When Thief Meets Thief

Cover image for


Published: 1938
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,475 / 209 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.5
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,794
Added to site: 2008.10.12
mnybks.net#: 22337

Tillary Steevens, novelist, stole the plots of all the stories that brought him fame. Jerry Hammond, rightful owner of the said plots, was driven by fate to making a living as a cracksman, after he had undergone a bewildering series of adventures in a South American republic. How he turned the tables on Steevens, won his 'Princess,' and achieved happiness, make up a story which for sheer thrill and fascinating unexpectedness fairly out-Keelers Keeler.

Show Excerpt

g quite a few wild-cat propositions. If he had been satisfied with the squared paper and the curves, all would have been well, but he took to making investments on the strength of his curves. He appears to have won a bit at first, and, encouraged by the luck, to have increased his speculations more and more.

That, I suppose, is a story that has been told a thousand times and more. It led Professor Hoyte down the hill that so many gamblers have descended, and ended, for him, with a bullet through his brain in his study one winter morning, and the squared papers showing his fatal curves on the desk beside which his body had fallen. He had gambled away every penny, and even gone to a moneylender on the strength of forthcoming salary. Mrs. Hoyte and the Princess were left practically destitute, six months or a bit more after my college career had terminated. I have already said that Mrs. Hoyte was a semi-invalid. Under the shock of her husband's suicide she went all to pieces for a while, and then so far r


Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
Leah A. Zeldes

Terrific! A really fun caper novel: The humorous adventures of Jerry Hammond, who intended to be a dentist, narrowly missed being executed, almost achieved presidency of a banana republic, and ultimately became a safe cracker, and his pursuit of vengeance against one Tillbury Steevens, a mystery writer whose success rests on stolen manuscripts written by Jerry's grandfather. Jerry is particularly charming example of the criminal protagonist, and Keeler's writing is light-hearted and funny.

This is the first Keeler novel I've encountered, so I decided to look him up. It turns out he was a highly prolific but obscure Chicago writer with a penchant for bizarre plots. This one must be among his tamest. If he were publishing today, he might be ranked with Carl Hiaasen and Christopher Moore, but he seems to have been ahead of his time.

(Note: This 1938 work contains characters — you might say caricatures — who are uneducated, Southern, black and speak in dialect, as well as unsympathetic characters who refer to them using objectionable terms. I can't claim that this humorous novel has anything near the historic and cultural value of "Huckleberry Finn"; those who would like to see that work banned or bowdlerized will definitely object to this one.)

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