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Murder in the Gunroom

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Author: H. Beam Piper
Published: 1953
Language: English
Wordcount: 68,211 / 204 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 77.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,168
Added to site: 2006.02.27 12888

The Lane Fleming collection of early pistols and revolvers was one of the best in the country. When Fleming was found dead on the floor of his locked gunroom, a Confederate-made Colt-type percussion .36 revolver in his hand, the coroner's verdict was "death by accident." But Gladys Fleming had her doubts. Enough at any rate to engage Colonel Jefferson Davis Rand--better known just as Jeff--private detective and a pistol-collector himself, to catalogue, appraise, and negotiate thesale of her late husband's collection.

Show Excerpt

escription, but that was to be looked for and discounted. And she had remembered, at the end, to include her ostensible reason for telling the story.

"Yes, it must have been dreadful," he sympathized. "Odd, though, that an old hand with guns like Mr. Fleming would have an accident like that. I met him, once or twice, and was at your home to see his collection, a couple of years ago. He impressed me as knowing firearms pretty thoroughly.... Well, you can look for me tomorrow, say around two. In the meantime, I'll see Goode, and also Gresham and Arnold Rivers."


After ushering his client out the hall door and closing it behind her, Rand turned and said:

"All right, Kathie, or Dave; whoever's out there. Come on in."

Then he went to his desk and reached under it, snapping off a switch. As he straightened, the door from the reception-office opened and his secretary, Kathie O'Grady, entered, loading a cigarette in

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 4.3 from 4 reviews: *****
Dai Alanye

Piper has a lot of followers, and there's no doubt he had plenty of imagination and was a decent writer. When it comes to depicting emotion, though, he definitely failed, and in that respect this book is no different from his others.

This is an ingenious mystery, and a treasure trove for collectors of antique weapons. Pubbed in the 1950s, the wisecracking dialog seems straight out of the '30s.


An excellent crime mystery by an author better known for his science fiction creations. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Lo que se espera de una novela de este tipo es que sea entretenida. Esta realmente lo es. Brillante en muchos aspectos!

Jon Boczkiewicz

H. Beam Piper's death ended the life of one of the finest writers of the mid-20th Century. While he was known primarily as a "scifi" author, he wasn't limited to that field except by the market for his writing. "Murder in the Gunroom" is an example; the main character is a Private Investigator who uses his knowledge of firearms [an area that Piper was an expert in] to discover the motive for the crime that was listed as "accidental" or "suicide". While the peripheral characters, even the murder, were pretty much 2-dimensional, the story was still very readable, and it's unfortunate that Piper didn't write more stories using this character. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.



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