Capsule Reviews by ALLEN J. HUBIN:

   Commentary on books I’ve covered in the New York Times Book Review.   [Reprinted from The Armchair Detective, Vol. 1, No. 4, July 1968.]

    Previously on this blog:
Part 1
— Charlotte Armstrong through Jonathan Burke.
Part 2 — Victor Canning through Manning Coles.

STEPHEN COULTER – Players in a Dark Game. William Morrow, hardcover, 1968. Originally published in the UK as A Stranger Called the Blues: Heinemann, hc, 1968. An intrigue story in India and environs which does not live up to its promises.


S. H. COURTIER – Murder’s Burning. Random House, hardcover, 1968; paperback reprint: Popular Library, n.d. UK edition: Hammond, hc, 1967. An eerie tale of a grisly conspiracy in the Australian bush, told with a master’s skill.


JOHN CREASEY – Stars for the Toff. Walker, hardcover, 1968; paperback reprint: Lancer Lancer Books 74-606, 1970. UK edition: Hodder & Stoughton, hc, 1968. This 50th adventure of Richard Rollison is good Creasey and very good Toff. Rollison is drawn into the case of Madame Melinska, a medium with impressive powers who is accused of swindling the gullible public.


AUGUST DERLETH – A Praed Street Dossier. Mycroft & Moran, hardcover, 1968. Solar Pons aficionado or not, you will be considerably pleased by this book, which should help Pons along the road to [the] larger than life immortality followed by Holmes years ago. Particularly fascinating are some 55 pages from the notebook of Dr, Lyndon Parker, who chronicled Pon’s adventures, and several chapters of marginalia on the origins of Pons and Parker.


THOMAS B. DEWEY – The King Killers. Putnam, hardcover. 1968; paperback reprint: Berkley X1665, 1969. Chicago private-eye ”Mac” is back with one of his well engineered capers, involving a murder and the neofascist League for Good Government. And you’ll enjoy an unusually attractive secondary characterization.