From: James Rogers ( jetan@ionet.net)
Date: 24 May 2000

  After all the Gruber talk I sat down and read _Murder '97_. Someone asked about Gruber's interest in Horatio Alger (a boy's book author of the late 19th century, specializing in tales of American enterprise, values, etc.). Well, _Murder '97_ is focused on the engagement of HB detective Simon Lash to track down the owner of a first edition Alger novel. Quickly turns out that the book contains evidence of a 50 year old murder, the client doesn't exist and everyone in Hollywood wants the same book itself. All in the first twenty five pages. Plot is so complicated that at times it almost reads like a P.G. Wodehouse, except that when Gruber wants to mystify things even further he just knocks off a couple of more characters. Very good book. Lots of asides on the sleazy economics of the used book trade and the compulsive nature of the book collector.

  Also read: _Tweak The Devil's Nose_ by Richard Deming ....pretty decent book, although not in Gruber's class and _The Frightened Man_ by Dana Andrews (Alfred Leffingwell)....not very good medium boiled novel with silly moments.


James Michael Rogers jetan@ionet.net

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