The Shop Window Murders (Vernon Loder)

One of the most exhausting detective stories I’ve encountered.  Like Ellery Queen’s French Powder Mystery, it opens with a crowd discovering that shop window mannequins are really corpses.  Unlike Queen, it’s not very good.  The police have to sift through clues, false clues, manufactured evidence, and schools of red herrings before the culprit helpfully confesses.  “It seemed to me the only thing was to make everything as confusing as possible so no one would be proved guilty,” X says.  As an authorial technique, it has little to recommend it; I was indeed confused and bewildered, even with an A4 piece of paper covered in suspects’ movements.  The solution hardly feels worth all the bother.  Stick to Queen.

I have 17 Vernon Loders on my Kindle:

  • The Button on the Plate
  • The Case of the Dead Doctor
  • Choose Your Weapon
  • The Deaf-Mute Murders
  • Death at the Horse Show
  • Death at the Wheel
  • Death by the Gaff
  • Death in the Thicket
  • Death of an Editor
  • The Essex Murders
  • The Little Man Murders
  • Murder from Three Angles
  • Red Stain
  • Suspicion
  • Suspicious Stains
  • Two Dead
  • Whose Hand

I don’t want to damn the author on one book.  Any Vernon Loder fans want to suggest another?

2 thoughts on “The Shop Window Murders (Vernon Loder)

  1. I’m not exactly a fan of Loder, but have read The Mystery at Stowe and Death by the Gaff. The former is a typical 1920s country house mystery with African blowpipes and poisoned thorns, while the latter is a competent sporting/fishing mystery. It also has a historically interesting scene with one of those old-fashioned, armor-like diving suits with a bell-helmet and a surface air-pump.


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