RARA-AVIS: RE: Craig Rice

From: Dick Lochte ( dlock@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 07 Jul 2001

Anyone interested in a Craig Rice that's a little harder-edged than her usual should try "Trial By Fury." It's part of the John J. Malone-Jake and Helene Justus series, but, according to my often failing memory, it gets pretty dark as the novel progresses.

Since others on the list have stirred up my collector's envy with their tales of unique finds, I'm happy to mention one of mine. At a store specializing in mysteries in Los Angeles, for $10, I picked up a first edition of Rice's "45 Murderers," a collection of her nonfiction reportage that, according to inscriptions on the flyleaf came from the library of Dorothy B. Hughes. It was signed by Hughes. And it contained a faded newspaper article that someone (Hughes seems the most likely candidate) clipped from the front page of what I think was The Los Angeles Mirror. The headline reads: "Craig Rice Death Remains a Mystery." The article, which appeared the morning after her body was discovered, goes on to say that "The coroner's office reported that the author did not die of a blow, as had been suspected." Imagine what television news could have done with those suspicions.

Dick Lochte

From: Doug Bassett < dj_bassett@yahoo.com>

This isn't on point, but I wanted to say that I'm currently reading Rice's HAVING WONDERFUL CRIME and enjoying it tremendously. I find most attempts at
"funny/wacky" hardboiled to be spectacularly unfunny/unwacky, but this is quite charming -- maybe because Rice doesn't try to push the humor too hard.

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