Books: Murder in December, Jan. 5, 1942

ALPHABET HICKS—Rex Stout—Farrar & Rinehort ($2). Clever alibi-busting by wily ex-lawyer detective clears up murders in a plastics laboratory near New York. Hicks is a worthy addition to the Stout sleuth-stable (other occupants: Nero Wolfe, Tecumseh Fox).

ENVIOUS CASCA—Georgette Heyer —Crime Club ($2). Variation on two familiar detective-story themes—the English-house -party-where - everybody-hates-his-neighbor, and the corpse-in-the-room-locked-from-the-inside. Pungent dialogue and A-1 characterization make up for certain small shortcomings in the plot.

DOUBLE OR QUITS—A. A. Fair—< Morrow ($2). Accidental poisoning of a California doctor looks queer to pint-sized Donald Lam, who clears it up in...

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