William F. Deeck

FLETCHER FLORA – Skuldoggery. Belmont B50-738, paperback original, 1967.

   The Hunter family is gathered together to pay their last disrespects to Grandfather Hunter, who, if he was anything like the rest of his family, need not be mourned.

   Grandfather Hunter’s daughter and her brood — Hester and Lester, the twins — and his son, Uncle Homer, with his wife, Aunt Madge, and their unlovable son Junior are at the funeral primarily so that they can hear the will read. They are all, to put it mildly, distraught to discover that grandfather has left his money in trust to his dog, Senorita Fogarty, a chihuahua, and to her issue and her issue’s issue into perpetuity. The famil y gets the money only if Senorita Fogarty and her offspring, if any, shuffle of this mortal coil.

   Well, of course the only thing to do is to plot the demise of Senorita Fogarty before she finds out what sex is all about. Fortunately for Senorita Fogarty and the reader, the family members are not particularly bright, besides being unpleasant, so their machinations lead to a lot of good, clean fun, except when Mrs. Crumley, one of the dog’s guardians, apparently eats poisoned oatmeal intended for the dog and dies.

   A pleasant way to while away an hour, or may be a little less, depending on how fast you read.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 9, No. 4, July-August 1987.