#134: A Puzzle for Fools (1936) by Patrick Quentin

Puzzle for FoolsYou’re writing a detective novel during the most productive and creative period that the genre has ever gone through, so pay attention — the tropes aren’t tropes yet, they’re still ingredients, and the standard mix requires the following: a murder or two, an amateur detective, a closed circle of suspects, an imminent sense of threat for our hero to fret over and be dismissed by the professional police, a love interest who must fall under suspicion before our hero realises she just might be his soul-mate…any questions?  Okay, off you go.  Keep the dunnage to a minimum, avoid long-winded and namby-pamby descriptions — this is entertainment, remember — and for pity’s sake keep it light.

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