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Trent's Last Case

Trent's Last Case

Written by E. C. Bentley

Narrated by Simon Vance


Trent's Last Case

Written by E. C. Bentley

Narrated by Simon Vance

ratings:
3/5 (198 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 25, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180813
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

Considered by many to be the first modern mystery novel, Trent's Last Case introduces the gentleman sleuth Philip Trent, a freelance reporter and investigator. Trent becomes involved in the case of the murder of millionaire American financier Sigsbee Manderson, slain while on holiday in England. During the course of his investigation, Trent falls in love with one of the primary suspects. And while he collects evidence and becomes convinced that he has cracked the case, he turns out to be well off the mark.
Publisher:
Released:
May 25, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180813
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Edmund Clerihew Bentley was born in London in 1875; most of his working life was spent at the Daily Telegraph and as a literary critic in.Later in life he became President of the Detection Club, and contributed to the early collaborative efforts of the Detection Club, Behind the Screen and The Scoop in 1930 and 1931. But his reputation as a detective story writer rests almost entirely on his first detective novel. He died in London in March 1956.


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Reviews

What people think about Trent's Last Case

3.1
198 ratings / 14 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Well, you have to have an open mind and an appreciation for history, I think. For any modern mystery aficionado without these skills, they will likely be disappointed, just as those who don't care about bridges will be unmoved by examples of early bridges or Museums of Bridge Construction. So much is ridiculous by our standards--the detective, a newspaperman (not even a journalist, but an illustrator) is allowed unfettered access to roam the halls of a dead millionaire's home, questioning whomever, any suggestion that a lady might be less-than-honorable is met with horror from all parties, the stately home apparently has only two staff, and did you know the human bodies leaves fingerprints when they touch certain materials? It is assumed you don't, so early is this example.

    It would be a two-star book if return today, because, well, it's just so awkward and kludgy, but I appreciate it in context, and it gets an extra bump for historical significance. Still, I hardly think anyone needs to read it--this is no classic of the stature of Dickens or Aeschylus, say--it's an early bridge, and that's about it.

