Sun 21 Apr 2013
William F. Deeck
JUNE TRUESDELL – The Morgue the Merrier. Dodd Mead, hardcover, 1945.
When mystery writer John Grover and his new bride, Lee, arrive at the house in Tree-Top Glen, apparently in Los Angeles, where they are to spend their honeymoon, the door is blocked by a body whose hand is the only part that can be seen. Moments later the body vanishes. Then a woman is murdered in one of the bedrooms, stabbed through the heart and with her throat slit.
Grover and Lee call upon Julius Gilbert, criminologist not detective, who is five feet two inches tall, with two hundred pounds of tummy. (I suspect that Lee, the narrator, is exaggerating.) Muttering oracularly and managing to postpone the consummation of the marriage, Gilbert clears things up in a semi-fair-play novel after only one more murder.
Those who like frenetic married-couple types should enjoy this one. While the characters are a bit extreme, as is the plot, in spite of these objections I am keeping an eye out for Truesdell’s later pair of novels, according to Hubin not featuring Gilbert or the Grovers, in which she may have exhibited a little more authorial control.
Bibliography: [Taken from Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin]
TRUESDELL, JUNE (1918?-1996?)
The Morgue the Merrier (n.) Dodd Mead, 1945.
Be Still, My Love (n.) Dodd Mead, 1947. Film: The Accused, 1949.
Burden of Proof (n.) Boardman, UK, 1951