FFB: The Mouse in the Mountain

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.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

links to all of the Forgotten Book posts can be found on Patti Abbott’s blog, Pattinase

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in books, Friday Forgotten Book, mystery, reading, Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to FFB: The Mouse in the Mountain

  1. Cap'n Bob says:

    I got four of them, including this one, on my Kindle. Enjoyed them all.

  2. Evan Lewis says:

    There are only three novels, of course, but the Argosy novelette that introduced Doan & Carstairs, called “Holocaust House,” is available as a separate free “book” for Kindle and other electronic devices.

  3. Sounds good. I must check these out, I do have a weakness for PIs.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    The three books (the others are SALLY’S IN THE ALLEY and OH, MURDERER MINE) are all a lot of fun. They are short, fast paced and amusing and what more do you need?

  5. Richard says:

    Say, that’s what I should have put in my review, Jeff.

  6. Richard says:

    Thanks for that information, Evan, I didn’t know about the one for Kindle only.

  7. Charles Gramlich says:

    The cover of this really takes me back. It reminds me of so many books I read as a kid/teenager. I might read this one just for that reason.

  8. Richard says:

    It’s breezy, light and fun, Charles, and that cover comes close to depicting a scene in the book.

  9. John says:

    I remember this one! Excellent choice. What a great series. Davis fooled me with the least likely murderer, too. Sharp and funny. Makes me long for a Great Dane of my own. Nah, not really – I’d be in the poorhouse almost immediately trying to keep the giant thing fed properly. And thanks to Evan for the info on the original novellete now I’ll be hunting eBay and estate sales for that Argosy issue. Not an eBook fan.

  10. Richard says:

    Another fan of the books. Thanks, John, as I said, I’m not a fan of the e-book either. I wonder which issue of Argosy that was in?

  11. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I should add that I read them in the order that I was able to get them, not in order, and it does not really matter what order they are read.

  12. Evan Lewis says:

    “Holocaust House” appeared in Argosy in two parts: Nov 16 & Nov 23, 1940. I have part 1 for sure, and suspect part 2 is hiding somewhere in my storage unit. But I also have it in PDF and Word if anyone’s interested. delewis1@hotmail.com

  13. I have these books on my shelves. I need to sit down and read them after reading your fine review.

  14. Carl v. says:

    That sounds really entertaining, and I am taken by the cover. Does the story get into why, if the war is in full swing, he is not out fighting?

  15. michael says:

    Carl v., if my memory is correct (I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong), Carstairs (the dog) is in the service training dogs for the Marines and Doan is the only one who Carstairs will listen to. I do remember the question why he was not in the Army was a running gag in “Sally’s In the Alley”.

  16. Bill Crider says:

    Good pick. I’ve read two of these and enjoyed them a lot.

  17. Richard says:

    Carl, michael is correct about the reason, he is an “active duty” dog handler/trainer. However he has a good deal of time off to pursue P.I. cases for his agency.

    Evan, thanks. Thanks also to George for the compliment.

    John, looks like you’ve got two issues of Argosy to find if you want it in the original covers.

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