Characters Discussed

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Andrew Wyke

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Andrew Wyke, a writer of detective stories. A tall, well-built man of fifty-seven, he has written many old-fashioned mystery novels featuring the fictional detective Inspector Merridrew. Disdaining the modern detective shows one sees on television, he favors the golden age of mystery fiction, the 1930’s, with stories featuring complex plots and elaborate puzzles. In the first act, Andrew amicably invites Milo Tindle over to his home to discuss Milo’s plan to marry his wife, Marguerite. Andrew’s real intention in inviting Milo over is to teach him a lesson in humility. He persuades Milo to participate in a game to steal Marguerite’s jewels from a safe in the house; Milo can fence the jewels and keep the money to support Marguerite. The game turns nasty, however, when Andrew pulls a gun and threatens to shoot Milo. He explains that he will tell the police that he heard a burglar in the house and shot and killed the man. Andrew has no intention of letting Milo marry Marguerite. When he points the gun at Milo’s head and shoots, the bullet is a blank. When Milo faints at the shot, Andrew wins the game; he has humiliated Milo.

Milo Tindle

Milo Tindle, Marguerite Wyke’s lover, a slim, handsome man of thirty-five, of medium height, with a Mediterranean complexion inherited from his half-Italian, half-Jewish father. Milo is in the travel business in Dulwich. Humiliated in Andrew’s game, Milo seeks revenge by disguising himself and reappearing at Andrew’s house as Inspector Doppler, pretending to investigate the possible murder of Milo Tindle. Much to Andrew’s surprise, Milo, as Inspector Doppler, discovers clues that incriminate Andrew in the so-called murder. Milo wins his game as he tells the horrified Andrew that the most time he will serve is seven years for manslaughter. When Milo finally unmasks himself, Andrew knows he has found a worthy opponent. Milo, however, has not yet completed his revenge. Milo tells Andrew that he gained access to the house with the help of Andrew’s lover, whom, Milo says, he raped and strangled and then buried in the yard. Furthermore, Milo planted evidence in the house that will incriminate Andrew in the murder. Through a series of riddles, Andrew finds the evidence before the police come to arrest him. In fact, the police do not arrive, because there has been no murder: Milo has humiliated Andrew a second time. When Milo tells Andrew that he plans to take Marguerite away and marry her, Andrew is desperate. Believing that he can make the burglar plan work in reality, and not simply as a hoax, he shoots Milo. As Milo dies, however, he achieves his ultimate revenge on Andrew: As the play closes, the police do arrive.

Characters

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 663

Inspector Doppler
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Police Constable Higgs
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Detective Sergeant Tarrant
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Milo Tindle
Milo Tindle, who also plays the roles for characters Inspector Doppler, Police Constable Higgs, and Detective Sergeant Tarrant, comes into Andrew Wyke's life because he is having an affair with Wyke's wife, Marguerite. At about thirty-five years old, Milo, who is younger than Wyke, is earned away by the romance of his affair. He and Marguerite want to marry and live their life in idyllic happiness mhis rooms above his travel agency Andrew scoffs at Milo's plan, claiming that Marguerite is far too accustomed to luxury to maintain such a lifestyle; Milo goes along with Andrew's plan of a faked theft, which will bring in a sizeable amount of insurance money, in order to supply Marguerite with a more luxurious living.

In devising his plan, Andrew is sure that he can best Milo, for he believes himself to be superior to his wife's lover. After all, Milo is (in the prejudiced eyes...

(The entire section contains 1125 words.)

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