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The Gracie Allen Murder Case (A Philo Vance Mystery #11)
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The Gracie Allen Murder Case (Philo Vance #11)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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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Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-mystery
This was less classical, but really charming!
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
Michael Ritchie
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I finally read a Philo Vance novel and now that it's out of my system I'll never make that mistake again. Many reviews say that Vance is "annoying." He certainly is. He is exactly the kind of too educated, too wealthy, too witty dilettante detective that is better off in the literary dust heap. It's no wonder that Raymond Chandler took a cheap shot or two at the character. Even worse are the one-note supporting characters, especially District Attorney Markham. He is too close-minded to be believ ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one's pretty bad. The author basically wrote it so that it could become a film vehicle for the title character. The comedy is not funny and the plot is very thin. Half the time you forget you are reading a murder mystery and think you are reading instead inane dialog. So why two stars? Some interesting history and geography make their way into the novel, and plus I guess I'll give Van Dine some credit for trying something different. His career was about over--the next, and final, novel in t ...more
Laura Rye
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well...I started out thinking this was going to be the "oh man, really?" book of the series...I mean, the two main characters of the mystery are named Gracie Allen and George Burns. Its the shortest book of his series (150 pages) and seems silly on the surface in the beginning...but....the plot evolves into one of the best of the series with a "knock me over" twist at the end....very very good....but puts Philo Vance in a totally different light, so reading the other stories first to get the who ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Gracie Allen and George Burns of this book are not the characters from their TV show but are more like their movie roles in the 30's. In those movies, George has a normal job with Gracie playing his ditzy assistant or just an acquaintance . George has a minor role in the book, with Vance playing the bemused straight man. However, the expected delights are just not there. Philo Vance, as someone mentioned in a review, is one of the more annoying detectives ever. A word snob of the worst kind ...more
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
11th in the Philo Vance mystery series set during May 17 - 21 sometime in the 1930’s. Vance, an independently wealthy college educated, amateur detective, uses his deductive skills and psychological knowledge to help his New York City District Attorney friend deal with the mystery. Unusual in the Vance mysteries the plot is more zany with “nitwit” Gracie Allen trying to help Vance solve a murder. Both George Burns and Gracie Allen are characters, but not in their entertainer capacity. As usual, ...more
Nov 24, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I was going through a phase of reading mystery books and purchased this for my good lady in an attempt to bring her into the fold. She's a huge Burns and Allen fan and I figured this would be a nice way to lure her unwittingly into the world of old fashioned mystery books.
I may well have put her off for life instead. If anyone can point out a detective fiction hero more irritating than Philo Vance I'd be truly surprised.
The only mystery is how this thing ended up in the shops in the first place.
Kathy Doherty
One of the funnier books in the Philo Vance series. If you enjoy classic radio (think George Burns, Gracie Allen, Fred Allen, Jack Benny), then check this one out.
Vikas Datta
Alas, the second-last Vance to read... different from others but still charming and possessing some singular points
rated it it was ok
Dec 26, 2012
Michele bookloverforever
interesting but dated. this one is a bit amusing as well.
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Dec 30, 2014
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