Saturday, August 15, 2020

PaperBack: “The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope”

Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.

The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope, by C.W. Grafton (Dell, 1947). Published originally in 1943—but recently reissued by Poisoned Pen Press—this was the first of four novels penned by Grafton, the father of better-known mystery writer Sue Grafton. It’s a spirited little whodunit tinged with humor, starring Gilmore “Gil” Henry, a “pudgy,” self-deprecating young attorney of short stature and scant attractiveness to women, who practices in fictional Calhoun County, Kentucky, south of Louisville. A second Henry yarn, The Rope Began to Hang the Butcher, was released in 1944.

Dell’s 1947 soft-cover edition of Rat was part of its famous “mapback” series, with cover art by Gerald Gregg and a rear-side scene-of-the-crime illustration by Ruth Belew.

1 comment:

nbmandel said...

Mightily enjoyable book - just read it this week. I was quite won over by our battered but unsinkable narrator and his lively turns of phrase.