Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Cigarette or Pipe
Date Finished: January 20, 2017
Follow the Clues step #6: from Street to Street.
Reporter Challenge: Set in a big city.
A New York city editor on the New York Express answers the boss’ summons with expectations that he’ll be named managing editor. Instead a somewhat shady character is named. This character has some connection with a murdered girl across the street from the city editor’s apartment. By a strange coincidence, the city editor’s ten-year-old daughter sees the murderer in the apartment and is soon being threatened. The murdered girl had asked the city editor for help in finding her missing cousin. The missing cousin was working as a cigarette girl, hence our cover picture, at a nightclub at which heroin was being distributed. Of course, the new managing editor, the former managing editor, and the publisher had connections with the nightclub and the girl. Convoluted? An awful lot of coincidences? The new managing editor is soon murdered in his office, and our city editor is the main suspect, at least according to one police inspector.
The coincidences and nightclub/drugs business is not much investigated as the book is much more consumed with the threats against the young daughter, as well as the romance between the city editor, who is still mourning his late wife, and the fashion editor. The action involved with these threats and the suspicions against the city editor keep the pace moving so that these plot problems don’t completely derail the book. I like a good newspaper mystery, and this would have been much better if the daughter angle was completely dropped and the newspaper investigation strengthened. The writing is competent, though not exceptional. Two-and-a-half stars out of five.