My first encounter with James Ronald was via the puply and hugely entertaining Six Were to Die, a.k.a. The Dark Angel (1932), in which six business associates found their lives threatened by an ex-colleague they had wronged, and were killed one by one in ingenious ways. Six years later, he wrote They Can’t Hang Me (1938), in which four business associates find their lives threatened by an ex-colleague they have wronged, and are killed one by one in ingenious ways. And, hell, when the book is this good, I wouldn’t mind if he’d written this plot another 25 times. In fact, I wish he had. This, my friends, is a little beauty.
I feel as if I’m encroaching on the territory of John Norris at Pretty Sinister by reviewing a book that isn’t all that easy to come by; worry not, John, I don’t have well-enough stocked shelves to support this kind of habit, so it’s back to normal next week. This title is one that — like What a Body! (1949), The Rynox Mystery (1930), Death Has Many Doors (1951), and Dead Man Control (1936) — was brought to my attenion by the Roland Lacourbe library of highly-regarded impossible crime novels, though due to the absence of a French translation did not qualify for the main list. Well, as you can see from the rating above, I think our Francophone brethren are missing out.