Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


 "Third Person Singular: by "Clemence Dane" (Winifred Ashton); first published in the collection The Babyons:  The Chronicles of a Family, Heinemann, 1927; reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries, October 1946

The Babyons is a collection of four stories that follow and English family through five generations from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.  "Third Person Singular" is the first story in the book.

The year is 1750 and Jamie Babyon is engaged to his cousin Hariot -- a contract of intent had been signed, she brings money to the marriage, and his family's pressure is great.  But Hariot is the Maiden of Nuremburg; beautiful, tempting, but with a greedy voice and of the  type who would destroy whomever she married.  
Hariot scared him.  On the other hand, Hariot's companion Menella Traill was far more suited to Jamie's tastes.  Three years before, when Jamie was eighteen and penniless, he thought himself in love with Hariot but as the years went by he grew more and more to dislike her.  Now at twenty-one, having unexpectedly coming in to his mother's inheritance after the sudden deaths of his two elder brothers, Jamie can afford to spurn his cousin.

During the years of their engagement Jamie had seen little of Hariot.  She was six years older than him and her family (wisely) kept them apart.  It turned out that Hariot was insane and much of their time apart was spent being locked up in an asylum.  Only recently had she been returned to her family and deemed to be sane once again.  Hariot did not like that Jamie broke it off with her; she had plans to guide a young, gullible husband to the highest seats of power.  Now she cursed him and threatened him, stating that he might go away from her but she would never go away from him:

"You won't see me; but I'll see you:  nor will you hear me; but I'll hear you.  I warn you, Jamie, I'll creep into your brain.  I'll hear your thoughts before you think them.  I'll suck your soul out, I tell you:  and in the hollow places where your soul was, there I'll live!"

That same day Sir James Babyon and Miss Menella Traill eloped.  The marriage ceremony was briefly interrupted when the parson thought he heard someone in the outer chamber intent on stopping the marriage.  A quick investigation showed there was no one there.  Then, when the newlyweds rode off in their carriage, the parson thought he saw a long shadow following them.  For their honeymoon the couple travelled to several European cities.  While in Milan, an acquaintance asked Menella about her companion, saying he saw a female companion with her the day before.  This came as a complete shock to Menella and Jamie.  As the married couple travel through Europe they find that Jamie's friends are becoming afraid of them, soon their servants are, too.  On returning to England, Jamie discovers that Hariot has committed suicide and he begins to fear her unearthly presence.

How does it end?  Not happily.

A supernatural thread runs through the Babyon saga, although the three stories that follow are much lighter in tone.  The second story takes place in 1775; the third, from 1820 to 1873; and the concluding story, from 1902 to 1906.

Winifred Ashton (1888-1965) took her pseudonym from the London church. St. Clemence Danes.  Over her literary career she wrote at least 30 plays and 16 novels, and was considered by some to the most successful all-around British writer during the period between the World Wars.  Her hit 1921 play, A Bill of Divorcement, was adapted for the movies three times.  She also co-wrote the screen play for Anna Karenina, featuring Greta Garbo.  She won an Academy Award for co-writing Perfect Strangers (U.S. title Vacation from Marriage).  

Her novels were varied and often covered social issues.  Her 1926 novel The Woman's Side concerned issues of women's independence.  1919's Legend debated the meaning of a dead friend's life and work.  Broome Stages (1931), concerning a mutigenerational acting family, was a surprise success.  Co-writing with Helen de Guerry Simpson, she wrote three detective novels featuring Sir John Suamarez, including the classic Enter Sir John, filmed by Alfred Hitchcock as Murder!  A member of Britain's Detection Club, she also contributed to their volumes The Scoop and The Floating Admiral.   In 1955, she edited Novels of Tomorrow, a series of science fiction books for publisher Michael Joseph, which included works by John Wyndham, C. M. Kornbluth, and Robert Sheckley.

Ashton/Dane was also famish for her completely innocent use of indecent words.  Totally unaware of their meaning in the vernacular, she would use terms like "cock," "erection," "tool", and "spunk," while also referring herself to be "randy" -- she would use these terms in unfortunate sentences, never realizing the double entendres.

"Third Person Singular," as well as the other three stories in The Babyons, can be read online at Faded Page.  The October 1946 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries can also be found online.


