Thursday, May 30, 2013
Duplicate Death (1951)
I didn't enjoy Duplicate Death quite as much as Envious Casca. I thought the description on the back of the book was deceptive and confusing. The back of the book mentions a certain "Timothy Kane" and the book itself is clear throughout that it is Mr. Timothy Harte. Since this character is first introduced in chapter two as YOUNG MR. HARTE, it can be confusing until you realize that the book description is off. (The description also asserts that this character is friends with Inspector Hemingway; I found this not quite true. Inspector Hemingway apparently met this person when he was a teenager--14--and they've not seen each other in over a decade. Not exactly how I'd define a friendship. It is true that Inspector Hemingway is on friendly enough terms with Timothy once they're reacquainted on this case, which is something since Mr. Harte is technically one of a handful of suspects that had the opportunity to murder the victim.) I also didn't enjoy the ODD narration of the first and last chapters. While it isn't exactly an unsatisfactory beginning, it definitely didn't work for me as an ending.
The characters we get to know best are Timothy Harte and his girl, Miss Beulah Birtley. Miss Birtley is employed by the oh-so-disagreeable Mrs. Haddington. It is at one of her bridge parties that the first murder occurs.
There are two murders to be solved in this one; there are also additional crimes to be handled. This was one of the first mysteries I've read that deal with drug dealing and drug addiction. I didn't enjoy the characterization in this one as much as in Envious Casca, and some of the dialogue didn't work for me.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews