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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A MADCAP MURDER MYSTERY
Unfortunately, Norbert Davis, the author of OH,MURDER MINE, is not as well known as other pulp fiction writers of the 1940's for three reasons. First, his stories encompassed a wide array of genres, so he never built a reputation as a practitioner of a specific type (e.g. detective, SF, etc.) . Second, his detective stories included a strain of humor which was highly...
Published on June 9, 2010 by Tucker Andersen

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Book 4
Quick read, needed expansion of the plot. Was interesting in parts and then would just fizzle out. It needed more about the dog.
Published on January 9, 2013 by Gail


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A MADCAP MURDER MYSTERY, June 9, 2010
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
Unfortunately, Norbert Davis, the author of OH,MURDER MINE, is not as well known as other pulp fiction writers of the 1940's for three reasons. First, his stories encompassed a wide array of genres, so he never built a reputation as a practitioner of a specific type (e.g. detective, SF, etc.) . Second, his detective stories included a strain of humor which was highly unusual for the period, a hard boiled detective story was not supposed to be funny. Third, he committed suicide at age 40, supposedly after he had been diagnosed with cancer. Thus, his potential literary legacy was truncated. However, among his peers he was regarded as in a class with the best writers of the era, including Hammett and McDonald. He graduated from Stanford with a law degree, but never took the bar exam - choosing instead to pursue a career which he had already established by being published while still in college, usually being paid at the going rate of a penny a word. Hopefully, the advent of ebooks and specialized small presses will allow many more potential fans to enjoy his works and dog lovers will be irresistably drawn to Carstairs' collaborations with Doan.

This is the last of Davis' stories featuring the hardboiled detective DOAN and his Sidekick CARSTAIRS, a Great Dane the size of a Shetland Pony. It was published in 1946, and after greatly enjoying the few stories about the duo which were published before Davis' suicide, I feel a sense of loss that the duo's adventures were prematurely ended by Davis' death. Given the obviously boundless limits of Davis' imagination and his keen powers of observation regarding human frailties, the duo easily could have become a staple of the genre.

This story takes place on a college campus, where we first meet Melissa Gregory, an anthropolgy instructor at Breckenridge University. She soon has a confrontation Eric Trent, a meterologist who has just joined the faculty, and for whom Doan is acting as bodyguard. Why? You'll have to read the story to discover the answer. They and Melissa's fellow faculty member and boyfriend Frank Ames are the only four relatively normal individuals in a book populated with such characters as among others Professor Sly-Myrick (a refugee from the Gestapo), Heloise of Hollywood (who "radiated as much warmth as a diamond"), President T. Ballard Bestwyck, the Aldrich twins, Beulah Porter Cowys, Deputy Humphrey (no one is this dumb), Herbert "Big Tub" Tremaine, Bumbershoot Bennie, and Sebastian Rodriguez y Ruiz. In addition, Handsome Lover Boy got his name is integral to the plot. Many of these individuals are caricatures rather than characters, but it is all in fun - unless they happen to get killed as several do.

Davis' plot involves at least as much misdirection as in the earlier stories, but in this one it seemed almost incidental to his parody of campus life and the convoluted backstories of his characters. At first it was a letdown after reading the earlier stories which were structured more as detective procedurals, but after I realized it was simply a lighthearted episode of the adventures of Doan and Carstairs allowing Davis to poke fun at the culture of the period I was able to just smile and enjoy it.

A lot of the humor in this episode is much more slapstick than in the previous stories, at times could have sen this Carstairs being a model for Marmaduke as detective. Relative to the other books in the series, I found it difficult to rate this book, so depending on your interests you might rate it very differently than I did. My rating is composed of the following elements -
Humor - 5 stars
Carstairs (for dog lovers)- 5 star quality but not enough face time, he and Doan form a good team
Parody of Campus Politics - 5 stars
Weird Characters - 5 Stars
Plot - probably 4 stars if you like misdirection
Romance- an over the top 3 stars, no suspense here
Narrative - 3 stars

So, read this if you want to have fun for a couple of hours! And, of course, Carstairs is his usual superior self and he and Doan once again make an unstoppable duo.

