William F. Deeck

ANN CARDWELL – Crazy to Kill. Mystery House, hardcover, 1941. Black Cat Detective #10, digest paperback, 1944. Harlequin #22, Canada, pb, 1949. Macfadden 35-119, paperback, 1962. Nightwood Editions, softcover, Canada, 1990. The book was also converted to an opera with this title by James Reaney, Sr., and John Beckwith; it was performed in Canada in 1989.

ANN CARDWELL Crazy to Kill

   After spending ten years in Resthome, a private hospital for “nervous” cases, Agatha Lawson, a spinster in her early sixties, is due to be released. Unfortunately, just at this time a grisly series of attacks and murders involving the staff starts taking place at the hospital.

   Since Lawson is around at the time of each episode, she feels that she is more than capable to solve the case, particularly in view of the incompetence of Lieutenant Hogan of the local police.

   Also aware that Hogan is beyond his depth, the authorities bring in another detective, this one willing to consult with Lawson. Between them, the murderer is apprehended.

   One of the rare mysteries with a mental institution setting and one of the rare… But that mustn’t be revealed.

   Forget that this novel was published by Mystery House, a publisher of third- and fourth-rate novels. While not in the first rank, this is nonetheless quite readable.

— From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 11, No. 4, Fall 1989 (slightly revised).

Bibliography: Adapted from the Revised Crime Fiction IV, by Allen J. Hubin —

    ANN CARDWELL. Pseudonym of Jean Makins Powley, 1902-1966. Daughter of a judge in Stratford, Ontario.

   Crazy to Kill. Mystery House, 1941.

ANN CARDWELL Crazy to Kill

   Murder at Calamity House. Arcadia House, 1947.