Cue for Murder – Helen McCloy (1942)

CueForMurderMy first encounter with Helen McCloy was through the highly touted Through a Glass, Darkly.  The story may be most well known for making position #12 in Ed Hoch’s 1981 collaborative list of top impossible crime novels.  I personally didn’t see what justified that ranking, as I can think of 12 novels by John Dickson Carr alone that I’d rank ahead of it.  I’ll concede that if you’re looking to create a list diverse in both author and types of impossibility, the novel is worth noting.

For my second McCloy, I decided to jump to another of her better regarded novels – Cue for Murder.  I spent a long time holding out for the Dell map back edition of this book, but finally succumbed to a well priced 1965 copy by Bantam Books.

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Through a Glass, Darkly – Helen McCloy (1950)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face

ThroughAGlassDarklyI first became aware of this title via Ed Hoch’s 1981 compilation of top impossible crime novels.  Sharing a spot alongside works like The Judas Window, Rim of the Pit, and Death From a Top Hat seems to speak volumes for a book.  Of course, that can be quite a reputation to live up to as well.

Through a Glass, Darkly is my first experience with Helen McCloy, although she’s on my radar for other much lauded titles such as A Cue for Murder and Mr Splitfoot.  This is the eight book with her series character Dr Basil Willing – a psychiatrist, not a detective.  Many reviewers consider it to be her masterpiece, although I’ve read a number of other reviews that consider several of her other works to be superior.

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