Archive for January 8th, 2009


The Benson Murder

January 8, 2009

S.S. Van Dine, AKA Willard Huntington Wright, has the largest vocabulary of any mystery writer I have ever come across. Or perhaps he just likes to show off more than the others. He is also obsessed with detail, which I suppose is a good thing in a mystery writer, except that what Van Dine really wants to give us details about is Philo Vance.

I’ve just been reading The Benson Murder, the first Philo Vance book, and I suppose, since it’s the first book, the author has an excuse to describe his detective in detail. But not this much detail. If you want, I can tell you the measurements of Philo Vance’s skull. No, seriously. His facial angle is 85 degrees. Read the rest of this entry ?