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Straight Outta Tombstone
Sam Knight, David Boop
Progress: 238/371 pages
Dead Man's Hand (anthology)
John Joseph Adams
Progress: 156/409 pages
The Two-Penny Bar (Inspector Maigret Book 11)
Georges Simenon, David Watson

Reading progress update: I've read 51 out of 142 pages.

The Whispering Master - Frank Gruber

it moves fast and it’s quite funny. so I’m happy.


a woman tosses a phonograph record out her hotel room window just before she is murdered. the record sails across to an adjacent room’s window where, of course, con men and occasional detectives Johnny Fletcher and Sam Cragg are staying. they were about to be tossed out - as was the murder victim back over in the other room- as it seems the hotel is great at letting people stay for weeks who can’t actually pay. anyway, think of the detective duo as a sort of Abbott & Costello pairing - maybe not quite as funny, but still pretty funny - and a few suspects later, some at the hotel and some working at a record company, we have a winner here, so far.


turns out Frank Gruber is just another one of those Mystery writers - American, this time - who was, once upon a time, a big deal, very popular, even a Hollywood screenwriter too, but now forgotten. and in Gruber’s case, not reprinted much, lately. but my old, yellowed copy of this Mystery, from a series lots of people used to enjoy ages ago but now no one knows about, is turning out to be a terrifically entertaining investment. and, I’ve gotten far enough to know what the whispering on the record - a master recording of a newly-cut tune by superstar singer Con Carson (he’s dead before the book starts with the poor woman’s murder - his new recording not released yet) - sounds like. I’m guessing that whispering means murder. murders?