Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Food of Some Sort
Date Finished: February 16, 2016
This doesn’t look like very appetizing food, but there is a piece of bread, an egg, and a can of something, presumably salmon if the cover designer had read the book, though it looks more like sardines. The Toff investigates some black marketeers in wartime London, after his elderly relative has taken ill with ptomaine poisoning from eating some canned salmon that she obtained on the black market. I suppose some of the other items pictured here are black market things, such as salt, black powder, or tiny bottles, but none of that plays a part in the story. Creasey cranked these out, and the Toff is his version of the Saint, but he sure is lacking in any humor here, nor is there any mystery. The Toff easily learns of the identity of the head of the black market ring and then pursues him, despite others being framed and the police being fooled. Perhaps others in this series show the Toff at odds with the police, but here is an army officer on leave working closely with the police. It serves more as an argument against buying things on the black market than it does as a mystery or a suspense novel.