Review: The New Sonia Wayward, 1960 (aka The Case of Sonia Wayward) by Michael Innes


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

House of Stratus, 2011. First published in 1960. Format Kindle Edition File Size: 821 KB. Print Length: 192 pages. ASIN: B004UN5ALC. ISBN: 978 0 7551 1988 2.

Each month Rich Westwood at his blog Past Offences picks a year and invites anyone who wants to participate to read a crime book, watch a film, or listen to a radio show from that year, and write a post about it. He calls it Crimes of the Century , and #1960 was the year chosen for this month. This book is my second contribution.

9781842327470

Book description: Colonel Ffolliot Petticate’s predicament begins when his novelist wife, Sonia, drowns during a sailing trip in the English Channel. A dramatic cover-up ensues in a tale full of humour, irony and devastating suspense.

My take: While sailing through the English Channel, Sonia Wayward suffers a heart attack and dies. Sonia Wayward, an acclaimed writer of romance fiction, was alone on board together with her husband, Colonel Ffolliot Petticate. Col. Petticate, used to the good life provided by the revenues of his wife’s books, is unable to come up with a better solution than throwing her corpse into the sea to conceal her death. He expects to make everyone believe that his wife went away to make a trip all around the world, trusting it won’t be difficult to finish the book she was currently writing. By impersonating her, he looks forward to keeping his income level.

I’ve found The New Sonia Wayward (aka The Case of Sonia Wayward) a quite entertaining reading. It’s a comedy of manners, with a sharp sense of humour typically British. An ingenious tale, short and well written that, in my view, reflects very well the era in which it was published. An era that was coming to an end in the early sixties. In this sense, I don’t believe one can find a most suitable book to represent this year. The story has a good pace and is rather funny. Despite that almost everything in the plot seems to be quite predictable, I couldn’t prevent to keep on reading, wondering how it was going to end. This novel was included among the 100 best crime & mystery books by H.R.F. Keating

This has been my first encounter with a book by Michael Innes and, bearing in mind it doesn’t belong to the series featuring Inspector Appleby, has leave me a very good taste. I’m sure it won’t be the last of his books that I’m going to read.

My rating: B (I liked it)

About the author: John Innes Mackintosh Stewart 1906 – 1994) was born in Edinburgh, educated at Oxford, and taught English in universities all over the world. His scholarly career includes successful works on Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy, but he is better known as mystery writer Michael Innes, whose legendary character, Inspector John Appleby, inspired a lasting vogue for donnish detective fiction. (Source: Fantastic Fiction)

The New Sonia Wayward (aka The Case of Sonia Wayward) has been reviewed at Mystery File, and at gadetention.

House of Stratus publicity page

El nuevo libro de Sonia de Michael Innes

Descripción del libro: La difícil situación del Coronel Ffolliot Petticate comienza cuando su esposa Sonia, una reconocida novelista, se ahoga durante un viaje en vela por el Canal de la Mancha. Un dramático encubrimiento resulta en una historia dominada por el humor, la ironía y un misterio arrasador.

Mi opinión: Mientras navega por el Canal de la Mancha, Sonia Wayward sufre un ataque al corazón y muere. Sonia Wayward, una aclamada escritora de ficción romántica, estaba sola a bordo junto con su esposo, el coronel Ffolliot Petticate. El coronel Petticate, acostumbrado a la buena vida proporcionada por los ingresos de los libros de su esposa, no puede encontrar una mejor solución que arrojar su cadáver al mar para ocultar su muerte. Él espera hacer creer a todos que su esposa se fue a hacer un viaje alrededor del mundo, confiando en que no será difícil terminar el libro que estaba escribiendo. Al hacerse pasar por ella, espera poder mantener su nivel de ingresos.

He encontrado El nuevo libro de Sonia Wayward una lectura bastante entretenida. Es una comedia de costumbres, con un agudo sentido del humor típicamente británico. Una historia ingeniosa, corta y bien escrita que, a mi modo de ver, refleja muy bien la época en que fue publicada. Una era que estaba llegando a su fin a principios de los sesenta. En este sentido, no creo que uno pueda encontrar un libro más adecuado para representar este año. La historia tiene un buen ritmo y es bastante divertida. A pesar de que casi todo en la trama parece ser bastante predecible, no pude evitar seguir leyendo, preguntándome cómo iba a terminar. Esta novela fue incluida entre los 100 mejores libros de crimen y misterio por H.R.F. Keating.

Este ha sido mi primer encuentro con un libro de Michael Innes y, teniendo en cuenta que no pertenece a la serie protagonizada por el Inspector Appleby, me ha dejado un muy buen sabor de boca. Estoy seguro de que no será el último de sus libros que voy a leer.

Mi valoración:  B (Me gustó)

Sobre el autor: John Innes Mackintosh Stewart 1906 – 1994) nació en Edimburgo, se educó en Oxford, y enseñó inglés en universidades de todo el mundo. Su carrera académica incluye obras de éxitos sobre Rudyard Kipling y Thomas Hardy, pero es más conocido como el escritor de misterio Michael Innes, cuyo legendario personaje, el inspector John Appleby, inspiró una moda duradera por una sofisticada y culta novela de detectives.

5 thoughts on “Review: The New Sonia Wayward, 1960 (aka The Case of Sonia Wayward) by Michael Innes

  1. Pingback: December Reading Round Up | A Crime is Afoot

  2. Pingback: ‘The 60s didn’t really know what to do with hats’: #1960book round up | Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

  3. Pingback: Meme – New to me Authors, October to December 2016 – A Crime is Afoot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s