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Murder on Wheels (Hildegarde Withers Mysteries) Paperback – December 31, 2011
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This clever little mystery, written in 1932, involves the murder, by hanging, of a twin brother while in a car on Fifth Avenue in New York City during rush hour. A cabbie saw the victim fly up and out of the car backwards and then the driverless car crashed.
The schoolteacher (Miss Withers) and the police inspector (Inspector Piper) take their own approaches to solving the case.
It's short (159 pages) and plot-driven. I love this series but wish that more of them were back in print. Yes, they're dated but they're still as enjoyable as ever.
Published in 1932, Palmer's novel still reads as fresh in the Great Recession as in the Great Depression. Astute detective work combines with witty dialogue and great scenes from a gentler New York City to make this a wonderful read. As a native New Yorker, I was bemused at this Manhattan of 80 years ago, when police inspectors didn't bother with pistols, cabbies reported crimes, and middle-aged schoolteachers thought nothing of tramping through the city after dark on their own.
In Murder on Wheels, 39-year-old Miss Withers, as formidable at sleuthing as she is at keeping her third-grade class of hooligans at Jefferson School polite and on task, joins her beau, the cigar-chomping Inspector Oscar Piper in an investigation; they're looking into the death of a man thrown from a Chrysler roadster on Forty-second Street near Fifth Avenue and killed -- but not in an automobile fatality. The man, identified as Lawrence "Laurie" Stait, died at the end of a noose, as if he'd hanged himself. Withers and Piper immediately sense that it's not suicide but murder, and they look hard at Laurie's identical twin Lew, his domineering grandmother, his dithering Aunt Abbie, his milquetoast cousin Hubert, a possible love interest named Dana, and a saucy upstairs maid, Gretchen Gilbert, who clearly knows more than she's telling.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like mysteries from the early 20th century you might like the the Hildegarde Withers books and moviesPublished 9 days ago by George M. Bourlotos
A fun puzzle whodunit; a lazy quick read for pure entertainment.Published 1 month ago by MaryJo Dawson
As I've seen the old movies, the book lived up to the characterization. Nice period piece, believable geography, Cosy read.Published 2 months ago by JoAnn Edwards
In order to prove how smart Hildegarde is, the story gets horribly over the top with too many suspects, ludicrously obscure clues and very inconsistent behavior by the ultimate... Read morePublished 2 months ago by George V F