One of These Seven – Carolynne & Malcolm Logan (1946)

One of These Seven may feature a murder that takes place in a locked room, but it’s hardly a locked room mystery.  Said locked room features a lock to which seven people hold the key, and so when a man is found shot to death within, the obvious question is which of the seven committed the crime.  And honestly, that’s about what you’re going to get from this story.  Amateur detective Justus Drum pledges that he’ll track down the killer and subsequently interviews the seven suspects.  Then one of them winds up dead, so he re-interviews the remaining six.  Then the killer is revealed.  Sadly that’s about it.

I wouldn’t say that the book is poorly written in any obvious way, other than it absolutely fails to leave an impression.  The only memorable part is the victim; a larger than life artist who graces a dozen or so pages before winding up riddled with bullets.  Aside from that, you get a competently written investigation, but it never turns into anything other than “who murdered Paul Quinton?”  In the end, whether it was any specific one of the seven doesn’t really matter.  A finger is pointed, a killer confesses, and we move on with our lives.

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