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The House of the Arrow Novel by Alfred Edward Woodley

The House

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The House of the Arrow by A. E. W. Mason

“The House of the Arrow”

is a classic mystery novel by British author A. E. W. Mason, first published in 1924. Set in the picturesque French town of Dijon, the story follows the investigation of a brutal murder that takes place in a small villa known as the House of the Arrow.

The novel opens with the discovery of the body of Gaston Sauverin, a wealthy and well-respected businessman, who has been shot dead in his study. The murder weapon, a valuable antique arrow, is found lying beside the body, and the police are baffled as to the identity of the killer.

Enter Richard Verrell, a young Englishman who has come to Dijon to visit his friend Georges Ruper, the owner of the House of the Arrow. Verrell is immediately drawn into the investigation and begins to unravel a complex web of secrets and lies that surround the Sauverin family and their associates.

As Verrell delves deeper into the case, he finds himself becoming increasingly involved with two women: the beautiful and enigmatic Madame Dauvray, Sauverin’s mistress, and his own childhood friend, the charming but naive Lucy Carew. With the help of a brilliant detective named Monsieur Fleuriot, Verrell must race against time to solve the murder and prevent another tragedy from occurring.

Mason’s writing is characterized by its vivid descriptions of French scenery and culture, as well as its carefully crafted plot and well-drawn characters. The House of the Arrow is no exception, with its atmospheric depiction of Dijon’s winding streets, bustling cafes, and elegant villas. Mason’s attention to detail and skill in weaving together multiple plot strands make for a satisfying and engaging read, as the reader is drawn into a world of intrigue, betrayal, and murder.

The House of the Arrow has been praised for its clever twists and turns, its complex characters, and its evocative setting. The novel has been adapted for both stage and screen, and remains a beloved classic of the mystery genre to this day.

In conclusion, “The House of the Arrow” is a captivating mystery novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Mason’s vivid prose and intricate plotting make for a compelling and atmospheric read, and the novel is a must-read for fans of classic mystery and detective fiction.

One of the most interesting aspects of “The House of the Arrow” is its cast of characters. Mason has crafted a wide variety of intriguing and complex individuals, each with their own secrets and motives. From the enigmatic Madame Dauvray, who harbors a dark past, to the wealthy and powerful Sauverin family, with their web of lies and deceit, every character in the novel has a role to play in the unfolding of the mystery.

Richard Verrell, the novel’s protagonist, is a particularly well-drawn character. As an Englishman living in France, Verrell is both an insider and an outsider, which gives him a unique perspective on the events that unfold. He is intelligent and resourceful, with a sharp eye for detail and a talent for uncovering hidden truths. However, he is also impulsive and prone to making rash decisions, which sometimes puts him in danger.

The novel’s setting is also a major strength. Mason’s descriptions of Dijon and its surrounding countryside are rich and evocative, immersing the reader in a world of winding streets, picturesque cafes, and elegant villas. The novel also offers a fascinating glimpse into French culture in the 1920s, from its customs and traditions to its social hierarchy and political tensions.

In addition to its setting and characters, “The House of the Arrow” is notable for its intricate plotting. Mason weaves together multiple storylines, each with its own twists and turns, to create a complex and compelling mystery. As the investigation unfolds, new clues are discovered and unexpected connections are revealed, keeping the reader guessing until the very end.

Overall, “The House of the Arrow” is a masterful work of mystery fiction. With its richly drawn characters, evocative setting, and intricate plotting, it is a must-read for fans of the genre. Its enduring popularity and numerous adaptations are a testament to its lasting appeal, and it remains a beloved classic of the mystery genre more than a century after its initial publication.

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