"Phoebe Atwood Taylor can get more fun into a detective story than any writer at present producing, and with all the fun there is a mystery that is baffling for its own sake."—The New York Times
MURDER ON THE CAPE
The best-selling novelist is dead in the summer house.
The millionaire is in the pillory in the town square.
The village idiot is guarding him with a twenty-foot bullwhip.
The bridge champion is under arrest for stealing his own car.
The doctor is trying to get everyone in sight jailed for murder.
Dale Sanborn had as many visitors the night he was killed as if he'd been the most popular man on Cape Cod. One of them killed him—that was sure. The only trouble was, any of them could have—and all of them wanted to.
Ginger, Miss Prue's cat, ran into Dale Sanborn's shack. When Miss Prudence cautiously entered, Ginger was lapping oil from a sardine tin that lay next to the corpse of a celebrated novelist.
When the local sheriff rounded up his suspects, they included Bill Porter, the millionaire who lived in Wellfleet because he hated cities and loved Miss Prue's niece, Betsey; Johnny Kurth, and his divorced wife, both of whom tried to wangle invitations for the same weekend; and Betsey's college friend who had hair like a chrysanthemum.
But Asey Mayo, Bill Porter's man of all work, a lean old Cape Codder whose maxim was "Common Sense," puts his sharp wits to work to save Bill from being indicted. For the sheriff was so convinced of Bill's guilt that he put him into the pillory the town made for its tercentenary celebration. Asey Mayo is an unusual type of detective. His observations are sage and his humor is infectious.
(above from the jacket)
New York Herald Tribune: "Asey Mayo stories are always full of salty flavor with corking characters. More detective stories should be like those of Phoebe Atwood Taylor."
The suspect chart is included in this edition.
Length: approximately 74000 words.
Phoebe Atwood Taylor (1909 --1976) published over 30 mystery novels featuring either Asey Mayo (the Codfish Sherlock) or Leonidas Witherall (nicknamed "Bill Shakespeare" due to a more-than-passing resemblance to the Bard). Taylor lived almost her entire life in Massachusetts, giving her a familiarity with local geography and culture that is reflected in her always-charming mysteries.