Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Staircase
Date Finished: March 5, 2016
According to the Internet, this 1955 paperback is the second mystery in the Harry Butten series and was original published as Dear Dead Days in 1953. As a detective, though, Harry Butten doesn’t solve the case. The main character is a photographer, Mike Chaney, who fears that the object of his affection is a murderess. He has been working on the newspaper run by Harry Butten, but as their publishing company has taken over a slick magazine, he has been bumped to the magazine side to work on a feature article on a long-retired silent movie star. Something in that feature starts a chain of murders connected to a long-hidden secret. Chaney is the one who does most of the work here and discovers the murderer and other secrets. Butten, confined to a wheelchair, which is hinted at being connected with the first mystery in this series, does appear but doesn’t do much other than go over some clues with Chaney. In all, a fairly well-written, well-plotted mystery, though the coincidences and connections that start these murders seems a bit far-fetched. The solution is also not that difficult to determine. I do like a newspaper setting, though.