The Sunningdale Mystery

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Short Story

First published: 1929

Tommy & Tuppence

Synopsis

The Sunningdale Mystery

The Sunningdale Mystery

Captain Sessle is found stabbed through the heart, with a hatpin the only clue and a bit of red wool in his hand. From Partners in Crime.

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Captain Sessle is found stabbed through the heart, with a hatpin the only clue and a bit of red wool in his hand. A pretty blond is charged because she was wearing a bright red wool coat. But the Beresfords don’t like how the investigation is being handled. Was there more behind the killing than the pretty blond and the red wool?

Tommy Beresford imitates the Old Man in the Corner, the greatest of the armchair detectives, a character created by Baroness Emma Orczy (1865-1947).

The Old Man, who remains nameless, solves his mysteries while sitting in the corner of a tea shop. Information on cases is brought to him by Polly Burton, a young reporter for the Evening Observer. The Old Man ponders his cases while tying and untying knots in an old piece of string which he carries with him - a habit Tommy copies; Tuppence logically takes the role of Polly Burton.

This story was published by Collins in the collection Partners in Crime, 1929, and the title was changed from The Sunninghall Mystery to The Sunningdale Mystery. It was adapted for radio in 1953, starring Richard Attenborough and Sheila Sim. It also featured in the 1983 TV series Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime, with Francesca Annis and James Warwick.

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