The Frightened Stiff

I think they should have left the ‘The” off of the title, then it could be applied both to the stiff itself, which is found in the back yard of Jeff and Haila Troy’s new apartment, as well as all the people in the building disturbed that murder has been committed in their midst.   In a strange coincidence, Haila overhears the soon-to-be-murdered man going to meet someone in their apartment in the opening chapter as they eat in a nearby restaurant.   This is kind of a preposterous opening, followed by Jeff’s hamhanded attempt to head the guy off. The whole thing is a bit preposterous, but in a light-hearted way.   The Troys are a lot like the Norths, and speaking of coincidences, the Norths’ first mystery was published the same year as the Troys’ – 1940.   This is the third and was published in 1942.  Both series were written by a husband and wife team and follow a husband and wife team.   The Norths are better mysteries in my view, but the Troys are entertaining enough that I’ll probably read more of them.   This was suggested by someone in The Invisible Event’s fairly-clued survey.   It didn’t make the final cut, but I bought a few that were suggested, but did not.   Why limit myself to just ten?   So, I enjoyed the story, though I found the whole thing pretty ridiculous and thinking back, I can’t figure out if it was fairly clued and I just missed it, or it wasn’t.   I would have to reread it and as I’m already 3 or 4 books behind on my 20 books of summer, I don’t think I’ll do that.   Until then, just know that at least one person thinks it’s not just fairly-clued, but ‘a beautiful example’ of such.

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The artist here uses artistic license.  The corpse is found in the garden and it’s not a skeleton.  But it does give some idea of the mood of the book.  There is, it seems, a movie called A Night to Remember which is currently available on YouTube.  Curious about that.

Okay, an hour and a half later – curiosity satisfied.  It’s called A Night to Remember, not to be confused with the 1958 A Night to Remember about the Titanic.   This is, like the book, a light-hearted mystery in which a young couple, Loretta Young and Brian Aherne, get mixed up in a murder in their new apartment.   Much is changed in the movie and actually, most of it is for the better.  I thought it was funnier and makes more sense.   They changed a few things around plot-wise.  The sisters are gone, there’s a turtle added, a housekeeper instead of the maintenance guy and almost everyone’s first name is changed.   Probably if you want to both read and see this, you should read it first.   One of the plot twists in the book is revealed early in the movie.  I don’t think the movie is fairly clued.   More like barely clued, but it’s a fun show.

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This book is second in my #20Booksofsummer.  I don’t think it qualifies for any other challenges.  I better get the lead out.  18 to go.

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