The Affair of the Bottled Deuce Author:Harry Stephen Keeler When aspiring novelist Lythgoe Crockett is found shot to death inside his apartment with all the doors and windows locked it looks like it has to be suicide. But policeman Lou Ousley decides it was murder and finds a clue in the apartment (but withholds). When the dead man's beautiful cousin is indicted for the crime Lou takes vacation and h... more »unts down leads from his "private" clue, since he is convinced the girl didn't do it.
Originally published in 1958.
Ramble House edition contains an introduction by Francis M. Nevins and a crime map on the back cover.« less
Keeler has one of those reputations in mystery-reading circles (at least those who enjoy golden-age mysteries) that I think puts him in a higher regarded class than this book would warrant. He wrote lots of books, and maybe it was unfortunate that I picked this one to read as an introduction to him. It doesn't make me anxious to read more of his books.
I found this one way too long (even at only 157 pages) with lots of rambling paragraphs and dialogue that was pretty unrealistic. His prose is too purple for my taste, and I lost patience with his plot dragging and only managed to finish it by skimming and skipping. Even though it contains a "locked-room" the policeman explains how someone could have left the scene of the crime and made it seem sealed early on in the book. The puzzle doesn't really give you the satisfying feeling a well-thought-out whodunit should.