Tucker Andersen 6/9/2010
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars oh, what could have been...., December 11, 2010
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Nikwax (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
A glimpse into what could have been an extremely entertaining series, as Norbert Davis really hit his stride with this one. In the tradition of Jonathan Lattimer, this is a screwball mystery, featuring the majestic Great Dane Carstairs, who has a great deal to say about things, and a cast of other characters. Sadly, Mr. Davis took his life at a young age and we are left to imagine what might have been had he continued this series.

Well worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, June 27, 2011
This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
These books are fun I have had such a good time reading them, they would make a great mini series
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing mystery, November 21, 2014
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col2910 (Bedfordshire,UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
Norbert Davis was an American author from Morrison, Illinois. Born 1909, he died 1949 – an apparent suicide.

I have had him on my radar for a while, but more for his Max Latin stories which appeared regularly in the magazines of the day…….Black Mask, Dime Detective, Double Detective and Argosy.

He wrote four Doan and Carstairs books of which, Oh Murderer Mine is the third. Published in 1946 it’s my read for Rich of Past Offences’ monthly meme. Click the link on the year to see who has been reading what for 1946. https://pastoffences.wordpress.com/20...

Doan is a private investigator, Carstairs is his Great Dane. The duo have been engaged by the famous and much older, Heloise of Hollywood to babysit her younger and attractive husband, Eric Trent. Trent has just secured a position in the meteorology department at Breckenbridge University.

We meet Melissa Gregory, an anthropology lecturer. She’s on her way back to her offices, which she has unknowingly been evicted from in favour of Eric. This immediately brings the two into conflict. Later Melissa gets knocked out and Doan gets shot at when pursuing the culprit. After he disappears, the body of Frank Ames is discovered. Melissa was Ames’ “girlfriend”, though in truth he was more besotted by her than the reverse.

The assault on Melissa brings Humphrey, a policeman into the mix. Humphrey and Doan have previous history together, when Carstairs inflicted a public humiliation on our detective. What follows is an investigation into the murder; with Humphrey trying to arrest the first person in sight at every opportunity. We have further deaths, the involvement of a Mexican investigator who is pursuing the recovery of some stolen historical artefacts, more involvement with Trent’s wife and a look at her history and first husband.

Oh Murderer Mine was an enjoyable read, more for its humour and the clashes between the incompetent Humphrey and the almost jaded manner in which Doan could predict his actions in advance. There was a mystery to be solved and it was, and in a fairly cohesive fashion, though it almost seemed secondary to the knockabout tone of the book. Davis also fashions an almost romance between Trent and Melissa. Almost - because for most of the book, Trent is married, albeit not happily. The author had some fun with the interaction between these two characters as well; with animosity used to conceal a spark of attraction.

I liked it, but I doubt I will be troubled enough to find more from this author in the future.

4 from 5

Acquired cheaply on Amazon kindle
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed immensely., September 19, 2014
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
Love Doan and Carstairs. Wish there were more of them to read. The writing is from a different genre and so refreshing. The situations they get into are amazing and their reactions are so funny. Doan has Carstairs well trained or is it the other way around--lol. They always get their man but it is great reading as how they get to that point. Great characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Review, June 18, 2014
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
I chose this rating because I love Carstairs and admire the way Doan works. I recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love Carstairs!, May 8, 2014
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
And Doan isn't too bad, either. I wish there could be lots & lots more in Norbert Davis's great series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you like humor, it's here. If you like a dog involve, it's here. If you like a good mystery, it's here. Plus an unexpected e, April 28, 2014
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
This book keeps jumping out and reaching for a solution. Then it gives you an ending you never imagined. At least I never caught on. A lot of suspense in this book to keep you entertained. There is a romance developing, a dog with his own personality and a foreign dignitary. The bodyguard is a character
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this one, September 12, 2013
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Miss Lucy (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book. It's not my favorite (like Chet and Bernie better), but a relaxing good read. He is human, and makes me laugh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book., July 24, 2013
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celtic lass (Mooresville, NC, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Doan & Carstairs Mysteries, Book Four: Oh, Murderer Mine (The delightful mystery classic! 4) (Kindle Edition)
All of these stories I have read are really good. These two make a really good team even if Carstairs is condescending.
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