The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope

C.W. Grafton. Poisoned Pen, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1298-7
First published in 1943, this outstanding hard-boiled whodunit from Grafton (1909–1982), the father of MWA Grand Master Sue Grafton, introduces Kentucky attorney Gil Henry. Ruth McClure would like Henry to ascertain the value of some stock her father, John McClure, who died 10 days earlier in a car accident, owned in Harper Products. Shortly before his death, John had cautioned Ruth that should anything happen to him, she was “to hold tight” to the stock. William Jasper Harper, the company’s owner, is offering to buy back the shares from Ruth for almost five times the amount they’re selling for. The ante’s upped after Ruth’s home is broken into and searched—and someone shoots out Henry’s tire as he’s driving to Harpersville to look into the situation. The lawyer is soon investigating multiple murders, as well as possible financial chicanery. Series editor Les Klinger’s annotations enhance the text. The superior prose and logical but surprising plot twists amply justify this volume’s reissue as a Library of Congress Crime Classic. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/27/2020
Release date: 06/02/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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