Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

This week our American Mystery Classic feature spotlights Frances and Richard Lockridge. If you haven't read any of their books, give them a shot. They are a bit hard to find, but well worth the effort!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Distinctly of An Era

Read the full text here: http://goodolebooks.com/Lockridge.html


The books of Frances and Richard Lockridge
Comments by Mark Johnson

Pam and Jerry North, Merton and Susan Heimrich, Nathan and Rose Shapiro, John Stein, Tony Cook, Bernie Simmons, Bill and Dorian Weigand. If you know these people then you probably understand the title of this page.

Frances and Richard Lockridge spent 40+ years creating and expanding the palpable universe in which the characters named above, lived, loved and solved murder cases. From 1940's 
The Norths Meet Murder until Mrs. Lockridge's death in 1963, they were an incredibly consistent and prolific team. [There was an earlier book published in 1936 titled simply "Mr. & Mrs. North". It was a compilation of numerous North stories that appeared in The New Yorker throughout the 1930's.] I have read that she plotted the books and he wrote them. Whatever the division of labor, the end result was some of the most enjoyable adult detective fiction I have ever read.

Information about the Lockridges and their books is somewhat spotty. Here I will attempt to pass along what information I have found as well as tha
t which I have personally researched. 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Richard-&-Frances-Lockridge.html

 

Richard & Frances Lockridge

Written by Richard and Frances:

MR. & MRS. NORTH MYSTERY Series:
Main Character: Jerry North, Book Publisher

 

Mr. and Mrs. North  '36  (Written by Richard)
The Norths Meet Murder  '40
Murder Out of Turn  '41
A Pinch of Poison  '41
Death on the Aisle  '42
Death Takes a Bow  '43
Hanged for a Sheep  '44
Killing the Goose  '44
Murder Within Murder  '46
Untidy Murder  '47
Payoff for the Banker  '48
Murder Is Served  '48
Death of a Tall Man  '49
The Dishonest Murderer  '49
Murder in a Hurry  '50
Murder Comes First  '51
Dead as a Dinosaur  '52
Death Has a Small Voice  '53
Curtain for a Jester  '53
A Key for Death  '54
Death of an Angel  '55
Voyage into Violence  '56
The Long Skeleton  '58
Murder Is Suggested  '59
The Judge Is Reversed  '60
Murder Has Its Points  '61
Murder by the Book  '63
 
CAPTAIN HEIMRICH Series:
Main Character: Merton Heimrich, Lieutenant, New York State Police
 
I Want to Go Home  '48
Spin Your Web, Lady!  '49
Foggy, Foggy Death  '50
A Client Is Cancelled  '51
Death by Association  '52
Stand Up and Die  '53
Death and the Gentle Bull  '54
Burnt Offering  '55
Let Dead Enough Alone  '56
Practice to Deceive  '57
Accent on Murder  '58
Show Red for Danger  '60
With One Stone  '61
First Come, First Kill  '62
The Distant Clue  '63
Murder Can't Wait  '64 (This, and following books in series written by Richard alone)
Murder Roundabout  '66
With Option to Die  '67
A Risky Way to Kill  '69
Inspector's Holiday  '71
Not I, Said the Sparrow  '73
Dead Run  '76
The Tenth Life  '77


Crime for Two  '55
The Faceless Adversary  '56
The Tangled Cord  '57
Catch as Catch Can  '58
The Innocent House  '59
Murder and Blueberry Pie  '59
The Golden Man  '60
And Left for Dead  '61
The Drill Is Death  '61
The Ticking Clock  '62
The Devious Ones  '64


 

Written by Richard Lockridge:
PAUL LANE Series:
Main Character: Paul Lane, Detective, New York

 

Think of Death  '47 
Night of Shadows  '62
Quest of the Bogeyman  '64
Squire of Death  '65
A Plate of Red Herrings  '68
Twice Retired  '70
Something up a Sleeve  '72
Death on the Hour  '74
 

Death in the Mind  '45 (Written w/ George Hoben Estabrooks)
A Matter of Taste  '49
The Proud Cat  '51
The Lucky Cat  '53
The Nameless Cat  '54
The Cat Who Rode Cows  '55
Murder for Art's Sake  '67
Murder in False-Face  '68
Die Laughing  '69 
Troubled Journey  '70
Preach No More  '71
Death in a Sunny Place  '71
Write Murder Down  '72
Or Was He Pushed?  '75
A Streak of Light  '76
The Old Die Young  '80

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

http://goodolebooks.com/lockridgetitlelist.html

 

Books by Frances and Richard Lockridge

 

Only books that are in my personal collection (87 titles as of 3/29/06) are listed below. I am aware of other titles but will not list them until I have a copy in my possession. I have divided this list into the various sub-series. Some books are not part of a sub-set and are listed under MISC. Naturally. 

