Book number 42 for the year – The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. What a muddle of a mystery novel. Well, that’s what you get when you buy a hardback just because it was cheap.

This novel turned out to be a chaotic/pompous story about Richard Hannay, who gets mixed up in a murder case of a spy. Before dying, the spy had sough refuge in Hannay’s room and revealed to him cryptic details of a dastardly plot by anarchists to assassinate a leading figure to trigger a World War. After the spy’s death, Hannay becomes prime suspect in the murder case.

For most part of the novel, our protagonist is on the run from authorities. His adventures fluctuate between interesting & mind-numbingly boring. Buchan’s narration is slightly dry, so despite being a short novel, it takes a while to finish. You would probably be better off with a good old Agatha Christie.

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