Who held the old-fashioned brass candlestick that struck down "the Bounder"--and set mystery a-throbbing in the quiet suburb of Stanwick? Bat Scanlon, athletic trainer and good sport, found a clue in the dark hotel office where the little Swiss sharpened his murderous knife. But it was Ashton-Kirk who discovered the part a beautiful woman played in the drama.
nothing at all about the matter."
The girl shivered a little and drew her cloak around her shoulders.
"As soon as I heard of it, I knew what was to happen," she said, a trifle bitterly. "Nora Cavanaugh, celebrity, was to be dragged further into the light. Nora Cavanaugh, who had just opened in a successful play--the woman whose pictures were in all the magazines--was the wife of the murdered man! Instantly the police, who would be much better employed seeking a solution of the crime, must hunt out and torment me with their questions; the newspapers must suddenly go mad with a desire to exploit my years of work and my personality as a background for a sordid crime. My press agent, my manager, are quivering with anxiety that no shred of publicity be lost. My very maid is subtly suggestive as to ways in which value could be gained from the circumstances."
"Too bad!" said Bat "It's a pretty messy kind of a job. But it's the regular thing. They are not picking specially on you." He sa
If the author's intention really was to emulate A.Conan Doyle's Holmes,
what he achieved is to show at least one of the reasons of Doyle's
superiority: Watson isn't as observing as Holmes but he is equally clever.
The Kirk's assistant, Bat, is shockingly dumb, bordering on retarded.
The investigator's police rival is more of the same. As for the
investigator, he also doesn't seem too bright, just goes through logical
motions, none of them surprising or spectacular: in the kingdom of the
blind, the one-eyed man is king.
All the rest is very, very pulp, a cheap, little credible and strenous
plot, cartoonish characters and a very weak sense of humour.
The only curious point to be found is a mention of "hordes of East
Europeans" crowding the bad neighbourhoods.
Good well-paced story with a faintly ridiculous ending: a cop-out in fact! Made worse by the reader not being given the vital clues Ashton-Kirk had found to solve it, so no chance of working things out. Shame - the rest was good.
Now here is an author of detective stories still undiscovered by manybooks readers that created another Sherlock Holmes-like protagonist. Ashton-Kirk, on first glance, is mighty above mere trivial footwork and solves it all in the head. But this impression is deceiving, fortunately, and both this and the "Investigator" are deep cases where he or his friends has to take part in the action. The writing is fine and the book quality above average. The books do not depend on each other. Highly recommended.
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