After the title and copyright date I have added a few personal comments about some of the books.

 

Only books that are in my personal collection (87 titles as of 3/29/06) are listed below. I am aware of other titles but will not list them until I have a copy in my possession. I have divided this list into the various sub-series. Some books are not part of a sub-set and are listed under MISC. Naturally. 

After the title and copyright date I have added a few personal comments about some of the books.


http://goodolebooks.com/lockridgetitlelist.html

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Pam and Jerry North: Married Sleuths by Frances and Richard Lockridge

Profile at MysteryNet.com: "The Norths Meet Murder" by Charles L. P. Silet

Between 1940 and 1963 the husband and wife team of Frances and Richard Lockridge published more than forty mystery novels featuring the exploits of Pam and Jerry North. The series proved to be enormously successful, spinning off a movie starring George Burns and Gracie Allen, a long-running (162 performances) play on Broadway, a radio drama which lasted for thirteen years, and a popular television show, with Richard Demming and Barbara Britton, which aired for two years. Of the small number of married sleuths in the history of crime fiction, the Norths had the longest sustained series, which ended only with of the death of Frances Lockridge in 1963.

The characters were originally invented by Richard for some vignettes he wrote for the New York Sun during the early thirties and which he later resurrected in the short domestic comedies he contributed to The New Yorker, by which time the Norths had acquired their full names but not yet their abilities as amateur detectives. A collection of the stories was published in 1936 as Mr. and Mrs. North. The crime novels originated when Frances Lockwood started writing a mystery during one summer vacation. Stuck on a plot complication she called on her husband for help and the writing team was launched. Because the Norths already had some name recognition, the Lockridges decided to use Pam and Jerry as their central characters and retain the humorous tone and the playful interaction between the couple from the earlier stories. The first Mr. and Mrs. North mystery, The Norths Meet Murder, was published in 1940.

The Norths Meet Murder opens as Jerry arrives home from his office at a publishing house and finds Pam organizing a party in the vacant apartment on the top floor of their brownstone. The empty flat can provide the space to dance to the radio--the novel retains a certain Depression-era flavor--and to set up a bar that their second floor flat lacks. Since their landlady, Mrs. Bruno, is having trouble leasing the place, she has left the door unlocked in order to allow prospective renters to look it over. So when Pam and Jerry go upstairs to plan the arrangements for the party, they are able to walk right in. However, on their way out they look into the bathroom and discover the corpse of a man with his head bashed in lying naked in the bath tub.

The discovery of the murder disrupts the domestic tranquillity of the Norths and launches the crime story but also sets the tone, provides the format, and introduces the characters which will define the future books. The police officers who are called in to investigate are Bill Weigand and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Aloysius Clarence Mullins. They form a smart cop, dumb cop duo and are featured in the cases throughout the series. In the later books they are joined by Merton Heimrich, of the New York State Police, and Nathan Shapiro, a lieutenant from the homicide squad. The narrative of the plot is carefully detailed in chapters with specific time limits--"8:00 A.M. to noon"--over the five days of the investigation. Many of the subsequent Mr. and Mrs. North books are carefully limited by such a time scheme. By the end of The Norths Meet Murder Pam and Jerry have proved to be resilient and clever detectives in their own right, and they aid the police in solving the crime.

The Mr. and Mrs. North novels contain carefully crafted puzzles and the Lockridges usually play fair with their readers. The series also features Pam and Jerry's warmly humorous domestic environment and the couple's witty exchanges with the duller members of the police force. Although the Norths remain the focus of the series, the books contain a good deal of political and social commentary, a richly detailed look at the changing life in New York City, as well as, glimpses of the outlying suburban counties. Also, the North's stable marriage relationship presents a marked contrast--and a welcome one--to the traditions of the lone detective characteristic of much other American mystery fiction.

Even though the Mr. and Mrs. North novels now may appear overly deliberate in their pacing, they still prove wonderful reading as mysteries, and the glimpses they provide of our past social history give them a nostalgic and authentic period flavor. Aficionados of classic crime fiction have always appreciated this long-running series, and new readers should be encouraged to discover this witty and charming couple.