Just the facts, Ma'am.

The date:  November 22, 1951 (maybe; or it could be May 2, 1953; sources differ)

The place:  Los Angeles

The crime:  Homicide -- a woman has been strangled

The cops:  Sergeant Joe Friday (Badge 714) and his partner, Frank Smith, search the city for clues

The story you are about to see is true.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Join Jack Webb  and Ben Alexander and a cast including Olan Soule, Cliff Arquette, Tom McKee, Helen Kleeb, Jeanne Bird, and Ted Bliss, and Mel Ford as this mystery unravels.  Written by Webb and directed by James E. Moser.



 I'm a day late in posting this but I'm sure that Amy will forgive me because she's that kind of person.

Amanda Frances Dowd, my second granddaughter, turned 24 yesterday.  (Please note that the word "second" relates strictly to chronological order; all my grandkids are first in my book.)

Why do I love her?  It's not just because she laughs at my terrible jokes.  And it's not just because she replies in kind -- usually wittier.  I love her because she's kind, caring, smart, empathetic, loyal, witty, and sometimes she lets me hug her even though she knows I've never learned to un-hug.  Amy has a strong ethical sense that I sincerely wish more of us had; she cares about the environment, equality, social responsibility, and social justice.  And she makes great soup, some of which she freezes and brings over to us.  Did I mention that Amy is also beautiful?  And that being a blonde, she defies all of those stereotypical blonde jokes?

I could go on and on about how wonderful Amy is, but the fact is that the very best thing about Amy is that she's Amy.  You can't get any better than that.

Oh.  And we love her.  Very much.

Monday, April 18, 2022


Openers:  Pine trunks in a double row started out of the mist as the headlights caught them, opened to receive the car, passed like an endless screen, and vanished.  The girl on the back seat withdrew her head from the open window.

"We'll never get there at this rate," she said.  "We're crawling." 

The older woman sat far back in her corner, a figure of exhausted elegance.  She said, keeping her voice low:  "In this fog, I don't think it would be safe to hurry."

"We'll see what Hugh thinks."

But the speaker did not move immediately,  She looked to tired to move.  Her face, under the sort veil and the close black hat, showed white in the dimness, of the same whiteness as the small pearls in her ears.  Presently she leaned forward, her high collared woollen [sic] coat falling softly away and showing the dark silk dress beneath.  She put a hand in a white glove on the back of the driver's seat.

"Can we go a little faster, Hugh?" she asked.  "It's so late."

-- Elizabeth Daly, Unexpected Night (1940)

A foggy night, a dangerous road, and a party of four on their way to a small to a small town on the Maine coast.  The older woman is Eleanor Cowden, the guardian of nineteen-year-old Alma Cowden and her brother Amberley Cowden, who will turn twenty-one at midnight, less than two hours away; when Amberley reaches his majority, he will inherit a large fortune in the area of one million dollars.  The money may not do Amberley much good -- he has a severe heart condition and had not been expected to live this long.  The party is on their way to a fledgling summer theater, the dream of Arthur Atwood, Amberley's cousin.  Despite his poor health, Amberly is interested in the theater and hopes to gain an actor role at the theater, despite his family's total disappointment.  (Arthur Atwood is also considered pretty much of a ne'er-do-well by Eleanor and Alma Cowden.)  The fourth member of the party is Hugh Sanderson, Amberley's tutor and companion.  

Before moving on to the theater, the four plan to stop for the  night and visit distant relations Colonel and Mrs. Barclay and their son Lieutenant Frederic Barclay.  With the Barclays for part of the evening was Mr. Henry Gamadge, an expert on old books, paper, and inks, who is there for some golfing.  Gamadge is a somewhat nondescript youngish man who listens intently and observes.  He live comfortably in New York City in the house he was born in with his wife, his cat, his manuscripts, and a young assistant who can get any piece of information need (don't ask how).

The Cowden party arrives at the Barclay shortly after midnight, making Amberley now a very wealthy man.  Knowing his life will be short, he has made a will to be signed and witnessed later that day.  Fate (?) intervenes and Amberley is found dead the next morning, having fallen off a cliff.  Death was determined to have happened around 2:00 am.  Did Amberley have a heart attack while standing on the cliff edge?  Had he fallen accidently?  Or on purpose?  Or was he pushed?  And what about Amberley's will, last seen in his jacket pocket?  It's missing.

