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Books: Murder in July

2 minute read

The best of the month’s mysteries:

DEATH PAYS A DIVIDEND—John Rhode —Dodd, Mead ($2). Dr. Priestley solves the murder of an impeccable secretary of a London stock broker. Merit: a puzzle you can get your fingers into. Fault: a bit too much police theorizing.

THE COUNSELLOR—J. J. Connington—Little, Brown ($2). An English Voice of Experience hunts for a missing girl and stumbles into a pleasant and exhilarating murder case. Merits: a neatly involved plot; an engaging new sleuth (Mark Brand, “The Counsellor”). Fault: readers can beat the author to the solution.

DEATH DINES OUT—Theodora Du Bois —Houghton Mifflin ($2). Among a number of nice people summering at Jones Inlet near New York City, a surgeon-sleuth ferrets out a killer who uses poison at a dinner party. Merit: pleasant, painless and gossipy dialogue. Fault: a little too much dialogue about ladies’ clothing.

THE MURDER THAT HAD EVERYTHING—Hulbert Footner—Harper ($2). Among thinly disguised members of Manhattan’s café society, Lee Mapin, a snuff-taking amateur, solves the murder of a glamor girl’s gigolo fiancé. Merits: humor and action. Fault: not too plausible.

ALL CONCERNED NOTIFIED—Helen Reilly—Crime Club ($2). Inspector McKee of Manhattan’s Homicide Squad links a dead woman in a hotel with two well-to-do corpses in an old house in Greenwich Village. Merits: good characters, fast action, nocturnal chills. Fault: complicated family relationship.

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