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Mystery Monday Review – The Hog Murders

The Hog Murders by William L DeAndrea

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

 

This impossible crime mystery is set in snowy Sparta, New York, which classics-minded readers will immediately identify as Syracuse, which is notorious for its two seasons of winter and July. A vicious creature calling himself Hog claims the credit for a series of deaths among victims who have no relationship with each other. The local police are so flummoxed that the city decides to call in a world-famous criminologist, Dr. Niccolo Benedetti .

 

Benedetti enlists the services of his former student, Ron Gentry, a local private detective, and the police inspector Fleisher. In the true tradition of the impossible crime mystery there are red herrings and clues to mystery spread generously about.  The reveal genuinely surprised me. The relationship between Benedetti  and Ron will call to mind Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.

 

This novel won an Edgar award for Best Paperback Original Mystery in 1980. DeAndrea had won a Best First Novel  Edgar previously for Killed in the Ratings. And he won one after for a reference book called Encyclopedia Mysteriosa.  DeAndrea was only 44 when he passed away in 1996. His wife was mystery writer Jane Haddam.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

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