The Big Bow Mystery

Read by Adrian Praetzellis

(4.3 stars; 82 reviews)

It's a cold and foggy night in London. A man is horribly murdered in his bedroom, the door locked and bolted on the inside. Scotland Yard is stumped. Yet the seemingly unsolvable case has, as Inspector Grodman says, "one sublimely simple solution" that is revealed in a final chapter full of revelations and a shocking denouement. Detective fiction afficionados will be happy to learn that all the evidence to solve the case is provided. One of the earliest “locked room” mystery stories, The Big Bow Mystery is also a satire of late Victorian society. (Summary by Adrian Praetzellis)

(5 hr 5 min)


Chapter 01 22:41 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 02 22:07 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 03 24:15 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 04 20:28 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 05 26:04 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 06 26:13 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 07 23:52 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 08 23:34 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 09 12:56 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 10 46:59 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 11 20:03 Read by Adrian Praetzellis
Chapter 12 36:22 Read by Adrian Praetzellis


A splendid reading

(5 stars)

This is arguably the first 'locked-room' mystery novel (1892 UK; 1895 US), that is, a detective story in which the puzzle aspect is the critical element of the plot rather than being an ancillary item, as it was in Le Fanu's Uncle Silas, for example. It is also a pre-Golden-Age-of-Detection prototype in that it follows the rules of 'fair play' by providing the evidence for the solution in the form of clues imbedded in the text, supplies alternative solutions and suspects -- the classic 'red herring' approach -- and has a 'least-likely' suspect as the villain. All that it is lacking is what we would call a proper detective who out-thinks the reader. Many thanks to Adrian Praetzellis whose performance is commendable. A highly recommended reading.

Adrian is the best!

(5 stars)

Adrian is the best narrator by far! I love the way he reads. its so amazing with all the different voices. the book was lovely to.

Zangwill do nicely

(5 stars)

Two detectives, one locked room mystery and much sly humour can be found in Zangwill's novel, excellently read here. Zangwill was most famous for his tales of Jewish life, many still in print, but those other books of his I have read (e.g The Celibate's Club) which are of more general interest, as this one is, are also witty and well written. Discovering this for a free download was an exra pleasure for someone who thinks the writer underrated as a humourist. There's delightful portrayal of several important characters here by the reader - notably that of Crowl, the absurd anti-faddist and athiest, my favourite. If the final solution to the mystery does not *quite* convince, it's still fun and the whole is very recommendable.

Great book, great reading.

(4 stars)

I had never heard of Israel Zangwill, but enjoyed this book thoroughly. Adrian Praetzellis' reading is of a very high standard and really helps to add colour to both setting and character. The book is very well written, managing to not only provide a genuinely intriguing mystery, but also to broadly examine the society of the time; often with a gentle, satirical humour. Highly recommended.

(5 stars)

Engaging tale with excellent, historically accurate, background (in re union movement, religious skepticism, etc) in the various characters. Very well narrated by the reliable Adrian Praetzellis. For mystery lovers, a great example of the golden age of mystery stories.


(3 stars)

I tried but I just couldn’t get into the writing style. The mystery itself seemed secondary to the sort of “cutesy” storytelling. But the narrator was very good! I’ll look for others read by him!

Loved it

(5 stars)

The story was enthralling and the reader enunciated the words well and had great voice control so that it felt as though I was a fly on the wall watching all the action.

Tiresome journey

(2 stars)

I can't say I truly enjoyed this book as there was lots of rambling and dialogue that to me didn't make a lot of sense. however the ending was really good