In Murder for Two, Flash Casey is upset that he can’t join the military and agrees to teach a photography class for the American Women’s Volunteer Services. One of his students wants to tag along and her father happens to be an investor in The Morning Express, so Casey has no choice but to let her tag along as he visits crusading reporter Rosalind Taylor. Things get complicated when Taylor gets murdered and Casey and his student find themselves in the thick of the action.
This was a fun read. There were some nice uses of cutting-edge photographic methods of the time, along with a pretty complex mystery with its fair share of red herrings. It also had a really good two-fisted action scene that I adored. Casey’s a lovable character with a gruff exterior who loves his job and goes above and beyond to do right by others but is also not someone you want to mess with. I don’t think the mystery quite has the breadth or depth of the first Casey Novel, Silent are the Dead. (review) While Silent are the Dead was originally serialized over three issues of Black Mask Magazine, Murder for Two was only done over two.
The book uses standard tropes of detective fiction and most of the characters are pretty basic, but within those confines, it’s well-crafted by someone who knew what he was doing. This is great if you want a fun and breezy World War II-era detective novel that provides a clever-enough mystery, a dash of romance, and a character you can’t help but cheer for.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5