When fed up and thoroughly peeved Chuny causes the train to crash, little does she know that her rage has sparked off a staggering chain of events involving an amnesiac who, in his quest to find a wanted criminal in order to resolve a case of mistaken identity, meets the formidable General de la Costa, learns a great deal about diamonds and becomes embroiled in an extraordinary affair involving the Bishop of Glasminster's mitre. This classic 'shocker' was written at the suggestion of Bentley's friend, John Buchan.
Author biography:E.C. Bentley was born in 1875 and educated at St Pauls School, London, where he met eminent critic and author G K Chesterton, who became his closest friend.
Bentley began a lifelong career in journalism in 1902, working for ten years on the editorial staff of the Daily News and for a further twenty years on the Daily Telegraph. In 1905, he published Biography for Beginners (under the pseudonym E Clerihew), which was a volume of nonsense verse consisting of four-lines and called Clerihews (in his honour), which became as popular as the limerick form. Two further volumes followed in 1929 and 1939.
Bentleys masterpiece, Trents Last Case (1913), was written in exasperation at the infallibility of Sherlock Holmes and marked the beginning of a new era in detective fiction. Indeed, it has long been hailed as marking the start of the 'Golden Age of Crime Fiction' and the first truly modern mystery. The sequel, Trents Own Case, did not appear for a further twenty three years and this was then followed by a book of short stories; Trent Intervenes.
Of Trent's Last Case Agatha Christie wrote: 'One of the three best detective stories ever written, whilst Dorothy L Sayers stated It is the one detective story of the present century which I am certain will go down to posterity as a classic. It is a masterpiece.