Miss Withers Regrets (Stuart Palmer)

By Stuart Palmer

First published: US, Doubleday, 1947


My review

Palmer - Miss Withers Regrets.jpgAnother thoroughly enjoyable, good-humoured and rather light detective story, in which that comic spinster Miss Withers investigates—this time, a murder in a swimming pool (see Van Dine’s The Dragon Murder Case and Carr’s Graveyard to Let).  Palmer writes and clues very well, but his murderers aren’t difficult to spot.  In none of his books was I particularly surprised at the end.  Here, I half-suspected the murderer, but changed my mind until very nearly the end.  A good misdirection technique—Palmer makes us sympathise with the criminal.  Motive for second murder becomes main plot of The Green Ace.

·        Cameo by Craig Rice’s Malone


Contemporary reviews

Kirkus (1st March 1947):

The redoubtable Hildegarde forgets her promise to stay away from criminal investigation as her tropical fish give her leads to the innocence of a GI arrested for murder.  Oscar Piper is called in – even on Long Island – and Hildegarde falls from his good graces with her errors in the romantic tangle involved, the dog poisoning, a second killing.  She trumps all however when she gets in the clear.  A welcome return of a favorite.

 

New Yorker (10th May 1947, 70w):

Plenty of spinster chitchat is provided for the lady detective’s fans.

 

NY Herald Tribune Wkly Bk R (Will Cuppy, 11th May 1947, 270w)

San Francisco Chronicle (11th May 1947, 100w):

It’s been six long parched years since the last novel about the horsefaced schoolteacher, and it’s high time that the Grand Old Man of the humorous detective story returned to demonstrate to the modern upstarts just how it’s done.

 

NY Times (Isaac Anderson, 18th May 1947, 160w)

Chicago Sun Book Week (James Sandoe, 1st June 1947, 90w)

Sat R of Lit (21st June 1947, 50w):

Enjoyable.

 

Booklist (1st July 1947)