The Big Bow Mystery

Israel Zangwill

“It seems clear that the deceased did not commit suicide. It seems equally clear that the deceased was not murdered…”

Bow is a working-class district in the East End of London. It’s a cold December morning, and a London pea-souper swirls around the dark streets. At 11 Grover Street, a rooming house, Mrs. Drabdump the landlady is unconcerned and goes “about her work quite as cheerlessly as usual”. Then she trudges upstairs to wake one of the lodgers – Arthur Constant is an idealist, and a campaigner for workers’ rights. Not getting a response she tries again but the door is firmly locked from within. She summons her neighbour, the well-known retired detective George Grodman who batters down the door, only to be confronted with a corpse… and the first ever locked door mystery.

  • Classification : Classic Crime & Adventure/Thrillers
  • Pub Date : JUN 20, 2023
  • Imprint : YELLOWBACK
  • Page Extent : 146
  • Binding : PB
  • ISBN : 9789357311526
  • Price : INR 299

Israel Zangwill

Israel Zangwill, Anglo-Jewish writer and political activist, was probably the best-known Jew in the English-speaking world at the start of the twentieth century. Zangwill was born in London on 21 January 1864 to parents who had immigrated from Eastern Europe. For part of his childhood the family lived in Plymouth and Bristol, but they eventually settled in London's East End where Zangwill attended and then taught in the Jews' Free School. Zangwill graduated from the University of London in 1884 with honours in English, French, and Mental and Moral Science.

Zangwill began his career as a journalist and humour writer, contributing to Jerome K. Jerome's periodical The Idler as well as Jewish periodicals. Zangwill's work earned him the nickname "the Dickens of the Ghetto". He wrote a very influential novel Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People which George Gissing called "a powerful book". The book made him a literary celebrity. It was followed by the collections Ghetto Tragedies (1893 and 1899), Dreamers of the Ghetto (1898), and Ghetto Comedies (1907), and the comic novel The King of Schnorrers (1894), as well as several novels and many stories not specifically on Jewish themes.

The use of the phrase "melting pot" to describe multiculturalism was popularised by Zangwill's play The Melting Pot, a success in the United States in 190910.

Israel Zangwill died on 1 August 1926, near his home in East Preston, Sussex.

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