Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix

The Notting Hill Mystery by Charles Felix pseudonym of Charles Warren Adams serialised in 1862 and published as a book in 1865 is considered to be the first mystery novel though there is some discussions going on about it.

Henderson, an insurance investigator is investigating a case of Madame R's death. She has been insured at various insurance agencies for a huge sum. The book is composed of letters, testimonies and diary entries that reveal an incredible story collected by Henderson to build a case against Baron R.

Mrs.Anderton of Notting Hill, London, is of nervous nature. Her twin sister was kidnapped as a child. And illness of one child affected the other too. Mrs.Anderton being the weakling is more affected. The Andertons have experimented with various methods of treatment for her weak constitution. They find mesmerism by Baron R to be most beneficial. Due to fear of scandal Baron R suggests mesmerism by proxy. Baron's assistant Rosalie acts as proxy. This association leads to one of most bizarre crimes.

An interesting tale, sometimes repetitive but intriguing nevertheless. Worth a read. I downloaded it for free from google books.

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