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Preview — The Gracie Allen Murder Case by S.S. Van Dine
The Gracie Allen Murder Case (Philo Vance #11)
The zany plot follows nitwit Gracie Allen trying to help master sleuth Philo Vance solve a murder. Allen's uncle fixes her up with Bill at a company picnic. When the two go out to a nightclub that night, Gracie inadvertently links Bill to the murder of a thug after finding the dead body and Bill's cigarette case at the scene of the crime. While being questioned at the club ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Otto Penzler Books
(first published 1938)
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The Gracie Allen of the case is not the famed entertainer, but rather a worker in a perfume factory, but she's almost as inconsequential as the original. She unwittingly gives an entranced Philo Vance all of the important clues in this gangster slaying, back in the days when Riverdale in the Bronx was a rural paradise. Vance meets her when communing with nature, and then again in a fancy restaurant where her brother has the crucial job of dishwasher. There's a brief appearance of her mother, a g ...more
A slightly lesser Philo Vance mystery, with the novelty of having real people (Gracie Allen and her husband George Burns) as characters. Oddly, they don't "play" themselves: Gracie works at a perfume company and George (whose active presence is confined to just a couple of chapters) is a master perfume-blender. Both get involved with Vance when Allen's brother is found dead in a gangster's office and George comes under suspicion. Van Dine gets Gracie's voice down very well, and the scenes with h ...more
I had looked forward to reading this, because Gracie Allen and George Burns are two of my favorite people. But, alas, the only thing this "Gracie Allen" had in common with the radio or TV Gracie Allen was her name. Oh, she was a bit talkative and illogical, but not in the same way. She and "George Burns" work in a perfume factory, where George is the chief "smeller" and perfume concocter. The detective in the story, one Philo Vance, has an annoyin' habit of clipping the g's off his ings, as well ...more