This latest installment in the Library of Congress Crime Classics series was written nearly 70 years ago and served as the prototype for the American police procedurals to follow. Frequently featured on 'best 100 ever lists' and penned by MWA Grand Master Waugh, the story was inspired by the success of the radio program Dragnet and based on the real-life disappearance of a Vermont coed ... Procedural fans interested in the evolution of the genre won’t want to miss this one.
Author Leslie S. Klinger’s introduction and notes for this latest Library of Congress Crime Classic note that Waugh (1930–2008) wrote this first acclaimed police procedural, basing it on true crime cases and TV’s Dragnet. The methodical story follows the police investigation step by step. Students of the mystery genre will want to read this title, originally published in 1952, which appears on the Mystery Writers of America list of 100 Best Mysteries of All Time.
Though there’s not much action, Waugh builds suspense by raising doubts about motive and character. Did Lowell run away? Is she dead? The search for answers to these and other questions will keep readers turning the pages, though some will be put off by the cruelly casual sexism ... Series editor Leslie Klinger’s annotations offer fascinating insights into the postwar milieu. Those looking for a period mystery where ordinary cops are the good guys will be rewarded.