this is the 68th in my series of forgotten books
The Mouse in the Mountain by Norbert Davis © 1943, Rue Morgue Press 2001 trade paper, mystery featuring Doan & Carstairs
It’s 1943, World War II is fully under way. Doan is a P.I. and he’s well known and is respected or feared – mostly feared – throughout the United States and Mexico. He’s in Mexico on a hunt, but what is he hunting? Is it the man he says he wants to convince to stay in exile, or the art thief or perhaps he’s really just enjoying his time with the innocent, pretty Janet Martin. In any case, the other people on the Tourist Bus headed for Los Altos also each have a reason for going to the sleepy Mexican town, and tourism has little to do with it.
Captain Emile Perona, a Mexican policeman, also has an agenda, he’s focused on catching a long-time adversary, if only he can find him. The man is somewhere in the town, he just has to be, but where? An elaborate trap is accidently sprung by Doan which infuriates Perona. Things go downhill from there pretty quickly as a major earthquake causes damage, injury and death.
Doan and Carstairs, the very oversized Great Dane, are wonderful characters, and if you’re thinking “oh no, a dog mystery” think again. That’s not Norbert Davis’ style and we get a lightly hard-boiled story and plot, enjoyable characters, a good solid sense of place, humor and a satisfying conclusion, all in a compact 151 pages. Bravo!
This is the first of the three Doan and Carstairs books, and I’m glad I bought them all.
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links to all of the Forgotten Book posts can be found on Patti Abbott’s blog, Pattinase