Saturday, April 23, 2016
Rehearsal For Murder
“Rehearsal For Murder” By Frank Bunce. (1957) Mr. Humble is in trouble again. Back home in New York after unmasking a killer on the SS Vagabond, people now look up to the accountant in his role of amateur private detective. When asked to speak at the Greater-Riverdale-on-the-Hudson-Club, he speaks openly of the city government corruption, and tells the audience that the police hushed up the murder of Judge Steven Roper, by calling it suicide. To make matters worse he even calls a lawyer, Attorney Joseph Standahl a crook and head of the city crime. His speech goes viral, and thankfully, Dorrit Bly hears about it in California. Before she can reach New York, Mr. Humble is set up in a frame by the police, and caught with a prostitute during a raid. Of course, the girl had called offering information, and the police were waiting for him to appear. Now he’s stuck in jail, embarrassed, and no sign of release – until Dorrit Bly arrives with more knowledge of law than the police, and has him out of jail rickety split. Now all she has to do is smooth things over with Joseph Standahl, which she does admirably. People are being murdered over the picture of a dancer. And it all leads back to the judge’s murder. It also involves an old case of child kidnapping. But the murders are framed to look like suicides. It will take the stumbling Mr. Humble and the genius of Dorrit Bly and her photographic memory to unlock the hidden secrets, and unmask another killer. Originating as a pulp magazine mystery series, Dorrit Bly and Mr. Humble were brought into paperbacks editions with at least two books. This is the second. The stories are lots of fun, and I hope I can find more stories featuring this pair. Highly recommended.