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Books, Reviews

The Late Lamented, by Fredric Brown

11.19.08 | Comment?

I’m a big fan of Fredric Brown’s work, though I’ve read a lot more of his short stories than his novels. The Late Lamented is the third novel I’ve read in his Ed & Am Hunter private eye series, and I have to say, it really sucked.

As the story opens, the Hunter & Hunter detective agency has been hired by another private eye named Starlock to do a little investigating. It seems that the recently deceased treasurer of a small city outside of Chicago has been found to have embezzled almost fifty thousand dollars. Starlock thinks the man’s daughter may know something about the money, but he can’t very well investigate her himself, since he’s just given her a job.

So Ed is assigned to move into the daughter’s boarding house and get to know her a little better. Which he does, in spades.

And not to damn much else happens. The first 120 pages are so are just a build-up, with not much development at all. In the last 30 pages there’s a lot going on, but it wasn’t enough. It’s a shame, too, because Fred Brown has written books that have very twisty, inventive plots, but this was just a snooze. Not recommended.

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