• U.S.

Books: September Crime

2 minute read

> THE DAFFODIL AFFAIR — Michael Innes — Dodd, Mead ($2). Forthose who like sinister Chestertonian foolery, a completely fantastic and delightful story of the kidnapping of a young English girl with a dual personality, the theft of a learned horse (“Daffodil”) and the disappearance of a Bloomsbury mansion. Inspector Appleby of Scotland Yard travels from England .to the jungles of South America for the amazing solution of it all.

> NOBODY’S VINEYARD— H. C. Bailey—^k Crime Club ($2). Josh Clunk, London criminal lawyer, who chants revival hymns while plotting legal deviltries, saves a client and clears up, in his own oblique style, four mysterious deaths in a corrupt English seaside town. A highly rewarding yarn.

> SNAKE IN THE GRASS— James Howard Wellard—Dodd, Mead ($2). The violent death of a gentleman, traveling on an alias during an extramarital holiday in a fashionable Southern hotel, greatly excites an inquisitive sociologist with a detecting bee and a great number of odd “contacts” in quite unscholarly circles. A profusion of red herrings delays the action slightly, but the learned sleuth’s highly individual methods offset minor defects.

> THE CASE OF THE CARELESS KITTEN— Erie Stanley Gardner — Morrow ($2). Another brisk, shrewdly plotted and forthrightly told Perry Mason story, in which the adroit lawyer-sleuth cooperates with an intelligent and wary police lieutenant. Mason’s analysis of feline antics supplies the payoff clue to an elusive killer and a pair of carefully contrived murders.

> BATS FLY AT DUSK — A. A. Fair —Morrow ($2). Private Detective Bertha Cool, minus her diminutive partner, Donald Lam, though absent from scene, supplies the right answers to both murders, a spot of forgery, and other villainy. An exceptionally clever plot, much lusty humor — and Bertha Cool, saltiest of female sleuths.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com