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Elliot Paul

Paul: The Black Gardenia

Paul: The Black Gardenia

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The Black Gardenia is quite a book. Elliot Paul undoubtedly had a wonderful time writing it, and in addition to the usual mystery has made it a vehicle for a lot of good English and a lot of interesting information about mysterious Javanese plants, customs, and poisons. And, we might as well say right now, you as a reader will be [thoroughly] mixed up as to who dunit until very near the last page. Suffice it to say that three persons die of very perplexing causes before the suave Homer Evans, detective extraordinary, and his partner, Finke Maguire, are able to bring the murderer to justice. In the meantime, you mix into a lot of Hollywood life, including the Brown Derby, Mike Romanoff, famous chefs and bartenders and assorted movie moguls, millionaires and morons. The story revolves around the ambition of the Black Gardenia, a beautiful Mexican swimmer, to become a movie star. This ambition innocently sets off a train of intrigue which results in the killings and many times as much suspicion of one and another. Elliot Paul’s latest adventure of Homer Evans may not be so famous as his Murder on the Left Bank, but it is high above the average mystery and it is a pleasure to read it. (Syracuse, NY, Post Standard)


First published in 1952.

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