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

http://gadetection.pbworks.com/w/page/7930958/Lockridge,%20Frances%20and%20Richard

 

Frances Louise Lockridge (1896-1963) nee Davis, and her husband Richard Orson Lockridge (1898-1982) became detective writers almost by accident when they developed two Thurberesque characters from newspaper vignettes and radio situation comedy - Mr and Mrs North, modelled on themselves - into the protagonists in a detective novel, The Norths Meet Murder (1940). From there they went on to write more than forty other books about the Norths, usually aided by their long-sufferering friend, New York Lieutenant Bill Weigand. The North books blend witty family cross-talk with classic detection; the other series are slightly more serious, but all of them have that lightness of touch which characterises the Golden Age cosy.

 

Richard Lockridge was born in Missouri and saw naval service in 1918. He married Frances in 1922 and became a journalist and ultimately drama critic of the New York Sun. He also wrote non-fiction. After Frances' death he married his agent, Hildegarde Dolson. Frances Lockridge was born in Kansas City Missouri and educated at the University of Kansas. Before her marriage she was a reporter and music critic for the Kansas City Post.

 

The North series was enormously successful, spinning off a movie starring George Burns and Gracie Allen, a long-running play on Broadway, a radio drama which lasted for thirteen years, and a popular television show, with Richard Demming and Barbara Britton, which aired for two years. Of the small number of married sleuths in the history of crime fiction, the Norths had the longest sustained series.

 

Their series characters were Mr and Mrs North, Lieutenant Bill Wiegand, Paul Lane, Nathan Shapiro, Bernard Simmons and Captain Merton Heimrich. They also wrote a juvenile fiction series about a cat.

 

Mike Grost on the Lockridges

 

The Lockridges are intuitionist detective writers. Their most famous detectives, the husband and wife team Pam and Jerry North, are classic amateur detectives, people who stumble into crimes and solve them through brain power, in the intuitionist tradition. Their police allies use sheer brain power too, not leg work to solve crimes. Inspector Bill Weigand looks first for discrepancies among suspects' testimony, in the early stage of an investigation. Later, when he has acquired a lot of facts, he tries to find the underlying pattern in the crimes. These methods are profoundly intuitionist. They involve reasoning, analysis, and attempts to shape facts into ideas and structures.

 

Mr. and Mrs. North books have several features of the Van Dine tradition. They are set in New York City, amid the upper middle classes. The characters are sophisticated. Many of the characters are intellectuals. Their novels feature murder mysteries among the same sort of literati one finds in Ngaio Marsh or Van Dine. Several of the books are set in the theater, always a Van Dine school favorite locale. The Norths have a relationship with a friendly police officer, Bill Wiegand, that recalls many other amateur detective- New York police alliances, such as Philo Vance and the DA, Ellery Queen and Inspector Queen, and Hildegarde Withers' friendship with Inspector Piper in Stuart Palmer's books. There is a continuing cast of police characters that recur from book to book, as in many of the Van Dine school writers. Many of the killings are bizarre, or use unusual murder methods, in the Van Dine school style. There is lots of intensive analysis on the murder scene after a crime, also a favorite Van Dine tradition. "Death on a Foggy Morning" (1955) contains that Ellery Queen favorite, a dying message.

 

The biggest strength of the North novels are the people in them. Pam and Jerry North are appealing human beings, and so are most of the suspects in the story. Unlike some detective authors, who mainly write about nasty characters, the denizens of a North tale tend to be civilized, intelligent, decent people. They are people whom one would love to know in real life.

 

"The Accusing Smoke" (1959) is a pleasant mystery story. The story is not fair play - the reader does not have enough facts to deduce the murderer - nor do the police actually solve the crime through their detective work. Rather, the murderer makes a Fatal Mistake that trips him up at the end of the story. In this, the tale resembles the version of Inverted Crime story that was popular in both the pulps and the slicks in the US, ones in which some miscalculation by the killer exposes an otherwise perfect crime. This miscalculation is supposed to be ingenious, and is often based on science: both of these are true in the Lockridges' tale. Unlike these inverted tales, in "The Accusing Smoke" we do not see the crime committed or know who the killer is in advance - the story has the format of a standard whodunit mystery tale. All of this is mixed in with the sort of milieu we expect in a Van Dine school tale, with a setting among art world people living upper middle class lives near New York City.

