Mon 2 Dec 2013
William F. Deeck
ROBERT GEORGE DEAN – On Ice. Charles Scribner’s Sons, hardcover, 1942. Superior Reprint M654, paperback, 1945.
Bill Griffith, private eye, had been tailing a man who had some diamonds to sell for a refugee. Now he is tailing the same man, who is picking up the money for the diamonds. Unfortunately, the man with the money is found sitting at his desk with no money and no life, his throat having been slit.
Fearing that he might be suspected of involvement in the murder, since he is broke and is working for an almost bankrupt agency, Griffith asks his friend and former co-worker at the Imperator Schmidt Agency, Tony Hunter — one of Robert George Dean’s continuing characters — to he!p him out of this jam.
A great deal happens in a short time. Hunter’s dog thinks she is going to have puppies; the dead man’s fiancee, for whom everyone is searching for various reasons, turns out to have predeceased her betrothed, and by the same murder method; the refugee who owns the diamonds acts strangely, and Hunter finds various females attractive.
The detection here is good, the clues fair, the characters fairly interesting. I thought I knew who did it, but I was wrong. Not a great or a memorable mystery, but one that ought not be passed up if you fortuitously come across it at a reasonable price.
The Tony Hunter series –
Murder Makes a Merry Widow (n.) Doubleday 1938.
A Murder of Convenience (n.) Doubleday 1938.
A Murder by Marriage (n.) Scribner 1940.
Murder Through the Looking Glass (n.) Doubleday 1940.
Murder in Mink (n.) Scribner 1941.
Layoff (n.) Scribner 1942.
On Ice (n.) Scribner 1942.
The Body Was Quite Cold (n.) Dutton 1951.
The Case of Joshua Locke (n.) Dutton 1951.
Affair at Lover’s Leap (n.) Doubleday 1953.
Author Robert George Dean also wrote four mysteries under his own name featuring series character Pat Thompson, about whom I know nothing, and one stand-alone. As “George Griswold” he wrote four early 1950s espionage novels (I believe) with a mysterious Mr. Groode appearing or mentioned in all four, but the leading characters (with two appearances each) in reality being Jim Furlong and William Pepper.