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Trent's Last Case (1913) Hardcover – June 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (June 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054893553X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0548935538
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Simon Vance is a prolific and popular audiobook narrator and actor with several hundred audiobooks to his credit. An Audie(R) Award-winner, Vance was recently named ""The Voice of Choice"" by ""Booklist"" magazine.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From AudioFile

This classic murder mystery is pure English delight--both as written and read. This, the author's first, was written in 1912 and still is fascinating today. Trent, a freelance reporter and investigator who has given up his detective work, is lured back by his editor to investigate the mysterious death of a wealthy English baron. What he finds out, however, is never printed. Christopher Kay captures each moment as his Shakespearean voice moves from scene to scene. The listener is transported to turn-of-century England and learns little by little who and what caused the death of the powerful, vicious financier. Once immersed in this classic whodunit, you won't want to return to the present. A.L.H. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Its plot twists were great.
Verna Scheeler
I, who usually read several things at a time, could not put this down, and it kept me off kilter until the last page.
bustermom
Mr. Philip Trent, artist and amateur criminologist, is truly a gem!
Andrew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By P. Gallay on September 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful story -- I highly recommend it. HOWEVER, beware of the edition published by Kessinger. It is apparently an unedited, unproofread and minimally (if at all) formatted direct printout of the open source copy available on Gutenberg.org. (This was verified by comparing the typos in the two versions. They're identical.) It appears that what this outfit does is downloads/copies/cuts-and-pastes the text file, converts it to a proportional font, and prints it as is. Superficially, the result looks respectable enough, until you start to read the thing. First, there's the book's odd format -- 7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches -- about the size and shape of, say, your child's math workbook. It's awkward to handle and the simple mechanics of reading becomes an unpleasant chore. The text is properly single spaced, however there's a double space between each paragraph. This brings the eye up short and makes your brain involuntarily expect some sort of climax.

At the end of each PARAGRAPH, mind you.

Imagine a page or two of dialogue.

Talk about interrupting...

...the flow.

In short, this is a very annoying publication, made more so by the fact that there's nothing on the Amazon page or the publisher's web site to indicate the nature of this product. It goes a long way toward spoiling what should be the unalloyed pleasure of this terrific classic mystery. Buy a good used copy instead.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Woelke on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, old-fashioned book, where the language is complex and clever, and honorable people recognize other people of honor at a glance. The plausible (and implausible) explanations of the mystery are intriguing. It's a lot of fun!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Scholars consider it the first modern mystery novel. Agatha Christie called it "one of the three best detective stories ever written;" G.K. Chesterton went further, calling it "the finest detective story of modern times." The ever-erudite Dorothy Sayers flatly stated that every mystery novelist owed something to "its liberating and inspiring influence." Today, however, the vast majority of the reading public has never even heard of it.

The novel, of course, is E.C. Bentley's TRENT'S LAST CASE. By most accounts, Bentley wrote the book on a dare--much as Agatha Christie would later write THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES. When financier Sigsbee Manderson is found murdered at his country home, a London newspaper dispatches part-time artist, part-time journalist Trent to the scene. Within three days Trent cracks the case... or so he thinks. But is his solution correct? Or will it result in a terrible miscarriage of justice?

From a 2005 standpoint, TRENT'S LAST CASE is not a remarkable novel. Published in 1913, it feels overwritten, wordy, more Victorian in style than modern--and while the plot itself is interesting, it hardly compares to the unexpected twists offered by the very writers who so praised it and who were so influenced by it. But the fact remains that it was the first: Poe may have created the detective story and such writers as Doyle, Collins, and Dickens may have wrung romantic changes upon the theme, but it really wasn't until TRENT'S LAST CASE that the mystery novel as we presently think of it was born.

Most contemporary readers will likely find Bentley's style tough going, and although extremely influential the triple-twist plot has been done with considerably more drama in later novels. But say what you like, TRENT'S LAST CASE really is "the first," and that counts for a lot. Worth reading for the history of it!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
A stupendous mystery; one of the best I have ever read. Fans of Christie or Chesterton will thoroughly enjoy it. To say more might give something away, so I will not.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Actually Trent's last case is his first - and his last: E. C. Bentley didn't write another full-length novel (although there is a disappointing collection of short-stories entitled 'Trent Intervenes', I think; the only edition of this I have seen was in the green and white Penguin crime classics). The importance of 'Trent's Last Case' is that it helped to shape a new paradigm in British detective stories: witty, social acute, conservative (to the point of looking down on 'trade'), and flippant bordering on frivolous. We have Bentley to thank for Allingham, Christie, Crispin, Hare, Innes, and Sayers; the alternative could have been more tedious imitators of the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
E. C. Bentley (July 10, 1875 - March 30, 1956), was a popular English novelist and humorist of the early twentieth century, and the inventor of the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics.

Born in London, Bentley worked as a journalist on several newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph. His first published collection of poetry, titled Biography for Beginners (1905), popularized the clerihew form; it was followed by two other collections, in 1929 and 1939. His detective novel, Trent's Last Case (1913), was much praised, numbering Dorothy L. Sayers among its admirers, and with its labyrinthine and mystifying plotting can be seen as the first truly modern mystery. The success of the work inspired him, after only 23 years, to write a sequel, Trent's Own Case (1936).

All lovers of the genre of mystery will enjoy his work immensely.
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