrey-Gore Legacy (英語) ハードカバー – 2010/6/15
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Miss D. Awdrey-Gore, renowned 97-year-old writer of detective stories, is found murdered; then a mysterious hidden packet is discovered. Addressed to her publisher, it contains what appear to be notes and drawings related to a literary work in progress. The contents "in their entiretythough certain things are patently missing" comprise clues about the who, what, when, where, and how of Awdrey-Gore's demise. Or do they? Edward Gorey takes us on a rollicking ride in this merry murder mystery, but whether or not the killer is revealed is open to speculation. As one scrap of paper in the packet states, "The smallest clue may be (or not) / The one to give away the plot."
First published in 1972, The Awdrey-Gore Legacy remains one of Gorey's most treasured tales, satisfying the sleuth in each of us.
The Awdrey-Gore Legacy is incredibly strange. The premise is that an Agatha Christie-like mystery author is found dead years after disappearing (Christie, to whom the book is dedicated, went missing for eleven days, though under very different circumstances), and "that she had been murdered was obvious." The rest of the book is notes of what may be an unfinished mystery novel or clues to her own death. There is a protagonist (a half-Irish, half-Japanese former mercenary who is missing a hand, a leg, and an eye), a cast of characters, possible places where the body is to be found, potential methods of murder, and the layout of a hedge maze. Gorey plays with mystery novel conventions and cliches throughout.
If you read this and become frustrated because you can't solve the mystery, don't worry. There is no solution to this puzzle, just loose pieces and misleading hints. And it should be loved all the more for that.
The wit and anagrammatic whimsy of Gorey has never been more apparent. The elderly D. Awdrey-Gore, celebrated spinster-author of detective stories has turned up murdered on St. Spasmus Day -- she had previously disappeared on this same saint's day in 1927 . A little confusing, but delicious fun!
Gorey has summoned an impressive cast of characters including Waredo Dyrge, half Irish, half Japanese soldier of fortune and detective of the highest rank who announces his deductions in the form of linked haiku and is portrayed by E.G. in a series of drawings exhibiting progressively more extreme amputations and prosthetics (all in the line of duty I presume!).
The cast of suspects are all those you would expect to meet in an Agatha Christie mystery (to whom the book is dedicated) -- the Vicar, the Baronet, the Amateur Cricketer, the Village Ancient, and many more, including "The authorities: local/Scotland Yard" -- all presented in fine pen and ink as only Edward Gorey could.
Scenes of the crime (crimes?), methods of elimination (blunt, limp, gradual and instantaneous!), and assorted clues and ephemera are all portrayed in progressively more mysterious exposition until the final denouement! Gorey at his best!