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Dead Ernest (Leonidas Witherall, #7)
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Dead Ernest (Leonidas Witherall Mystery #7)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  3 reviews
One of its more colorful residents, Leonidas Witherall inhabits the fictional Boston suburb of Dalton and is the proprietor of a prestigious boys' school.
Paperback, 218 pages
Published July 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1944)
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Fun reading, if you're in the right (ie, light) frame of mind. Dead Ernest is anything but earnest -- it's a comic tour de force (tour de farce??) to those who, like me, relish classic, pre-WW2 British murder mystery novels. Then again, this novel is neither pre-WW2 (published in 1944; takes place during WW2) nor British (set in the Boston area). But that's okay because everything about it plays with the form, fitting yet stretching it.
A "screwball mystery" from a formerly popular author who also wrote under the name Phoebe Atwood Taylor. The story opens with a deep freeze containing a body being delivered to the main character-a mystery writer. The body (staying in the freezer) keeps getting moved about and the madcap plot all takes place in less than 24 hours. The best thing about this book is the title.
Great fun. These mysteries don't function quite as well as puzzles - they're okay, but not the best - but are excellent farces. There is a mystery, but lots of comings and goings and humor.
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Beginning With a Bash (Leonidas Witherall, #1) The Left Leg (Leonidas Witherall, #4) Cold Steal (Leonidas Witherall, #3) File for Record (Leonidas Witherall, #6) The Hollow Chest (Leonidas Witherall, #5)

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