Aw… no Papa Poirot this time. Damn. Oh well. I’m sure our new main character can command the spotlight like he did.
Anne Beddingfeld, our new protagonist, is made an orphan after her archeologist father’s sudden death. Yearning for adventure, she makes her way to London, where she works to pay her bills. One day, she witnesses comes across a man in a brown suit. At the sight of him, a man steps back into a moving train. Now, Anne pursues the man in brown, believing what everyone thinks to be an accident to be, in fact, a murder. Her search takes her on a grand adventure to Africa, where she makes some new friends and even a few lovers to solve an old and life-ruining mystery.
Okay, let’s get the big criticism out of the way: the romance in this book is pretty bad. Anne and her lover meet, he threatens to murder her multiple times, and then… they fall in love and live in a shack together? That sounds like a good way to end up dead in a ditch or eaten alive. But it’s presented like it’s a totally normal thing that we should root for!
Sorry. But as someone who has been in a toxic relationship before, I can’t get behind that.
Luckily, the rest of the book is pretty solid. The mystery is pretty compelling, with plenty of fun twists and turns. Just when I thought I finally had her in a box and I knew who the culprit was, she revealed that she did, in fact, have me in the palm of her hand the entire god damn time. It’s the best kind of mystery; the genuinely shocking one.
Aside from the terrible romance, the characters in this book are really solid! Anne’s friendship with Suzanne is one of the most fun and wholesome I’ve read in any mystery book! Honestly, I wish these two went off on more adventures together! Having a female Holmes-Watson dynamic for a whole series would’ve been amazing!
Still, I can’t complain. They may have only shared one adventure together, but it was a fun one. If you’re in need of a good mystery read, The Man in the Brown Suit is a solid choice.
Although I’d say The Secret Adversary is a better one.