Friday, April 18, 2014
The Corpse Wore a Wig (1940), by George Bagby
Close to half Stein's crime novels, written under the name "George Bagby," detail the investigations of Inspector Schmidt, who debuted in 1935 and made his final appearance in 1983. The Inspector Schmidt series offers an interesting combination of police procedural and "Great Detective" traditions, at least from what I have seen of the earlier novels.
Stein graduated from Princeton in 1927, got a job as the "antiques and decorations" editor for the New York Evening Post and a few years later published two modernist, stream-of-consciousness novels, Spirals (1930) and Her Body Speaks (1931), as well as the first George Bagby title, Bachelor's Wife (1932). He then shifted to crime writing with his first George Bagby mystery, Murder at the Piano (1935). I haven't read that book, but I am reading, and enjoying, Wig. I will have to full review up this weekend.