32 Caliber

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Author: Donald McGibeny
Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 40,630 / 119 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 84.3
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 27,821
Added to site: 2007.09.28
mnybks.net#: 18359
Origin: gutenberg.org

The narrator, a lawyer and amateur detective, is pulled into the complicated lives of his best friend, his friend's wife, and her war-profiteer lover, during their ensuing divorce.

Show Excerpt

d his whole pose so artificial, so expressive of disdain, that I felt the short hair rising along the back of my neck in antagonism. When he heard us, Woods turned with contemptuous deliberation, but when he caught sight of the dumb misery on Jim's face, his own turned a dull crimson. Helen crossed the room and seated herself on the divan, back of which Woods was standing. The whole performance--the place she chose near him, the look she flashed at him as she sat down, showed so completely which of the men she loved, that my heart sank and I lost hope of ever bringing her back to Jim. It was Helen who first spoke.

"You received the note I left this morning?"

Jim moistened his lips once and said, "Yes." The word was barely audible.

"Then there is no need to tell you I have made up my mind to go with Frank."

Her tone was coldly final. Woods had turned and was again gazing out of the window. Jim looked at Helen with the eyes of a hound-dog. My heart ached for him, but there was nothin


Average Rating of 3.3 from 9 reviews: ****

A neatly plotted but small intrigue with only three possible solutions and the most obvious one is the one that comes through. The decisive clue comes too early and the happy end is way too sweet.
The writing is pleasant but it doesn't give you thrills or make you smile.
You spend two or three passable hours and the next day you won't remember that you did.

An interesting but sadly with a poor ending.


Surprisingly disappointing considering the 4 star aggregate review. Weak plot and the only memorable characters either die early or are memorable only for their annoying qualities. I am in the minority on this one, decide for yourself.


.32 Caliber by Donald McGibeny is a 1920s mystery pulp fiction novel with a great cast of characters. I enjoyed being dropped into the life of Bupps as he narrates through the martial challenges of his sister, Helen, and his best friend, Jim.

Helen and Jim are going through a bitter divorce. The cause of their spat is another man by the name of Frank Woods. Their love triangle turns for the worst when Jim mysteriously dies in a car accident. However, Bupps believes his best friend's death was no accident.

In the end, I can't really say this book surprised me. The resolution is a bit predictable and the last chapter is a little hokey. Still, I recommend this quick paced 128 page novel for anyone that's looking for an entertaining and suspenseful read you can finish in one night.


As fresh as if it were written yesterday. A triangle involving the narrator's sister, her husband (guy's best friend) and another man (interested in wife) ends in murder most foul. The how-dunnit is very creative, especially considering this was published in 1920. Fast paced; lots of twists and turns. Good read.


A surprisingly easy book to read. McGibeny's prose attracted me immediately. Very entertaining.


The story started off really great full of excitement but then somewhere towards the end it lost something, not sure if the author got lost finding an ending for the story but...it could have had a better ending. Also, what was up with Mary; really lady (read it & see what I mean)

Jim K

Interesting twists in the plot, with a surprising (although somewhat unlikely) method of murder. The police investigation of this crime is especially interesting in like of current television shows like C.S.I. and Law and Order. It is easy to picture the folks in this story as straw-hat wearing, upper class, gentlemen and ladies taking their turn around a society of private aeroplanes, country clubs and long hooded Phaetons with wire wheels and big headlights. Pretty enjoyable all-in-all old man.


It's a very interesting book and also very compact. Only the ending lacks a bit of drama. A court room action would 've made it much better.

But it is still pretty good and I would not mind reading it again.



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