RAOUL WHITFIELD – The Virgin Kills. Knopf, hardcover, 1932. Quill, papernack, 1986. No Exit Press, UK, paperback, 1988.

   “The Virgin” is the name of a yacht. It’s called that because there’s no first mate.

   Yacht owner Eric Vennel invites a bunch of ‘friends’ to sail from NYC to Poughkeepsie on the Hudson to watch the regatta.

   Vennel owes a bunch of money to the mob and has put in the fix on the regatta. Heavily favored California’s star rower gets stuck with a morphine syringe right before the race, spoiling their chances.

   Unfortunately, the shot was too strong and the rower OD’s. Now the cops are involved, and Vennel has vanished, presumed dead. The remaining ‘friends’ aboard the yacht immediately become suspect, and the dead college boy’s rich father spares no expense in sending a fancy pants sleuth to find the killer.

   I enjoyed it. Not my favorite Whitfield by a long shot — but it’s still Whitfield; his dialogue is credible and vintage and his prose is tight.