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Under the pseudonym of Michael Innes, Oxford don John Innes Macintosh Stewart (1906-1994) was a dominant figure in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, when the mystery story was an elegant and witty entertainment, when all the clues were given so that the reader (if quick-witted enough) could reach the solution at the same time as the detective.
Innes's sleuth, Inspector Appleby (later, Sir John Appleby, Commissioner of Scotland Yard), who first appeared in 1936, is sophisticated and educated, just as capable of making an obscure allusion to an English poet as he is to read the clues left by the criminal. The cases Appleby investigates are often convoluted but with a touch of the fantastic, set often in the aristocratic world of country estates and gentleman's clubs.
Appleby Talks About Crime includes 18 previously uncollected stories, often told by Appleby himself to the six-member Mystery Club, and all have the marvelous gloss of superb storyteller. The book includes an introduction by the editor, an essay on Appleby by Michael Innes, a reminiscence of her father by Dr. Margaret Macintosh Harrison, and a complete list of all the Appleby short stories.