And was it a coincidence that a faded actress now at the summer theater was also found dead from an (accidental?) overdose of morphine?  And that her death likely also happened about 2:00 am?

This was the first of sixteen novels that Daly wrote about Gamadge, ending in 1951.  The Gamadge books are in the classical detective style.  Agatha Chritie declared Daly to be her favorite American mystery writer, and it's easy to see why.  Well-written, sharply observed, fairly clued, with a likable detective, Daly's books were very popular at the time, and are still worth a read some seventy or eighty years later.

The Mystery Writers of America (of which she was an honorary member) award her a Special Edgar in 1961 calling her "the grande dame of women mystery writers."  Critic Charles Shibuk called her novels "always both civilized and literate."

Daly died in 1967 at the age of 88.  Twenty-two years later, and forty-eight years after Henry Gamadge's last case, Elizabeth Daly's niece, Eleanor Boyton, published the first of five mystery novels featuring Clara Gamadge, Henry's widow.  Clara, who first appeared in the Henry Gamadge series was a warm, witty, grandmotherly super-sleuth, happy to take up her late husband's mantle.  (I have one of these books and thought it very entertaining.)

Fourteen of the sixteen Gamadge novels, including this one, are available to be read online at the Faded Page (Canada) website.  Check them out.


  • Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Book of Facts.  A compilation of three thousand facts of all kinds, chosen by Asimov from "over six thousand (from the tens of thousands evaluated by our researchers)."  For Example:  "Nearly 87 percent of the 103 people asked in a poll in 1977 were unable to identify correctly an unlabeled copy of the Declaration of Independence.  (The poll was conducted at a shopping area in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)"  Naturally, it had to be Florida.
  • Gregory Benford & Martin H. Greenberg, editors, Hitler Victorious.  Alternate worlds collection of eleven stories of the German victory in World War II.  Authors are Hilary Bailey, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, Algis Budrys, Sheila Finch, Howard Goldsmith, C. M. Kornbluth, Brad Linaweaver, Keith Roberts, and Tom Shippey, with an introduction by Norman Spinrad.  Eight of the stories are reprints, many of them classic stories in the genre.  This one looks to be a good read. 
  • Clive Cussler, editor, Thriller 2:  Stories You Just Can't Put Down.  Original anthology of 23 stories from the International Thriller Writers.  Authors are Kathleen Antrim, Gary Braver, Sean Chercover, Blake Crouch, Jeffrey Deaver, Robert Ferrigno, Joe Hartlaub, David Hewson, Harry Hunsicker, Lisa Jackson, Joan Johnson, Jon Land, Lawrence Light, Tim Maleeny, Phillip Margolin, David J. Montgomery, Carla Neggers, Ridley Pearson, Marus Sakey, Javier Sierra, Mariah Stewart, R. L. Stine, and Simon Wood.
  • Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner, editors, Death's Excellent Vacation.  Vacation-themed fantasy/supernatural anthology with thirteen short stories.  This was the third (of six thus far) themed anthologies from Harris & Kelner.  Authors are Jeff Abbott, L. A. Banks, Jeaniene Frost. Christopher Golden, Chris Grabenstein, Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner, Katie MacAlister, A. Lee Martinez, Sharan Newman, Lilith Saintcrow, Sarah Smith, and Daniel Stashower...a pretty impressive line-up.
  • Susan Hill, editor, The Walker Book of Ghost Stories.  Children's collection of 17 ghost stories, four new.  Authors are Joan Aiken, Ruth Ainsworth, Walter R. Brooks, George Mackay Brown, Dorothy Edwards, Eleanor Farjeon, Leon Garfield, John Gordon, Pauline Hill, Susan Hill, Penelope Lively, Ruth Manning-Sanders, Jan Mark, Sorche Nic Leodhas, Phillippa Pearce, and Catherine Sefton.
  • Kim Newman, Anno Dracula:  Dracula Cha Cha Cha.  Horror/fantasy novel in Newman's popular Dracula series.  "Rome 1959 and Count Dracula is about to marry a Moldavian princess, returning him to the position of Lord of the Undead.  Journalist Kate Reed come to the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Genevieve.  Along with the undead British secret agent, Brand, Kate is swiftly caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner, who is bloodily dispatching vampires elders in the city.."  Also included is a bonus novella, "Aquarius," featuring Kate Reed.
  • ----------The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School.  Horror/fantasy novel, the second in Newman's Drearcliff Grange School series,  "Amy Thomsett -- the girl who flies on moth wings -- is confident she can solve any mystery, sleuth out any secret and defy any dark force.  With her friends in the Moth Club she travels to London to take part in the Great Game, a contest of skill against other institutes of learning.  In a nightmare, and in the cellars of a house in Piccadilly, Amy glimpses a spectre who might have dogged her all her life, the Broken Doll.  Wherever the limping ghost is seen, terror strikes. And the lopsided, cracked-face. glass-eyed creature might well be the most serious threat the Moth Club has ever faced."  Think Harry Potter, Lovecraft, Professor X, Miss Peregrine, and Ann Radcliffe and you'll get a slight taste of the flavor of this novel.

