cover image Home Sweet Homicide

Home Sweet Homicide

Craig Rice. Penzler, $15.95 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-61316-103-6

Originally published in 1944, this sterling entry in the American Mystery Classics series from Rice (a pseudonym of Georgiana Craig) follows the adventures of widowed mystery writer Marian Carstairs and her three clever and capable children: 10-year-old Archie, 12-year-old April, and 14-year-old Dinah. On a warm, lazy afternoon, the kids are on the porch of their suburban home discussing their mother’s prospects. “I wish Mother would solve a real life murder,” says April. “She’d get a lot of publicity, and then she wouldn’t have to write so many books.” At that moment, shots ring out from the house next door. Their neighbor, Mrs. Sanford, has been murdered. When Marian refuses to investigate, Archie, April, and Dinah do so instead. They drive the plot along with great gusto, maintaining the pace with snappy patter. Nothing slows things down, not even the romance the children try to initiate between their mother and lonely police lieutenant Bill Smith. Well-drawn, eccentric characters bolster this frolicsome and frequently funny book. (Oct.)