Mon 2 Sep 2013
William F. Deeck
ANNA MARY WELLS – Murderer’s Choice. Alfred A. Knopf, hardcover, 1943. Dell #126, paperback, mapback edition, no date . Perennial Library, paperback, 1981.
Charles Osgood, famous mystery writer and creator of Silas Smith, bucolic detective, is one of those, it is to be hoped, rare mystery writers who are nasty characters in their own right, and maybe write.
Charles tells his cousin, Felix Osgood, whom he obviously dos not like, that he, Charles, is ging to commit suicide in such a way that the death will seem like murder. Charles also says he will leave clues pointing to Frank.
He adds that be is leaving everything to Frank in his will and has made him the beneficiary of a large insurance policy so that everyone will know who gains by the death. Frank, Charles tells him, will be charged with homicide and executed.
Charles does indeed die, but the death is considered natural. Frank, who has waited nervously for the ax to fall and the evidence to make its appearance, can wait no longer. He hires the Keene Detective agency to look into his cousin’s death, and the agency assigns Grace Pomeroy, a new employee and a former nurse, to the case.
Well written but requires a good deal of suspension of disbelief.
BIBLIOGRAPHY – [Taken from the Revised Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin.]
ANNA MARY WELLS [aka Anna Mary Wells Smits, at one time an associate professor of English at Douglass College], 1906-2003.
A Talent for Murder (n.) Knopf 1942 [Dr. Hillis Owen; Grace Pomeroy]
Murderer’s Choice (n.) Knopf 1943 [Grace Pomeroy]
Sin of Angels (n.) Simon & Schuster 1948 [Dr. Hillis Owen; Grace Pomeroy]
Fear of Death (n.) Wingate 1951
The Night of May Third (n.) Doubleday 1956
Editor’s Note: John F. Norris reviewed this same book over on his blog a couple of years ago. Check it out here.