Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Blonde Died First -- Dana Chambers


You don't hear much about Dana Chambers these days. In fact, you don't hear anything at all, and Chambers isn't mentioned in any of the reference books I have handy. But in the 1940s, Chambers was a prolific and well-reviewed writer of medium-boiled mysteries. The Blonde Died First is narrated in the first person by Jim Steele, who's supposedly a successful script writer for radio, though we just have to take his word for it. There's nothing in the novel to prove it. Steele is a series character, and this isn't his first appearance. I gather that he was a pretty successful spy at one time since he has the Medal of Honor. But in this one, he's just a guy trying to solve a couple of murders, including that of the blonde of the title. (The title, by the way, is a clue.) Most of the book takes place on a cruise ship, and there's quite a bit of action, a complicated plot, and Steele's smooth narration to carry you along. Things get really kinky by the end of the book, surprisingly so, I thought, for a novel published in the '40s, but maybe I'm just naive. I have a couple of other books by Dana Chambers, and I guess it's time I read them. Posted by Hello

5 comments:

Hardluck Writer said...

Things go far beyond kinky (sado-masochism, necrophilism) in Solomon Vineyard's, written 1941.

Bill said...

True. I was just forgetful.

Anonymous said...

The only Chambers book I have is They Can't All Be Guilty. These are pretty hard to find.

The Passing Tramp said...

http://thepassingtramp.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-country-house-mystery-shaken-and.html

Wow, Bill, you beat me to this author by eight years! Good call.

Bill Crider said...

I saw your post today. I still haven't read the other books I have by Chambers, though.