As far as I know, this Fredric Brown novel hasn't been reprinted since the 1953 paperback release. There's a good reason for that. It's regarded as one of Brown's lesser efforts. I've had it on my shelves for nearly 40 years, and before this week I'd never read it.
It has a promising start. The narrator, Rod Britten, has amnesia. His grandmother's been murdered, and he thinks he might have killed her. Even when the cops prove he couldn't have been the killer, he worries about it. Nothing new there, but the back cover of the book promises "a hammering, hard-driving murder." It is to laugh. I wonder if it's too late to sue for false blurbage. I haven't read a book that plods like this one in a long time. It's almost all talk, with no action at all. It's less about the murder than about Britten's attempt to recover his memory and reconnect with his ex-wife, and nothing happens for page after page.
There's a pretty good twist near the end, but by that time, you might have lost interest. I almost did, but Brown's style, even in a book like this one, flows so well that I kept on reading. And the title almost makes sense (don't be thinking Orient Express, though). I found the morality of the ending questionable at best, but what the heck. I can't really recommend the book. It's another forgotten novel that might just as well remain that way.
Oh, and that's not grandma on the cover, in case you were wondering. It's not anybody in the book, as far as I can tell, but at least the cover makes up for some of the book's shortcomings.
Update: Here's a good article on Brown by Bud Webster. All his "Past Masters" columns are worth a read.