Funny, You Don't Look Jewish:  CNN headline:  Powerful space laser detected by South African telescope

Sorry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, this space laser is what is called a "megamaser," a powerful radioactive laser, located some five billion light year away from Earth.  The light from this megamaser travelled over thirty-six thousand billion billion miles to reach us.  Megamasers are created when two galaxies crash into each other; the gas the galaxies contain become extremely dense, triggering intense beams of light to shoot out.  When galaxies merge, hydroxl (a chemical compound consisting of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom) can be found inside the merger, hence this megamaser is also called a "hydroxl megamaser."  This megamaser is the most distant one ever discovered.  It has been named Nkalakatha, a Zulu word for "big boss."

Never a Cross Word:  British intelligence officials became alarmed that military secrets were somehow being passed through the crossword puzzle in the Observer newspaper.  The words GOLD, SWORD, and JUNO appeared as answers in the puzzle.  These were common words and they appeared far apart from each other that it may be considered a coincidence, but the fact that all three words were designations for beaches assigned to Allied troops led intelligence officers to wonder if this was indeed a coincidence.  Then, in May 1944, more concerning code words began to appear in the Observer's puzzles:  UTAH, OMAHA, MULBERRY, NEPTUNE, and OVERLORD.  These various puzzles were traced to one contributor, a mild-mannered boys' prep school headmaster named Leonard Dawe.

Officials swarmed on the unsuspecting Dawe's home and seized his notebooks.  After a thorough examination of both Dawe's records and his life, they could find no link between him and enemy agents, the intelligence service declared that he was not a traitor.  (This statement was made very reluctantly, it seems.)  The great crossword puzzle mystery remained unsolved.  Was it mere coincidence?

In 1984, the truth came out.  One of Dawe's former students said the and other students would often help Dawe with his puzzles by occasionally filling in words on a grid.  There was a military camp adjacent to the school and many of the boys would play there during recess and they would hear soldiers using these code words and the boys would add those interesting words to the grids.  After British intelligence swooped in on Lowe, the headmaster questioned his students and found out the truth.  Fearful that he had become an accidental traitor, he made the boys swear they would never tell.  And they didn't -- for some forty years.

Little Orphan Annie:  Everybody's favorite waif with a severe eye malformation made her debut appearance on August 5, 1924, in the New York Daily News.  Created by Harold Gray, the strip outlasted him for over forty years, finally being cancelled on June 13, 2010.  For many years, the popularity of the strip had consumed the country. with various tie-ins, comic books, juvenile novels, a radio show, two film adaptations, and a hit Broadway musical with spawned another four films.  Parodies and rip-offs of Little Orphan Annie abound.  Even after the comic strip's cancellation, the major characters from Annie lived through guest appearances in the Dick Tracy comic strip.

When I was a kid I enjoyed Annie, who was a tough scrapper, as well as her companions Punjab, the Asp, and the occasional Mr. Am.  I didn't care too much for Annie's dog Sandy, and I felt that 
Daddy Warbuck's relationship with Annie was tres creepy.  In today's environment that feeling I had has grown exponentially.

Anyway, here's the Little Orphan Annie song from The Coon Sanders Nighthawks in 1928:

And, a comic book from 1938:

Gilbert Gottfried:  Love him or hate him, he was a major influence in modern comedy.  Rest in peace.

