From the “grand dame of mystery mixed with screwball comedy”: The children of a widowed mystery writer play amateur sleuths and matchmakers (Ed Gorman, Ellery Queen Award–winning author).
When your mom’s a mystery writer, a talent for detection is only natural. So when the three children of prolific whodunit author Marion Carstairs become material witnesses in a neighborhood murder, they launch their own investigation. And why not? They know everything about baffling mysteries from reading their mother’s books, the publicity could do wonders for her sales, and then she and a handsome detective could fall in love. It’s too perfect for words.
Marion’s too busy wrapping up the loose ends of her latest book for the inconvenience of a real crime. But what’s surfacing in the shadows of the house next door is not quite as predictable as fiction: accusations of racketeering, kidnapping and blackmail; a slain stripper; a grieving but slippery husband; a wily French artist; a panicky movie star; and a cop who’s working Marion’s last nerve. If the kids are game, Marion decides she is too—in between chapters, at least. Besides, this whole dangerous bloody mess could turn out to be a source of inspiration!
This stand-alone mystery was the basis for the classic 1946 comedy starring Randolph Scott and Peggy Ann Garner and “makes clear why Craig Rice remains one of the best writers of mystery fiction” (Jeffery Marks, author of Who Was That Lady?).