 

Bibliography

 

Mr and Mrs North (1936) {not detection}

The Norths Meet Murder {aka Mr & Mrs North Meet Murder} (1940)

Murder Out of Turn (1941)

A Pinch of Poison (1941)

Death on the Aisle (1941)

Hanged for a Sheep (1942)

Death Takes a Bow (1943)

Killing the Goose (1944)

Payoff for the Banker (1945)

Death of a Tall Man (1946)

Murder Within Murder (1946)

Untidy Murder (1947)

Think of Death (1947)

Murder Is Served {aka A Taste for Murder} (1948)

I Want to Go Home (1948)

The Dishonest Murderer (1949)

Spin Your Web, Lady (1949)

Murder in a Hurry (1950)

Foggy, Foggy Death (1950)

Murder Comes First (1951)

A Client Is Cancelled (1951)

Dead As a Dinosaur (1952)

Death by Association {aka Trial by Terror} (1952)

Curtain for a Jester (1953)

Death Has a Small Voice (1953)

Stand Up and Die (1953)

A Key to Death (1954)

Death and the Gentle Bull {aka Killer in the Straw} (1954)

Death of an Angel {aka Mr & Mrs North and the Poisoned Playboy} (1955)

Burnt Offering (1955)

The Faceless Adversary {aka Case of the Murdered Redhead} (1956)

Voyage Into Violence (1956)

Let Dead Enough Alone (1956)

The Tangled Cord (1957)

Practise to Deceive (1957)

Catch As Catch Can (1958)

The Long Skeleton (1958)

Accent on Murder (1958)

The Innocent House (1959)

Murder and Blueberry Pie {aka Call It Coincidence} (1959)

Murder Is Suggested (1959)

The Golden Man (1960)

The Judge Is Reversed (1960)

Show Red for Danger (1960)

The Drill Is Death (1961)

Murder Has Its Points (1961)

With One Stone {aka No Dignity in Death} (1961)

And Left for Dead (1962)

Night of Shadows (1962)

The Ticking Clock (1962)

First Come, First Kill (1962)

Murder by the Book (1963)

The Distant Clue (1963)

The Devious Ones {aka Four Hours to Fear} (1964)

Quest for the Bogeyman (1964)

 

Richard Lockridge alone

 

Death in the Mind {with GH Estabrooks} (1945)

A Matter of Taste (1949)

Murder Can't Wait (1964)

Squire of Death (1965)

Murder Roundabout (1966)

Murder for Art's Sake (1967)

With Option to Die (1967)

Murder in False-Face (1968)

A Plate of Red Herrrings (1968)

Die Laughing (1969)

A Risky Way to Kill (1969)

Troubled Journey (1970)

Twice Retired (1970)

Death in a Sunny Place (1971)

Inspector's Holiday (1971)

Preach No More (1971)

Something Up a Sleeve (1972)

Write Murder Down (1972)

Not I, Said the Sparrow (1973)

Death on the Hour (1974)

Or Was He Pushed? (1975)

Dead Run (1976)

A Streak of Light (1976)

The Tenth Life (1977)

The Old Die Young (1980)

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Dust jacket photo for CATS AND PEOPLE, Frances, Richard, and Martini.

Pam and Jerry North owned a memorable series of cats during the 23 years they romped through mystery upon mystery. Pictured above are Frances and Richard Lockridge, proving that their feline storylines were based on years of in home research.

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

I'll add to this post tomorrow and throughout the week. I'm out of town and not on the computer much right now, so please feel free to add any links you may find related to these authors, their books and the movies and TV shows based on their characters. Thanks!

Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Wow Becke! I didn't realize that they wrote so many books! I have found 4 of their books at Thrift Shops. I have DEATH OF AN ANGEL, VOYAGE INTO VIOLENCE, MURDER IS SUGGESTED and MURDER HAS ITS POINTS.

 

This weekend I read DEATH OF AN ANGEL. I really enjoyed it. I had to read a little slower because of the language and phasing which was a little bit different than the way we speak now but I did enjoy it. I plan on reading the other books too! 

 

Thanks for educating us about these old time authors! I am really enjoying reading their books!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge


eadieburke wrote:

Wow Becke! I didn't realize that they wrote so many books! I have found 4 of their books at Thrift Shops. I have DEATH OF AN ANGEL, VOYAGE INTO VIOLENCE, MURDER IS SUGGESTED and MURDER HAS ITS POINTS.

 

This weekend I read DEATH OF AN ANGEL. I really enjoyed it. I had to read a little slower because of the language and phasing which was a little bit different than the way we speak now but I did enjoy it. I plan on reading the other books too! 

 

Thanks for educating us about these old time authors! I am really enjoying reading their books!


I didn't realize they wrote so many books, either. I'd read a bunch of them when I was young, but nowhere near all of them. Even though they're a bit dated, that adds to the fun of reading them. A lot of them are available used here at B&N - I didn't post the links to them all because so few of them had cover images.

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Here are some of the old covers - I love the vintage ones!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Scribe
ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,530
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

becke_davis, Wow, that is quite a lot of books. I don't want to insult them but them kind of remind me of the Nancy Drew books I read when I was a kid and a teen.

 

They have the look. I hope that is not an insult.

