This Black Mask story introduces ''The Continental Op'', a character who would eventually appear in 28 stories and two novels.
Mac's too lazy to express an opinion, or even form one, unless he's driven to it; but that doesn't mean they aren't worth listening to, if you can get them.
"There ain't a hell of a lot to think," he said cheerfully. "Henderson is out of it, if he ever was in it. There's nothing to show that anybody but the Coonses and Thornburgh were there when the fire started -- but there may have been a regiment there. Them Coonses ain't too honest-looking, maybe, but they ain't killers, or I miss my guess. But the fact remains that they're the only bet we got so far. Maybe we ought to try to get a line on them."
"All right," I agreed. "Soon as we get back to town, I'll get a wire off to our Seattle office asking them to interview Mrs. Comerford, and see what she can tell about them. Then I'm going to catch a train for San Francisco and see Thornburgh's niece in the morning."
Next morning, at the address McClump had given me -- a rather elaborate apartment building on California Street -- I
Good detective story. Everything is laid out without any red herrings. It just takes some work to have it all tie together and make sense.
Good pulp writing.
OK detective story - arson investigation in 1920's Sacramento.
Good short story. The plot centres on the investigation of a possible arson in which a man was killed, and has a clever twist at the end.
Nice, tight story about an arson with a bit of a twist - that I didn't see coming - in the end. The twists and turns seem logical and don't drag in (or toss out) plot elements without reason. Enjoyable.
A straightforward, easy-to-read detective tale with an unexpected ending.