Murder at the New York Stock Exchange! And not just one dead stockbroker but two! Both men, it is soon learned, were mysteriously poisoned, much to the irritation of the man in charge of the case, the sardonic Inspector Bullock. "Don't tell me it's a strange, oriental poison known only to the high priests of an obscure tribe in the upper Himalayas," he wisecracks. "Don't tell me that, 'cause I'm way behind on my Fu-Manchu stories." Inspector Bullock scoffs at Great Detectives like Philo Vance and Drury Lane ("those mincing, namby-pamby, know-it-alls"), but he soon finds himself confronting one of those fiendishly complicated murder problems that so delight fans of Golden Age detective fiction. Willoughby Sharp, the son of a stockbroker who in the 1890s had clerked for J. P. Morgan, had himself held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange between 1925 and 1931 and knew his subject down to the ground. This authentic background knowledge greatly enriches Murder of the Honest Broker, as does the author's "sharp" sense of humor and his deftness at constructing an ingenious murder puzzle. "An amusing yarn and a puzzling one," declared the New York Times Book Review back in 1934, when the novel was originally published. Modern readers will surely agree.
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