Books: Murder in September

THE CHUCKLING FINGERS—Mabel Seeley—Crime Club ($2). A subtly contrived campaign to convince a Great Lakes lumberman that his young second wife has homicidal tendencies culminates in murder of his son. A girl cousin helps police sift the suspects. Equals earlier Seeley stories (Crying Sisters, etc.) in craftmanship, characterization, unflagging interest.

DEATH AND THE DANCING FOOTMAN—Ngaio Marsh—Little, Brown ($2). A deadly Maori instrument extinguishes a young Englishman at house party where everybody hates or fears everybody else—as prearranged by a thrill-seeking host. First half is brilliant British conversation piece, the remainder a prime bit of deduction and clew-chasing by Alleyn of C.I.D.


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