Having Wonderful Crime (1943), the seventh installment of Craig Rice's John J. Malone and Jake and Helene Justus mystery series, ended an impressive streak for Rice. While seven Malone/Justus novels appeared between 1939 and 1943, none appeared in 1944, then one in 1945 and one in 1948.
After that there was a long drought before the publication of two additional Malone/Justus novels, My Kingdom for a Hearse (1956) and Knocked for a Loop (1957), the latter published the year of Rice's untimely death at the age of 49.
I reviewed Rice's The Fourth Postman (1948) here last year. I enjoyed that mystery, though I detected some signs the Rice's liquor-n-laughs formula was getting thin (as was the author's hold on anything approaching sobriety). What did I think of Crime, published five years earlier (and which, oddly, alludes to the later postman murders as an earlier case)?
Check in this weekend and see. At least I hope! I am winding up indexing for Mysteries Unlocked and am running a bit behind on the blog. I also am planning to get a review posted, finally, of one of my very favorite Rex Stouts, And Be a Villain (now running a week behind on that one!). At least I feel the essays in Mysteries Unlocked are looking pretty darn good! More on that next week.