Thursday, May 14, 2015

#21: Thirteen White Tulips by Frances Crane

A young doctor's wife gets into a compromising situation (1950s-speak) with a handsome rogue and concludes the only way out is murder; but when she arrives at his San Francisco home she finds him already dead, just the beginning of a very tangled plot in Frances Crane's Thirteen White Tulips.

I really enjoyed this breezy--exceedingly breezy-- tale, as the young wife enlists the help of private eye Pat Abbott, his very handy wife Jean (the narrator, who also weighs in on fashion and society), and their preternaturally smart dog Pancho, in uncovering the cause of the murder.

Crane tries for a Nick and Nora Charles vibe, and succeeds, with a real sense of the time, place, and culture.

I bought this with no prior knowledge from a crate of Penguin paperbacks (with green covers) from in front of a little used bookstore in Rome, Italy.  Crane apparently wrote a number of mysteries featuring Jean Abbott, and I would definitely look for more.

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