by Marv Lachman

DELL SHANNON – Mark of Murder. William Moorow, hardcover, 1966. Paperback reprints include: Pyramid X1973, 1969; Warner, 1986; Carroll & Graf, 1994.

   When she wrote Mark of Murder, Elizabeth Linington was not as political as she was to become, and so it is one of the better books in the Lieutenant Luis Mendoza series, [written] under her Dell Shannon pseudonym, of course.

   One of the things I liked about this book is its picture of Mendoza on vacation in Bermuda, totally bored and feeling undressed because he is not wearing a tie. Fortunately for him (and us) there is an emergency, and he is asked to return home. A serial killer, dubbed “the slasher,” is plaguing Los Angeles, and Mendoza is needed on the case.

   Because there are not as many separate cases in this book as usual, the reader can get more involved without the diffuse quality of other Liningtons which present a half dozen or more crimes. This book is also noteworthy for one of Linington’s best features, the ability to make her readers care about the victims and survivors.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 8, No. 5, Sept-Oct 1986.