Monday, March 7, 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter I

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise sponsors The Alphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. Your post MUST be related to the first letter of the book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname. So, you see you have lots of choice. You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow. (It is ok too to skip a week.) Link your post for the week back to Kerrie's site.

This week we are featuring the letter I.

My choice for this week's letter is The Innocent Bottle by Anthony Gilbert. This is another one of my vintage mysteries--first published in the US in 1949 (original British title: Lift Up the Lid [1948]). This one is on my TBR list for this year--fulfilling several of my reading challenges, so I don't have a review--but I will provide a synopsis. But first, a little about Anthony Gilbert. Gilbert is a pseudonym for Lucy Beatrice Malleson. She was a prolific British mystery writer (over 70 novels written under this pseudonym alone--she had several others) whose most famous creation is Arthur G. Crook. Her novels are know for skillful plotting, entertaining dialogue and interesting action. Arthur G. Crook is known for the fact that his clients are always innocent. Always.

The Innocent Bottle is a story about money, marriage and murder. "Everybody" knows that Rose East had only married james for his money and so, when he winds up dead, "everyone" knows that she must have killed him. But while he was alive, he not only had a beautiful young wife, he also had a jealous nurse and an ambitious doctor. When he died, he left behind a fortune and a scandal. Once Rose is accused of murdering her husband, Arthur Crook is sure she is innocent--because all his clients are. After his investigations, he offers up the police a blackmailer, a poison pen, and another corpse. But that isn't enough. If he is to save Rose, he will need to find a dangerous killer.

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