 

I must see if I can get some.

 

I am going to see if I can find some for my Nook.

 

ReadingPatti

Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

I have never heard of the Lockridges before and have not been able to find any books by them at used book stores. The Norths must have been like the Tuppences of Agatha Christie fame. I hope to find a book by them and read about them. The couple sound very interesting.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge


ReadingPatti wrote:

becke_davis, Wow, that is quite a lot of books. I don't want to insult them but them kind of remind me of the Nancy Drew books I read when I was a kid and a teen.

 

They have the look. I hope that is not an insult.

 

I must see if I can get some.

 

I am going to see if I can find some for my Nook.

 

ReadingPatti


They were originally written a long time ago, but they're still very entertaining. I think you'd like them!

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge


maxcat wrote:

I have never heard of the Lockridges before and have not been able to find any books by them at used book stores. The Norths must have been like the Tuppences of Agatha Christie fame. I hope to find a book by them and read about them. The couple sound very interesting.


Hi Max - Barnes & Noble has quite a few used copies:

 

Norths Meet Murder (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder Is Served (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Cats and People 

Dead as a Dinosaur (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder within Murder (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

The Dishonest Murderer (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Death of a Tall Man (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Payoff for the Banker (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Pinch of Poison (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Killing the Goose (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Hanged for a Sheep 

Death Takes a Bow (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder out of Turn (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Death on the Aisle (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

The Norths Meet Murder 

Murder out of Turn (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Curtain for a Jester (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Death Takes a Bow (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Voyage into Violence (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Dead as a Dinosaur (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Long Skeleton (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

And Left for Dead 

Murder Has Its Points (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Voyage into Violence 

Death of an Angel (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder by the Book (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder Is Served (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Judge Is Reversed (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder in a Hurry (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder within Murder (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder Comes First 

Murder Is Suggested (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Accent on Murder (An Inspector Heimrich Mystery) 

Untidy Murder (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Curtain for a Jester (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Murder by the Book (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Let Dead Enough Alone (An Inspector Heimrich Mystery) 

Catch as Catch Can 

Key to Death (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery) 

Judge Is Reversed (A Mr. and Mrs. North Mystery)                                         

Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: American Mystery Classics: Frances Lockridge and Richard Lockridge

Wow, I had no idea they had written so many books, either!  Or that they had series other than the Norths.  I had read four of their Mr. & Mrs. North mysteries years ago, and really enjoyed them.  I no longer have that book, so I was really happy that one of my Got Books selections was a 'Giant Mystery Reader', that has two novels, including one North story, six short stories by great mystery writers, and two true-crime stories.  I really enjoyed getting to know the Norths again.  They love to socialize, and the drinks really flow!  Their three Siamese are named Martini, Gin, and Sherry, and have very distinct personalities.  I see that the Lockridges also had Siamese.

 

The novel I read was called Murder in a Hurry.  Jerry North is planning on doing some kind of book (it's never really explained), and their policeman friend Bill Weigand's wife Dorian has recommended a young woman to do the illustrations.  She sketches the Norths' cats, and needs to also do some other cats, so she is going to sketch a kitten at a pet store.  But she has an ulterior motive - the pet store owner is the somewhat estranged father of her boyfriend Brian.  Unfortunately, when she gets to the pet store, she finds the owner dead in one of the pens.  It turns out that he was an eccentric millionaire, who dislikes people, and so he lives by himself in a very modest way at the back of his store.  The family is full of suspects - his two children from his first marriage, their spouses, his much younger second wife, and their son Brian.  There is also an interesting theme of the names he gives the pets, which are out of Greek tragedy involving family murder.  The heroine finds herself suspecting Brian, so their relationship suffers.

 

Pam North is a lot of fun - she appears quite scatterbrained, and tends to just blurt out whatever she is thinking, which doesn't always immediately appear relevant.  She also tends to speak in partial sentences, so the dialogue can be challenging to follow (in a good way).  I thought it was interesting that not only Jerry, but also Bill Weigand seems to manage to understand her.  She will say half a sentence, and Bill will reply as if he understands exactly what she means.  She has great instincts.  As I mentioned, the book I just read, Death Comes Silently, by Carolyn Hart, refers to Pam North.  It's not just a brief mention, like the books that Annie is selling in her store, but when Annie says something that doesn't seem to make sense, her friend Henny tells her that she is like Pam North.  Later, there is a similar scene, and Annie protests that she is not like Pam (although I guess she is!), so it becomes kind of a running joke.

 

It is such a shame that these books are no longer readily available.  They are fun, challenging, and I think the Norths could find a lot of new fans.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia