William Breen, hard-hearted banker of Keedora, Iowa, is shot by an unknown assailant whose identity remains a mystery until the very end. This is a perfect murder because there is no corpus delicti and no real clue—only a deserted Buick with blood on the back cushions. The reason for the murder and how it was committed and concealed come out gradually as the story unfolds and the little village fills with newspaper men and curiosity seekers.
Unlike most murder stories, Crime in Corn-Weather is given depth and richness by its realistic portrayal of the effect of the murder on the lives of the community. It is not only a first-rate mystery but a remarkable novel as well—vivid, fast-moving, with living characters and complete reality. (Library Column, Williamsburg, Iowa, Journal Tribune, 1935)
On the lonely Keppoch moor a dense fog was settling while four young sportsmen doggedly continued their “shoot.” There was a sudden report and a few minutes later one of the party was discovered seriously wounded. Several days after, when the victim of that unfortunate “accident” was well on the road to recovery in his host’s house, he was found shot through the temple.
The local police investigated with unusual thoroughness and ingenuity, and had it not been for one minor fact, the first shooting would have passed as accident, the second as suicide. But that single detail was enough to arouse the suspicions of Francis MacNab whose detective genius is well known to readers of other Ferguson mysteries. The criminal had made none of the mistakes so helpful to the detective, and MacNab was unaided by any of those intuitions which are convenient in fiction but seldom occur in real life.
The result is a study in detection that will meet the approval of the most exacting reader, while a sinister premonition and tense excitement throughout will hold him to the last page.
Any number of people would be glad to put a slug into Leo Murray and what’s more, they were perfectly willing to admit it. Leo was a genius and he knew it; his shows were the envy of all the other producers for they not only made money but they seemed invariably to win Pulitzer Prizes as well. But Leo’s genius and success didn’t prevent him from being the lowest, meanest and most ruthless showman on Broadway. And that was what made Bill Benedict’s job so tough when the murderer struck. How can you pick the guilty man when everyone who ever had anything to do with the corpse has a motive? Especially, when they are the hard sort of babies who keep the show business going? It meant a lot of hot spots for Benedict and it means a breathless mystery for the reader, taking him behind the scenes to show him the inside workings of the theatrical racket, blaring with the spotlight and wisecracks of the Great White Way.
But for the blistering June heat in Frisbie County, Shadwell Dunn’s old mansion would not have known its strangest and most sinister adventure. Three men, of widely differing social stations, would have died in their beds instead of in their boots. And little old Professor Ames, with his wistful eyes and his mop of white hair, would never have mooned his way about those ancient rooms, determined to save the fourth man. Some murder stories blow hot and then cold, but in this one the excitement never diminishes. Besides the continuous action and suspense, it has a deeper probing into character and a keener perception of psychology than most mystery stories possess. Pattern in Black and Red is recommended as an A-1 psychological thriller.
John Hardy has come home to West Fork after a decade’s absence, planning retribution for the death of his father. Hardy has barely crossed the town line when he is thrust into action, caught up in the political machinery that rules this small town. His target has already been murdered (on the golf course), and the publisher of a small newspaper is suspected. Hardy picks a side and digs in, fighting for the man’s freedom from prison and the town’s freedom from the iron fist of a ruthless business syndicate. With clues to follow, Machiavellian schemes to counter, and fair maiden to be won, John Hardy has his hands full.
Owen Fox Jerome was the detective novel pen name for Oscar Jerome Friend (1897-1963), pulp writer, genre novelist, and literary agent.
Murder in the Tomb is a unique adventure in mystery stories by a newcomer in the field of detective-mystery fiction; but the reader who starts the story will not be able to lay the book aside until he has read to the final page.
The novel's action is set in the city of Minneapolis during the summer of 1932. Howard Ralston, millionaire antiquarian, defies fate by bringing into his home three menaces: a Borgia poison ring, a Chinese vengeance dagger, and the mummy of Serapion, one-time Imperator of the Brothers of Karnak.
Murder results. The corpse and the mummy vanish, greatly to the annoyance of Detective Hal Denny. Benjamin Butler Bailey, young private investigator--of a type new to fiction--is called in. He and Hal Denny, despite their continued disagreements, finally solve the crime--one of the most baffling in police records.
The reader of Murder in the Tomb will find in this story a fast moving plot, high-running suspense, vivid characterization, and a surprise ending that satisfies.
TWO MYSTERIES: THE CLUE OF THE LEATHER NOOSE /
THE CELL MURDER MYSTERY
DONALD BAYNE HOBART
Donald Bayne Hobart (1898-1970) was a prolific writer for pulp magazines and comic books, focusing on westerns and mysteries. This influence can be clearly seen in his full-length books. This volume brings together two of his early mysteries.
The Clue of the Leather Noose (1929)—An unscrupulous theater promoter is strangled on the Boardwalk, and Larry Benson finds himself caught up in an investigation that threatens to endanger the woman he loves. Surrounded by strange characters and secrets from the past, his only hope is that Captain Blake can solve the mystery.
The Cell Murder Mystery (1931)—Wealthy Fosdick Martin is stabbed, and there are plenty of suspects, but the Chief of Police John Kenny has bigger worries when a murder occurs in his own jail cells. To complicate matters, the underground crime boss known as The Lizard has his own plans . . .
The Commemoration Night ball at Beaufort College, Oxford, is disturbed first by a strange prank with a professor’s mummy, then by a tragic fire that kills the professor—or did it? If he died in the fire, what happened to the mummy? Professors Sargent and Considine take it upon themselves to investigate when the coroner rules accidental death, leaving them with unanswered questions. Dermot Morrah creates a picture-perfect Oxford environment filled with characters that draw the reader into those grounds of academia. This fun, breezy mystery will entertain the amateur detective mystery fan.
Dermot Morrah (1896-1974) was born on the Isle of Wight. He was educated at Winchester College and at New College, Oxford, where he was a mathematical scholar. From 1921 until 1928 he was a fellow of All Souls but ceased to reside there after 1922 when he entered the Home Civil Service as Assistant Principal in the Mines Department. His early writings were chiefly confined to professional contributions to government blue books, but he later wrote articles for the Times, the Daily Mail, and other papers. The Mummy Case Mystery was his only detective novel.
Duddington Pell Chalmers is a young man of taste, class, and girth. As trustee for a local art museum, he is called in by police when the troublesome curator is murdered and soon finds himself at odds with the official enquiry. There is no shortage of suspects among local artists, art dealers, and collectors, while motives become muddled when it is discovered that murder was not the only crime. Chalmers knows that time is of the essence, or the police will arrest his artist friend, bringing ruin to a bright career, but can he follow the clues to unmask the murderer? John T. McIntyre (1871-1951) was better known for his early works starring detective Ashton-Kirk and later mysteries featuring Philadelphia private investigator Jerry Mooney (the latter published under the pseudonym Kerry O’Neil). The Museum Murder was first published in 1929.
Robert Cornua is a philosopher of human nature, working on his magnum opus, when his goddaughter Julia arrives breathlessly with the news that her genial philanthropist uncle, Cornua’s best friend, has been murdered—and Julia herself is likely to be the prime suspect! Cornua quickly becomes embroiled in trying to find the murderer but finds himself at odds with the police and criminal gangs. Questions abound: Who is the murderer? What are the gangs after? Can an absent-minded philosopher be an effective amateur detective? Who wins Julia’s heart?
The Philosopher’s Murder Case was written by Jack Randall Crawford, professor of English at Yale University from 1909-1946.
A wine-tasting party turns deadly, as shady business at a vineyard brings together wine connoisseurs and unsavory characters. George Congreve has invited his friend Merton to a chateau in France, but plans for a wine feast are soon spoiled when another guest is found murdered.
Congreve takes on the investigation to stall calling the French police, and uses a wine-related tactic to put his witnesses in a cooperative mood.
This is a well-written mystery that will interest enthusiasts of Golden-Age detective fiction, with plenty of clues scattered among the empty wine bottles.
THE ADDISON KENT MYSTERIES: THE GAUNTLET OF
ALCESTE / THE GOLDEN SCARAB
These two novels tell the story of Addison Kent, mystery writer, who becomes embroiled in mysteries of his own, and who runs into international jewel thief Alceste. Alceste is a man of mystery, dangerous and cunning, who steals the finest of gems. These novels are full of twists and turns, as Kent solves mysteries of murder and theft and tries to run Alceste to ground.
Hopkins Moorhouse (pseudonym of Herbert Joseph Moorhouse [1882-1960]) was a Canadian journalist and author. The Gauntlet of Alceste was first published in 1921. The Golden Scarab was published as a serial in the American McLean's Magazine in 1926.
THE QUINNY HITE MYSTERIES: CHINESE RED / HERE
LIES THE BODY
The inimitable Quinny Hite is on the case—tough, cocky Quinny who invariably ends up in deeper waters of detection than he bargained for. Quinny's territory is Times Square, but he'll dig in wherever he is when murder appears.
Volume 1—Chinese Red: A wealthy playboy disappears from a dinner party at a Chinese restaurant, only to be found murdered. Quinny finds plenty of suspects, and one beautiful half-Chinese, half-Russian singer. Here Lies the Body: A cold-hearted patriarch is found murdered in the family cemetery. Family secrets complicate Quinny’s investigation (not to mention a jarring ride on horseback).
THE QUINNY HITE MYSTERIES: THE FOURTH STAR /
Volume 2—The Fourth Star: Quinny investigates the mysterious death of a woman found in an empty home owned by her ex-husband. Sinister Street: Quinny is hired to investigate a robbery, but murder soon exposes a more insidious plot. “The Corpse in Grampa’s Bed”: A Quinny Hite short story involving mysteriously mixed-up corpses.
[Note: due to copyright renewal, the first Quinny Hite novel, The Dead Take No Bows, is unavailable for reprint at this time.]