Florida Man:
  • A Florida Man later identified as Darren Durant was caught on video stealing a crossbow by shoving it down his pants.  He also stole a pair of cutting tools to remove the zip ties on the crossbow before stuffing it in his trousers.  This happened at a True Value store in Mims.  The suspect, who used a walking crutch, put his jacket over the part of the crossbow protruding from his pants and walked out of the store undetected.  The whole episode was captured on the store security camera.  Durant was captured a few days later after he was after he was spotted in a local Walgreens.  When Durant realized that he had been spotted by a local deputy, he tried to flee on foot but did not get very far limping away on his crutch.
  • Florida Man Aaron Henderson, 43, had an undignified exit from this world by being crushed by a bulldozer while using a porta-potty.  Henderson had been working at a Polk County landfill in Winter Haven as a spotter, directing trucks as they dumped trash.  A bulldozer driver was taking his vehicle while the landfill was shutting down for the day; the blade of the bulldozer was elevated, restricting the driver's front view.  He heard a crunch and realized that he had run over a porta-potty.  Investigating, he found Henderson's body inside.  When you gotta go, you gotta go, but that is a bad way to go.
  • Florida Man Thomas Eugene Colucci bought two small baggies of methamphetamine from a man he met at a local bar.  An "experienced" methamphetamine user, Colucci did not get the expected high from the drug and believed he may have been sold bath salts instead.  What to do?  Call the local sheriff's department to test the drugs, of course.  Colucci told officers he did not want others to purchase phony meth from the man and that he wanted the man arrested.  Slight problem:  Colucci had no idea who sold him the drugs.  Another slight problem:  the drugs tested positive for methamphetamine and Colucci was arrested.
  • Sometimes flying the friendly skies may be too friendly.  Florida Man Donald Edward Robinson, 76, of Bonita Springs, was on a flight to Boston when he began fondling himself, exposing himself to a 21-year-old female passenger seated next to him.  For reasons I cannot phantom, the woman began videoing the act for some 24 seconds.  As they approached Boston, the man's genitals were fully exposed.  He then placed his hand on her thigh, removing it immediately when she objected.  When the plane landed she alerted security but could not locate Robinson in the crowd.  Robinson was later identified through the video the woman had taken of him.  According to an article in Newsweek, "If convicted for his current charge, Robinson could face up to 90 days in prison, a year of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $5000."  It's the use of the word "current" in that sentence has got me wondering, although the article makes no mention of any previous crimes.

Good News:
  • Celebrations erupt as baby cotton-top tamarins are born to one of the most endangered primate species
  • Pink Floyd reunites to record first new material in 28 years -- a protest song against the Ukraine War
  • Simple bacterial spray can solve India's air pollution and also enrich local farmers
  • U.S. House passes bill to cap insulin costs at $35 a month
  • Man wins $200 million in lottery and donates all all of it to save the Earth
  • Researchers find new strategies for preventing clogged arteries
  • Vancouver couple converts their large resort property into a Ukrainian refugee home for dozens

Today's Poem:  Today is the 116th anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake.

What Remains

The squeal of horses buckling beneath a rubble rain;
the first smell of burn, the hiss of tugs
pumping Pacific spray to waterfront buildings.
Except for this last, it looks like Richmond
forty years before; the charcoal ruins of wooden buildings,
stone gutted like thought, the bowed steel of tracks;
the officers pointing or posing, hands
planted on their hips, in small groups.

They destroyed the grand boulevards with dynamite
to chasten fire and play homage
to fault-riddled earthen gods.
Pacific in location only -- to appease the saints
Francisco and Andreas.

Where the photos are vague,
someone has penned suggestions:  an outline
of a fallen horse, a woman's skirt,
the haphazard angle of building,
the bulge and twist of streetcar rails.

Yet all sources mark a cheeriness in the faces,
a generosity, attempts to continue without houses,
water, transportation;  the camps built for those who fought
pneumonia on those first unsheltered nights,
the women building stoves from rubble and brick,
the family at white-clothed table,
on fine chairs, dining in a wasteland.

The fire shepherded the people to Golden State Park,
the Presidio, the ferries.  Black figures scampered
like rats from house to house, gathering
what they could:  tables, dressers, chairs, 
the crippled children.  Dead horses littered
the narrow, gray, smoke-shrouded streets.
One statue, like the city, balanced on its head.

