I went on a bit of a Clyde Clason buying spree after enjoying The Man from Tibet. Admittedly, it might have been a b-grade mystery, but it had enough unique touches to keep my interest throughout, and opened with a stellar story-within-a-story that completely won me over. I finally return to Clason with his third novel, which was published a year before The Man from Tibet. I picked this one because it takes place in a Colorado gold mine. A mine is always a fun setting for a story, and something that you don’t see too often in the Golden Age; The Owner Lies Dead being the exception that comes to mind, although hopefully someone posts a few more examples.
It was the Colorado setting that struck me too. I’m biased in my preference for mysteries set in England, in part because 99% of US mysteries from the Golden Age seem to be set in New York City, and there are a set of tropes that you seem to get with The Big Apple. Anthony Boucher is an obvious exception, with his output taking place in the San Francisco bay area, and I suppose that Ellery Queen stretched his legs and headed out to Hollywood. US settings outside of that are few and far between (I realize you’ll correct me). There’s late-era John Dickson Carr exploring the south – although those books were well past his prime – and I supposed Hugh Holman set his stories in South Carolina. But Colorado? I can’t really think of another Golden Age set in Colorado. Yeah, you could interpret The Owner Lies Dead as taking place in Genessee right outside of Denver, but I had the sense while reading it that it was supposed to take place somewhere on the east coast.Continue reading “Blind Drifts – Clyde Clason (1937)”