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Through a Glass, Darkly: Dr Basil Willing Investigates (Arcturus Crime Classics) (Crime Classics 3) [Paperback]

Helen McCloy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

15 Sep 2012 Crime Classics 3
Gisela von Hohenems joins the teaching staff of an exclusive girls' school in upstate New York, where she befriends fellow newcomer Faustina Coyle. But a climate of fear surrounds Faustina, and after several strange incidents which defy rational explanation, she is forced to resign. Gisela asks her fiance, detective-psychologist Dr Basil Willing, to investigate. A puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, Through a Glass, Darkly is one of McCloy's most widely admired novels. US mystery writer Helen McCloy (1904-94) was the first woman to serve as president of Mystery Writers of America. In addition to her Basil Willing series of 13 novels, she wrote a further 16 mysteries. She is widely regarded as one of the best detective writers to have come out of the United States. Elegantly written and plotted, her stories are enjoyable as well as satisfying.

Frequently Bought Together

Through a Glass, Darkly: Dr Basil Willing Investigates (Arcturus Crime Classics) (Crime Classics 3) + My Brother's Killer: Judged Best Detective Novel by Agatha Christie (Arcturus Crime Classics) (Crime Classics 3) + Who Saw Her Die?: An Inspector Tibbett Mystery (Arcturus Crime Classics) (Crime Classics 3)
Price For All Three: 18.52

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Ltd (15 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848588984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848588981
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mistress of psychological suspense. 27 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helen McCloy must surely be one of the best practitioner of the psychological suspense drama. Her books often have a theme of disturbed/morbid psychology which she knows a great deal about. Her characters are drawn from the upper strata of American society. She is very knowledgeable about the arts. This might all sound a bit heavy going but her style is effortless and you are drawn in and drawn along at once. This is one of her very best and features the psychiatrist Basil Willing. I am delighted that Arcturus are reprinting, would love to re-read them all. Highly recomended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McCloy gives us another satisfying puzzler 22 Mar 2005
By Ron - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Basil Willing tackles the case of a doppleganger involved in murder, and meets his future wife in the bargain.

From the Dell paperback edition: "Strange, evil happenings and an aura of impending doom weigh heavily on a beautiful girl who is the unfortunate victim of a terror-filled existence. The bizarre events are seemingly supernatural to all persons but Dr. Basil Willing. He follows a murderer's trail through the worlds of spirit and legend and back into this world to solve the case of the only woman who could never have an alibi."

I am a sucker for mapbacks, but usually the map is no help in solving the puzzle. But the scene of the crime on the back of the mapback edition of this book actually does have a clue if you look at it right. Recommended if you like Golden Age mysteries.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major, overlooked writer's mystery masterpiece. 2 Jun 2013
By Enrique F. Bird - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helen McCloy is one of the major writers of the classical, Golden Age type mystery from the United States. She is also one of the most overlooked and underestimated. Her debut novel, "Dance of Death", introduced Dr. Basil Willing, a major detective fiction sleuth who suffers the same recognition problem as his creator. It is also, in my opinion, one of the great debut mysteries.
"Through a Glass, Darkly" is probably McCloy's masterpiece, and one of the greatest classical detective stories ever written. It has an impossible "situation" (to distinguish it from what it later becomes, an impossible crime): a teacher in a girls' school is asked to leave but not told why. We soon learn both why and that this is not the first time such a thing happened: she seems to be able to be in 2 places at the same time. From this follows an impeccably told tale with plenty of suspense and mild horror, which culminates in a remarkable job of reasoning, observation, and sleuthing by Dr. Willing, which somehow manages to explain satisfactorily all that has gone on before. Not to be missed.
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