The housekeeper and a parlor maid discuss the arrival of the host’s long-lost brother, the disruptive stranger amid the guests already at the house. The murder is investigated by a gentleman sleuth named Tony Gillingham. Aha. Tony Gillingham is also the name of Mary’s suitor in Downton Abbey and the man whose rapist-valet died in an “accident.” Is the choice of the man's name a coincidence? I wonder.
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey’s creator and writer, is certainly familiar with British mysteries from the same era as Milne's. Fellowes wrote the country house mystery Gosford Park and a screenplay for Agatha Christie’s The Crooked House. Fellowes says “murder in a genteel setting” never goes stale.
Downton Abbey was originally conceived as a spin-off of Gosford Park. Though the series went in another direction, the remnants of that initial idea remain in the suspicious deaths that affect upstairs and downstairs at Downton.
This blog, like the books and stories I write, combines mysteries, food, trivia, and a bit of humor to leaven the grim subject of crime. Sometimes random subjects intrude here .