Another faux Ellery Queen novel. This whodunit is solvable, but you have to pay close attention to details (the clues are not dated in this story). The story is about an apparent suicide that takes place on the 21st floor of an office building, minutes before a blackout strikes the entire eastern seaboard and part of Canada. Detective Corrigan is called in to investigate, he realizes it’s murder and not suicide and the killer is among those stranded on the 21st floor. Sure the writing and story are a bit “cheesy”, but I really enjoyed the “old fashioned” writing and language. Using words that you know long hear these days like “beery”: “He had a berry sort of voice; thick and gurgly.” The descriptions of the characters, in my opinion, are wonderful.
From the book: “Tim Corrigan looked and moved like a classy middleweight boxer with a heavyweight’s kick in either fist. He was built low to the ground and, like Antaeus, seemed to gather his strength from it. His face was a construction of overlapping planes, almost cartoonistic, an illusion that was furthered by the black patch over his left eye socket. The eye that was there was brown, steady, and usually amiable.”
Sybil Graves is described as: “She had a cool, clear voice, on the husky side; it seemed made for moonlight. She also had Irish-blue eyes and a turned-up Irish nose and a bust development that knew no national boundaries.”
What’s not to enjoy about writing like that?
Gets a solid 3 stars from me.
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