Doan, the 'hero' of this story is a small-time detective with a dry, sardonic wit, and a huge Great Dane (Carstairs--don't call him a "pet") in these absolutely delightful series of humor-tinged mysteries. Great fun that shouldn't be missed!
In this short adventure, the duo investigate another strange murder. The story is more humor than mystery as they get into trouble with thugs and create general chaos all around them. A fine, funny way to while away a quiet weekend.
This is the original and unabridged version of this classic. A must-have for fans of classic mysteries!
Norbert Davis was an American author from Morrison, Illinois. Born 1909, he died 1949 – an apparent suicide.
I have had him on my radar for a while, but more for his Max Latin stories which appeared regularly in the magazines of the day…….Black Mask, Dime Detective, Double Detective and Argosy.
He wrote four Doan and Carstairs books of which, Oh Murderer Mine is the third. Published in 1946 it’s my read for Rich of Past Offences’ monthly meme. Click the link on the year to see who has been reading what for 1946.
Doan is a private investigator, Carstairs is his Great Dane. The duo have been engaged by the famous and much older, Heloise of Hollywood to babysit her younger and attractive husband, Eric Trent. Trent has just secured a position in the meteorology department at Breckenbridge University.
We meet Melissa Gregory, an anthropology lecturer. She’s on her way back to her offices, which she has unknowingly been evicted from in favour of Eric. This immediately brings the two into conflict. Later Melissa gets knocked out and Doan gets shot at when pursuing the culprit. After he disappears, the body of Frank Ames is discovered. Melissa was Ames’ “girlfriend”, though in truth he was more besotted by her than the reverse.
The assault on Melissa brings Humphrey, a policeman into the mix. Humphrey and Doan have previous history together, when Carstairs inflicted a public humiliation on our detective. What follows is an investigation into the murder; with Humphrey trying to arrest the first person in sight at every opportunity. We have further deaths, the involvement of a Mexican investigator who is pursuing the recovery of some stolen historical artefacts, more involvement with Trent’s wife and a look at her history and first husband.
Oh Murderer Mine was an enjoyable read, more for its humour and the clashes between the incompetent Humphrey and Doan, and the almost jaded manner in which Doan could predict his actions in advance. There was a mystery to be solved and it was, and in a fairly cohesive fashion, though it almost seemed secondary to the knockabout tone of the book. Davis also fashions an almost romance between Trent and Melissa. Almost - because for most of the book, Trent is married, albeit not happily. The author had some fun with the interaction between these two characters as well; with animosity used to conceal a spark of attraction.
I liked it, but I doubt I will be troubled enough to find more from this author in the future.
4 from 5
Acquired cheaply on Amazon kindle, where you can pick up this and the other Doan and Carstairs mysteries for less than a pound.