Books: Enigma

ELEPHANT'S WORK (277 pp.)—E C. Bentley—Knopf ($2.75).

If the judgment of his peers can. be trusted, Englishman Edmund Clerihew* Bentley wrote one of the best detective stories of the 20th Century. G. K. Chesterton flatly named Trent's Last Case (1913) "the finest detective story of modern times." Agatha Christie calls it "one of the three best detective stories ever written." Bentley himself put another book at the top of his list: John Buchan's hare & hounds thriller, The Thirty-Nine Steps. He said as much to Author Buchan one day, and Buchan replied: "Why don't you write a shocker yourself? It's twenty...

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