Saturday, November 30, 2013

"So Many Guns Lately; So Few Brains"

By H. Beam Piper.
1953. 243 pages. $2.50
Known best for his science fiction, Piper had a fling at writing a whodunit and, by all accounts, made a good job of it:
I’m back this week again with H. Beam Piper, this time a locked room murder mystery featuring private eye “Colonel” Jefferson Davis Rand. He has a law degree, though he’d never practiced, going into the FBI instead for a few years before opening his agency. MURDER IN THE GUNROOM was published in 1953 and was his only mystery/crime novel. — Randy Johnson, NOT THE BASEBALL PITCHER (February 11, 2010)
The story rattles along entertainingly with a minimum of tough-guy posturing and romance, and the murderer remains genuinely in doubt until the final dramatic revelation. — Jon, GAD Wiki
Firearms collector plunked; Jeff Rand, expert, finds second corpse, solution. - Much skilled chatter about weapons, but yarn itself is nicely ordinary. - Verdict: Straight-forward. — Sergeant Cuff, THE SATURDAY REVIEW (April 18, 1953)
There's a comprehensive tribute site dedicated to Piper's work. MURDER IN THE GUNROOM seems to be in the public domain, available for free at PROJECT GUTENBERG, MANYBOOKS, and in a Kindle edition.

Category: Detective fiction

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