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The Big Bow Mystery

Israel Zangwill


On a foggy morning in the Bow district of London, a popular labor organizer is found in his bed with his throat cut. It seems impossible for the wound to be self-inflicted, but it seems equally impossible that anyone could have entered his room during the night. The crime and its bizarre circumstances become the talk of the town, as retired Scotland Yard detective George Grodman finds himself pitted against his younger successor, not only to identify the perpetrator but also to explain how the murder was committed.

Israel Zangwill was best known for his political novels and plays, in particular 1908’s The Melting Pot, and this inclination is evident in the politically active setting of this much less serious novel. Unlike murder mysteries of later decades, in which everyone’s stories mainly serve to provide clues to the “whodunit,” The Big Bow Mystery paints a picture in which life continues on, even as the investigation becomes a matter of constant public debate. Moving from the gently satirical to the darkly comic, the novel stands apart from the genre, even while it is acknowledged as laying the groundwork for the “locked room mystery” novel.

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A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update word count in metadata

  2. Update accessibility boilerplate

  3. Update Onix file boilerplate

  4. Fix typo in description: commited → committed

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