Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, July 23, 2022


Yesterday I posted the French comic book adaptation of Murray Leinster's The Brain Stealers,  pulp science fiction adventure that wowed me as a youth.  Today, we have an adaptation of Fredric Brown's The Dead Ringer (1949), the second book in his Ed and Am /hunter mystery series.

For those unfamiliar with Fredric Brown, go now and stand in the corner with your head hung down for half an hour.  We'll wait...

..Back now?  Good.  Now read this comic book book adaptation.  Then -- and this is important -- get three hence and read as many of Brown's books and stories as possible.  Your life will be better for it.

Ed Hunter and his one-time private detective Uncle Ambrose are now running a Coconut Shy at the travelling Hobart Circus.  A murdered (and unknown) midget wearing only bathing trunks, a lovely young girl new to the circus and the dancing girls show, a child kidnapped from a wealthy Kentucky family, a sick ape caged in the business manager's caravan trailer and later found drowned in the high dive water tank, the "ghost" of the ape seen during a pelting rain storm one night,  the death of the offensively-named Jigaboo the coloured [sic...this is a British comic book, after all] tap-dancer,  the disappearance of the circus's only official midget all add up to a deadly puzzle that will take all of Am Hunter's wits.


Fredric Brown wrote seven books in his Ed and Am Hunter the series.  The first, The Fabulous Clipjoint (1948), won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel.  Brown also wrote an additional sixteen non-series mystery novels, five science fiction novels, and one underrated mainstream novel, as well as several hundred short stories.

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