DESIGN FOR MURDER by Percival Wilde


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Inquest established this well-known playwright as a fabricator of sharply individually patterned mystery yarns. In this, his third venture, he again presents us with an urbane and ingenious departure from precedent in two incorrect solutions of a murder (with the third, and right one, an appended confession, never released, save to the reader). A houseparty, oddly chosen when one views the emotional entanglements involved, decides to play the game of murder. Result -- the victim, selected by lot, actually becomes a victim. And the party turns into a corps of self-constituted detectives, and reach solution number one, almost immediately proved wrong by the discovery of another dead r. Enter professionals -- and they arrive at another solution -- murder followed by suicide. Wrong again (but the verdict stands). The action of the story is implicit in the evidence, as each of several guests contributes his version of the events. A good deal of smart-alecky dialogue, sophisticated backtalk, intellectualized analysis-and little action. For the jaded palate.

Publisher: Random House