Roy Huggins – Too Late for Tears (1947)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Car/Truck
Date Finished: August 12, 2017

Follow the Clues step #70: from Tears to Tears

A couple out for a drive are tossed a satchel containing $40,000 into the back of their car. The husband, an honest man, is all for turning it over to the police. The wife is not. Her greed leads her down a path of killing and scheming to her eventual downfall. The husband’s sister and a mysterious stranger play a large part in exposing her.

Roy Huggins is known more for his TV and movie work, but this is one of the few novels he wrote prior to that work. Turned into a 1949 film noir classic, this mystery gives that same feeling. Very gripping.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-08-12

Ngaio Marsh – Death at the Bar (1940)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Any Other Weapon
Date Finished: July 30, 2017
TBR #65
Follow the Clues step #62: from Death to Death

A gathering at a Devon inn in a small fishing village leads to death, as a somewhat obnoxious lawyer is poisoned amid a darts contest in the pub. The key to finding the murderer is to determine the manner of delivering the poison, but there are several possibilities, including a poisoned dart pictured above, and a number of suspicious characters.

I found this one to be much better than the preceding several Marsh novels, likely as it was concerned with the several characters at the inn, rather than some high society thing or Alleyn’s snooty background. Perhaps it is also due to the emphasis of the puzzle plot over the social aspects. A good read for the plane ride back from Portland.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-30

John D. MacDonald – Death Trap (1957)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Dead Body
Date Finished: July 27, 2017
TBR #63
Follow the Clues step #60: from Death to Death

Juvenile Delinquency is the real criminal here as a young wild girl is murdered and a brilliant, introverted misfit is convicted of the crime. The long-departed boyfriend of the sister of the boy returns to the small town to investigate the crime and to try and prevent the execution with only days to go. And also win the girl back. The town, of course, does not want to cooperate, as he tries to expose its seedy underbelly.

A good, taut MacDonald thriller, though some of the 1950s tropes about juvenile delinquency are a bit stale. The sister character, Vicky, isn’t given much to do, and the ending wraps everything up in a nice neat package somewhat unrealistically. Still, it is tough to put down.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-27

William Grew – Doubles in Death (1953)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Blunt Instrument
Date Finished: July 26, 2017

Follow the Clues step #59: from Death to Death

A handsome executive gets entangled with a young secretary, while a young mail room clerk envies his life and turns out to be a psycho.

It all seemed so standard and cliched that I wasn’t all that impressed. Turns out perhaps it wasn’t so much cliched as familiar, as I read it before back in 2000. Apparently it wasn’t highly memorable.

The bottle pictured isn’t for drinking, but for use as a blunt instrument, so we’ll count it in that category.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-26

Charles Williams – A Touch of Death (1954)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Bottle/Glass for Drinking
Date Finished: July 25, 2017

Follow the Clues step #58: from Death to Death

A beautiful woman gets an unemployed former college football star to help her steal a hidden cache of embezzled money. In the process of searching for the money, he finds someone about to murder the very beautiful wife of the embezzler. He stops the murder and ties himself up with the wife in an effort to get at the money. She turns out to be much more than he bargained for.

A twisting tale of schemes and schemers, with a increasing amount of tension and suspense. Very well done.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-25b

Louis Trimble – Till Death Do Us Part (1959)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Knife
Date Finished: July 25, 2017
TBR #62
Follow the Clues step #57: from Death to Death

A down and out American private eye, operating out of Mexico City, is hired to find out what his double-crossing ex-partner is doing in a Mexican border town. The business woman who hired him is being blackmailed and the ex-partner seems to have cut himself in. The ex-partner is found dead, and to avoid being blamed for the murder, our private eye has to find the real killer and the reason for the blackmail.

Somewhat lighter, this is a fun, quick mystery, in an interesting setting.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-25a

Edward S. Aarons – Death Is My Shadow (1957)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Revolver
Date Finished: July 23, 2017
Follow the Clues step #56: from Life/Death to Death

A Navy reserve pilot, recovering from an injury, is discharged and returns to Louisiana to find that his co-owner of a resort/gambling hall has sold out to the syndicate. He is also in jail for murder. And is also having an affair with the syndicate boss’ wife. The wife and the sister of the jailed man ask the pilot to help a jailbreak, which leads to complications, as you would expect, and a chase across the gulf to Mexico.

A quick-moving suspense novel from a master of the type, it perhaps lacks some of the twists and turns that would take this beyond average. Still, taut enough to take away some of the bad taste of theĀ Death in the Life disaster.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2017-07-23