Friday, November 13, 2009

Forgotten Books: THE CASE OF THE DANCING SANDWICHES -- Fredric Brown

After the disappointment of last week's read, I thought I should give Fredric Brown another try. The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches isn't exactly forgotten. It's just not easy to find. It's a Dell 10-Cent book, and it's one of the more expensive in the series. The cheapest copy on Abebooks is $100. The hardcover reprint from Dennis McMillan is even more. You could probably find a copy of the Summer 1950 issue of Mystery Book Magazine, where the story first appeared, for a lot less.

All that aside, this one's a lot better than We All Killed Grandma. Carl Dixon meets a man who calls himself Vic Tremaine. Tremaine seems like a nice guy, and he and his sister treat Carl to a night on the town. Carl enjoys himself, and he's feeling romantic about the sister. Things, of course, are not what they seem, and before he knows it, Carl is in prison, convicted of murder.

It's all part of a clever plot (based on things that are certainly dated) that's eventually untangled by Carl's finacee and a cop she asks for advice. All I'm going to say is that the title is a clue. This one's a satisfying read.

10 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Glad things turned out better.

Jerry House said...

The Dennis McMillan edition not only has the original novelette, but also the unfinished novel Brown was expanding from the original story.

Jerry House said...

BTW, the original novella is also available in the collection Carnival of Crime -- a much more accessible volume.

Laurie Powers said...

I have to read this just because of the title.

Cullen Gallagher said...

I don't think this is Brown's best book, but it certainly lives up to the title. Just remembering how he works it in makes me eager to re-read it.

Anonymous said...

And the cover is certainly -- um -- memorable. Doug Greene

popeviagra said...

I forgot how great the cover is on that DELL ten-center!

Todd Mason said...

Obviously the art director asked for an image to make one wonder about the nature of the Sandwiches in question...

Howard said...

Bill, really enjoy these mini reviews. Introduces me to a lot of stuff I'm unfamiliar with.

JZID said...

Coincidentally, I've been working my way chronologically through Fredric Brown's works and just happened to have read this one, in "Carnival of Crime" this past week as well. I will have to read about the Fredric Brown you didn't like, because from my experience, even his lesser titles have had merit. I've come to assume you can't go wrong with a Fredric Brown novel - which is why he is one of the few authors that I've been working my way through his books chronologically! (By the way, I cheated and read the whole Hunter series first.)