Book Review - The Curious Mr Tarrant by C. Daly King


I love a good anthology, or collection of short stories. Naturally, when I spotted this book in a used bookstore, I was intrigued by the title and the image on the cover. After reading the synopsis on the back cover, I decided it was worth checking out. And boy was I right to do so. I thoroughly enjoyed each of these odd little mysteries.

As the cover indicates, there are only 8 stories contained in this volume, and each one (even though a couple of the tales takes place outdoors) have been referred to as a "locked room" mystery, which makes the collection all the more interesting for me. 

Similar to Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved Sherlock Holmes, we are introduced to Mr. Trevis Tarrant, through our narrator Jerry Phelan who first encounters Tarrant in the first story involving an ancient codex in a museum. And also like Holmes, Tarrant has an affinity for 'unusual' cases or problems. But, there the similarities end. We soon learn that Trevis Tarrant is more willing to have feelings we're allowed to see as he deals with Jerry and others. Also, we get to actually watch Tarrant working out the solution to the puzzles they are encountering. He doesn't always come up with the right answer immediately, but through trial and error until a solution is reached.

Furthermore, we're also allowed to learn that Mr. Tarrant is capable of great affection and can even fall in love, although he is a bit awkward about letting those feelings readily visible even to the object of his affections. But nonetheless, reading these tales was quite enjoyable. 

Since finishing this collection, I've learned there are at least 4 more Tarrant stories that I'm eager to find and read as there are still one or two questions regarding this character, that I am hoping they will answer.

A worthy read. Five stars.


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