Eric_W's Reviews > Mayhem in B-Flat: A Homer Evans Murder Mystery

Mayhem in B-Flat by Elliot Paul
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Apr 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries-and-thrillers
Read in January, 2001

It's always a pleasure to read crime novels written in the thirties and forties. They seem more refined than some of the slam-bam, shoot-em-ups that are enjoyable, but appeal perhaps to a baser level. Elliott Paul's Mayhem in B-flat is a case in point. It contains some cute little puns that I didn't get immediately. My favorite is the obscure Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 13 by Sauvequipeut.

Our hero is Homer Evans, good friend of Chief of Detectives Fremont of the Paris Police Department. His companion is Miriam, an adoring sidekick who happens to be a brilliant pianist, Montana cowgirl, and markswoman extraordinaire who can whip an automatic out of her handbag and graze a tuning fork set up on a piano some distance away with just enough force to ring a perfect "A", yet not knock the fork Over. I'd like to see Sylvester Stallone do that!

It's also refreshing to read a novel without the f-word every other sentence. Images are often conveyed much better by descriptions such as the following when Chief Fremont discovers that the violinist his sergeant was detailed to protect had slipped out from underneath his nose. "What he said, when informed that Diluvio had vanished, would, if related, prove detrimental to the interests of the reader, since it would result in the suppression of this story in practically any country in the world."

This is a truly enjoyable mystery with scintillating narrative and an ingenious plot.
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