William F. Deeck

LENORE GLEN OFFORD – The Smiling Tiger. Duell Sloan & Pearce, hardcover, 1949. Hardcover reprint: Unicorn Mystery Book Club, December 1949. Paperback: Harlequin #159, Canada, 1952.

   Although Todd McKinnon, who writes fictional short stories based on true cases, is having a writing slump, he is not interested in the tale presented to him by Hugh Hartlein. According to Hartlein, someone in Beyond-Truth, a cult opposed to any marriage that will produce children since the world is shortly to end, is bumping off its members who disobey that tenet.

   Since some of the bumpees are Hildegarde Latham, Harriet Withers, and Grace Vane, McKinnon naturally is not duped.

   Still he does take an interest in the leader of the cult. When Hartlein either commits suicide or is murdered by means of an inhaler containing crystalline cyanide, McKinnon gets somewhat involved. Later, after his wife, Georgine, is threatened, he takes the whole matter very seriously.

   Another fine novel by Offord.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring 1989.

Bio-Bibliographic Data:   Besides being a mystery writer, although not a prolific one, Lenore Glen Offord (1905-1991) was, I have discovered online, the long time mystery critic for the San Francisco Chronicle (1950-1982). She and the newspaper received the Mystery Writers of America Edgar award for best criticism in 1952.

   Mike Grost has a lengthy commentary of several of her books on his Classic Mystery and Detection website. (He has placed her in the Mary Roberts Rinehart school of mystery fiction.)

    Crime Novels:     [Taken from the Revised Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin]

# Murder on Russian Hill (n.) Macrae-Smith 1938 [Bill Hastings; Coco Hastings; San Francisco, CA]


# The 9 Dark Hours (n.) Duell 1941 [San Francisco, CA]
# Clues to Burn (n.) Duell 1942 [Bill Hastings; Coco Hastings; Idaho]
# Skeleton Key (n.) Duell 1943 [Todd McKinnon; San Francisco, CA]


# The Glass Mask (n.) Duell 1944 [Todd McKinnon; California]
# My True Love Lies (n.) Duell 1947 [San Francisco, CA]
# The Smiling Tiger (n.) Duell 1949 [Todd McKinnon; California]
# Walking Shadow (n.) Simon 1959 [Todd McKinnon; Oregon; Theatre]