    (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).
  • (4/5)
    How can you solve a mystery?Trent had a hard time in this story. The facts are unclear and the journalist detective, called an artist, struggled to grasp then. The death of an american millionaire and the characteristics of his life were at the center of this plot. The book has plenty of descriptions and the characters interacted in a crescendo. At the end, the murder was solved but now in a conventional way. This is a book written before de WWI. It contained the seeds of the british Golden Age mysteries. A good reading for mysteries lovers.
  • (4/5)
    Two main thoughts upon finishing this novel. One, the murderer, motive, and mysteries were much more complex than I guessed at when I was only a third of the way through. Two, if this is how people spoke at that point in time, the English language has undergone a sad sad diminishing. Enjoyed it, but it's filled with poetical references and "high falutin'" language, so it's not an easy read.
  • (1/5)
    “Trent’s Last Case” was never meant as anything but a declaration of condemnation aimed at Americans from across the pond. Written by a “public-school” journalist associate of Anglican and Catholic apologists who didn’t even believe women should vote lest they should find themselves party to the indelicacy of public hangings in the square and the like. Utterly stupid and racist too. Let me see: Americans are piratical by selection of the type of person who settled the country, and savage by nature of their racial mixing with Indians and Negroes. No, don’t ban this trash, educate people that it speaks for the class of empty-headed jingos who provide the background for “The Golden Age of Mystery Fiction,” except for one thing... unless I find indisputable evidence accounting for it, I will never believe that Agatha Christie actually read this book and then endorsed it. It is ridiculous, and now I do understand why the author’s claim to fame is that he “invented the clerihew” at the age of 16: a good ol’ boy if there ever was one. So it’s important for our transforming world to know what that means, and to expect this kind of tripe to have been their product.
  • (1/5)
    I read this about 30 years ago and had forgotten most of it. So, I decided to re-read it. I'm sorry I did. The attitudes of the author are so uncomfortably racist/imperialist that I just had to give up when I reached the limerick towards the end. I did some research...Bentley worked as a journalist for "The Outlook" - an imperialist newspaper supposedly financed by Cecil Rhodes, the noted believer in white supremacy. So maybe Bentley's casual use of language reflects his world view more that just an "of the times" thing. He is oddly out of date for the late 1920s in his views in other ways, too - towards women, towards science (that section about Mercury and Chalk, for example).
  • (4/5)
    This very enjoyable old-fashioned (because it is old) mystery introduces us to the great painter-detetective-newspaperman Philip Trent as he tries to solve the murder of an American multimillionaire at his British residence. There are lots of twists, lots of long conversations, and pages and pages of summing up, but it is a pleasure all the way (I read it in one day). If you have the version with the Dorothy Sayers introduction, DO NOT READ IT FIRST as it is full of semi-spoilers.
  • (4/5)
    But for the fact that Marlowe (the dead man's private secretary) has to explain what a car's rearview mirror is, one would think this book was written in the 1930s, when many standards of the genre had already been established. Nope, the Golden Age was yet to happen. Trent is an artist, a gentleman, and an enthusiast at reasoning out mysteries, to the point that a London paper pays him occasionally to investigate and report on newsworthy crimes. Thus he finds himself investigating the puzzling death of Sigsbee Manderson, wealthy American businessman. Required reading for Golden Age fans.
  • (3/5)
    Who did it was a complete surprise to me! However, I found Trent to be a bit too "precious" for me and as a result found the story dragged in several places.
  • (3/5)
    Considered a bit of a breakthrough in the detective story because the sleuth is a bit of a bumbler, not the omniscient genius in the Sherlock Holmes mode. The classical education of the early twentieth-century British writer shows in the lengthy, but well-punctuated and readable, sentences. Although the somewhat florid writing would not pass muster with today's editors, it does not detract overmuch from the story. Trent, the detective, may have influenced Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey as he has the same propensity to "talk piffle," scattering allusions here and there. I more or less figured out the solution, but partly that's because the Dover edition I got from the library had a spoiler on the back cover! At the very end there is a distressing bit of that nearly unconscious racism that white writers were so prone to in those days (1913).
  • (4/5)
    Philip Trent has been called in by the newspaper to get to the bottom of a story and crime. He has has success on a few other cases, and everyone looks to him with high expectations. But somehow, the story never gets published. I enjoyed it, although it seemed a bit quaint in some of the mannerisms and language. Other parts seemed exceedingly modern for its times. As a murder mystery, it completely fooled me, and yet the author played fair all along. Reading it, I could certainly see the seeds of Lord Peter Wimsey, Poirot and many other detective stories of the Golden Age of mysteries. Loved the dedication to Chesterton, and Sayers' introduction was a good comparison and illustration to show why this is a special mystery. Also, I don't know who did the cover on my version, but I love the look of Philip Trent on it, even though I think the story said he had sandy tousled hair.
  • (4/5)
    Fifty Classics of Crime Fiction series. Very Clever twists. The light, amusing patter style and gentleman-detective amateur nicely handled. The victim, Sigsbee Manderson, is a capitalist-toad sucking the life of the people and is universally unmourned. The reader is quickly maneuvered into hoping that the guilty party gets away with it.
  • (5/5)
    This classic book deserves its reputation. Published in 1913, it involves a rich mean guy being killed on his south England estate and Phillip Trent is called in to solve the case. I had my own idea for the solution but of course it was not the author's--but was perfectly logical if one leaves aside the question of character. I almost gave this book five stars!
  • (3/5)
    Considered the grandaddy of 20th c. murder mysteries, this is Bentley's first novel written in 1912 in response his friend G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who was Thursday. Trent is a freelance reporter investigating the mysterious death of a wealthy English baron. This is a true whodunit, and you probably won't guess correctly. Agatha Christie obviously learned something from this Brit mystery, and she used it to write better, more clever novels.
  • (4/5)
    A little dry but good