-- from The Overland Monthly, May 1906

And here's what it looked like:

Saturday, April 16, 2022


 A young Sam Cooke, with the Soul Stirrers.


 He s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s. he shrinks, he b






Yes, it's Plastic Man!  Created by Jack Cole, Plastic Man began as Patrick "Eel" O'Brien, a crook and safecracker who, along with three confederates, attempted to burgle a chemical factory.  Surprised by a night watchmen, the four tried to escape, but O'Neil was shot in the shoulder and was doused with a vat containing a strange chemical liquid.  When O'Neil got out of the building he found his three fellow-crooks had abandoned him.  O'Neil then fled on foot and -- between the gunshot and the chemical bath -- exhausted, he passes out in the foothills.  He is found by a monk who determines there is good in the wounded man and cares for him.  While recovering, O'Brien discovers that the chemical that spilled on him had radically changed his body, turning him into a plastic man, able to stretch and contort his body.

Determined to reform, O'Brien transforms himself into the crime-fighting superhero Plastic Man.  He is soon joined by a comic sidekick, Wolfgang "Woozy" Winks.  

Jack Cole had been hired by Lev Gleeson as an editor and  to revamp Jack Binder's Golden Age Daredevil character. working with legendary The Spirit creator Will Eisner.  Cole created Plastic Man for a backup story on Police Comics #1 (August 1941).  Plaz soon became a hit because of Cole's sense of humor, artistic ability, and experimentation with both text and graphics.  Plastic Man's career has continued to this day as a member of th Justice League.  

Cole was also known for his cartoons for Playboy, many of which have become classics.

Cole mysteriously committed suicide on August 13, 1958.  He was 43.  The reason for his suicide remains unknown.  Cole had left a suicide note for his wife, but the coroner ruled that the note was too personal and refused to enter it into evidence.  Cole also wrote a suicide note to his friend Hugh Hefner, but gave no reason for his action.

Meanwhile, we still have his legacy of Plastic Man.  And it is a marvelous legacy.


Friday, April 1, 2022


 A Yellowed Fatality, Anonymous (1958)

Let's start April off with a true rarity, a digest-sized British paperback from the relatively unknown publisher Thud and Blunder Press.  To my knowledge it has never been reprinted and copies are nearly impossible to find through the usual dealers.  In fact, Robert Adey completely missed this one in his standard and nearly comprehensive study Locked Room Murders.  Adey may be forgiven because A Yellowed Fatality is not technically a locked room murder mystery; it is a locked car murder mystery!

Let me explain.

Police in the small village Totteringhamshire on Leeds are totally at sea with the discovery of a body found sitting erect in the back seat of an expensive town car parked in front of the village market.  Because the car is locked, police cannot enter the vehicle to examine the corpse and, if foul play were done, they appeared to be no way for the murderer to exit the locked car!  Luckily the body was discovered early in the morning by vacationing Dr. Gideon Fell who had gone to the village market to buy some Marmite.  And with the introduction of Fell we have a hint of who might have been the anonymous author of this slim 96-page paperback.

The victim appeared to be a tall man in his late forties or early fifties.  He was wearing a well-tailored business suit, was what one may consider handsome with dark hair, a somewhat high forehead, and a trim mustache.  His face, however, was a rictus of pain, and his skin (what could be viewed from the outside of the locked car) had taken on a bilious yellow color!  Who was this victim and how did he die?

In rapid succession we meet a motley cast of characters:  a pair of star-crossed lovers, a young patrolman who might be more than the bumbling oaf he appears to be, the village vicar with a secret closet, a retired army colonel who goes hunting stray cats in the dark of night, the village "character" who collects trash, the prim matron with a hidden and scandalous tattoo, the wealthy industrialist suspected of having strong ties with Germany during the war, a seventeen-year-old nymphet who swims in the nude, a troop of suspicious Girl Guides, and a suspected felon.  And what does a sheet of cancelled postage stamps have to do with the murder?

Gideon Fell has a lot to unravel in this case, but first he must determine the identity of the victim -- the man whose hideous death led Fell to describe the mystery as the Case of the Jaundice in Car.

An interesting though rather frenetic read with a shocker of a solution.

Good luck in trying to find this one.