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About the book
  • Published: 24 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781743481264
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

Trent's Last Case: Green Popular Penguins


Formats & editions


A scheming American capitalist is found dead in the garden of his English country house confounding amateur detective Philip Trent.

When a scheming American capitalist is found dead in the garden of his English country house, two immediate matters confound amateur detective Philip Trent: why is the dead man not wearing his false teeth, and why is his young widow seemingly relieved at his death? The newly widowed Mabel Manderson – 'the lady in black' – has a disarming effect on the refreshingly fallible and imaginative Trent, in this classic detective story that twists and turns with ingenious deductions and misplaced assumptions.

The Green Popular Penguins Story
It was in 1935 when Allen Lane stood on a British railway platform looking for something good to read on his journey. His choice was limited to popular magazines and poor quality paperbacks. Lane's disappointment at the range of books available led him to found a company – and change the world.

In 1935 the Penguin was born, but it took until the late 1940s for the Crime and Mystery series to emerge. The genre thrived in the post-war austerity of the 1940s, and reached heights of popularity by the 1960s.

Suspense, compelling plots and captivating characters ensure that once again you need look no further than the Penguin logo for the scene of the perfect crime.

  • Pub date: 24 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781743481264
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

E C Bentley

E. C. Bentley was a popular English novelist and humorist of the early twentieth century, and the inventor of the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics. 

Born in London, and educated at St Paul's School and Merton College, Oxford, Edmund's father John Edmund Bentley, was professionally a civil servant but was also a rugby union international having played in the first ever international match for England against Scotland in 1871. Bentley worked as a journalist on several newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph. His first published collection of poetry, titled Biography for Beginners (1905), popularised the clerihew form; it was followed by two other collections, in 1929 and 1939. His detective novel, Trent's Last Case (1913), was much praised, numbering Dorothy L. Sayers among its admirers, and with its labyrinthine and mystifying plotting can be seen as the first truly modern mystery. It was adapted as a film in 1920, 1929, and 1952. The success of the work inspired him, after 23 years, to write a sequel, Trent's Own Case (1936). There was also a book of Trent short stories, Trent Intervenes. Several of his books were reprinted in the early 2000s by House of Stratus.

From 1936 until 1949 Bentley was president of the Detection Club and contributed to both of their radio serials broadcast in 1930 and 1931 and published in 1983 as The Scoop and Behind The Screen. In 1950 he contributed the Introduction to a Constable & Co omnibus edition of Damon Runyon's 'stories of the bandits of Broadway', which was republished by Penguin Books in 1990 as On Broadway.

He died in 1956 in London at the age of 80. His son Nicolas Bentley was a famous illustrator.


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