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No Coffin for the Corpse (The Great Merlini #4)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Merlini pursues a ghost while he puts together a stage show. - The Mystery Lover's Companion, Art Bourgeau
Paperback, 254 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by International Polygonics (first published 1942)
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Jason Reeser
I really wanted to like this book. It is full of snappy dialog, a multitude of suspects popping out of the author's top hat, and prestidigitation scattered like confetti across a magician's stage. There's plenty of spooky atmosphere, as well as fascinating mini-lectures on historical tidbits about psychics and magicians and escape artists. So what's not to like?

Well, what's not to like is the delivery. On stage, a magician's delivery is everything, and here, Rawson needlessly entangles this stor
This is a good mystery, but unnecessarily busy.

The narrator is in a romance with the daughter of a stereotypical dictatorial millionaire. This eventually leads to a murder, and the investigation of a haunted house.

I'm not a fan of haunted house mysteries, and Merlini isn't really given much page time here, as the narrator is busy screwing up and getting almost arrested all the time.

Not bad, but not my favorite in the series.
Choleric millionaire Dudley Wolff is neurotically afraid of death--that's why he's spent a lot of money on psychical research: to discover if there is life after death. Now that he has found a real ghost, though, he's far from happy. In fact, panic is the only word to describe his attitude. He's desperate enough to let his daughter Kay bring in the Great Merlini, who exposed one of his previous finds. There's a lot more than the ghost to worry about, though--there are a number of impossible situ ...more
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Aka Stuart Towne.

Clayton Rawson (1906 - 1971) was an American mystery writer, editor, and amateur magician. His four novels frequently invoke his great knowledge of stage magic and feature as their fictional detective The Great Merlini, a professional magician who runs a shop selling magic supplies. He also wrote four short stories in 1940 about a stage magician named Don Diavolo, who appears as a
More about Clayton Rawson...

Other Books in the Series

The Great Merlini (5 books)
  • Death from a Top Hat (The Great Merlini #1)
  • The Footprints on the Ceiling (The Great Merlini #2)
  • The Headless Lady (The Great Merlini #3)
  • The Great Merlini: The Complete Stories of the Magician Detective

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