William F. Deeck

MILTON PROPPER – The Great Insurance Murders.

Harper & Brothers, hardcover, 1937; Prize Mystery Novels #7, digest-sized paperback reprint, 1943.

MILTON PROPPER The Great Insurance Murders

   While seated on a horse during a polo game, Bruce Clinton is shot in the head by a gunman using a .38 automatic with silencer from “less than 200 feet.” “A neat shot, but not too skillful, after all,” Tommy Rankin, Homicide Squad detective, opines.

   Hard man to impress, I’d opine.

    “By a system of trial and error, he [Rankin] ultimately cleared up his problems, sometimes even blundering into the answer.” In this novel he is convinced at various times that three separate people were the murderer. Luckily, he does blunder into the answer, leaving profuse loose ends.

   Should anyone have an urge to read a Milton Propper mystery, this is probably not the one to choose.

   Parenthetically, certain low-level detectives and obvious crooks say “yu,” sometimes, in place of “you.” Could a kindly Philadelphian, since that city is where this novel takes place, explain the difference in pronunciation?

From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 10, No. 3, Summer 1988.