Crime On My Hands by George Sanders

crime on my hands coverGeorge Sanders, star of the silver screen is bored of playing the same old roles – namely a charmer/cad of various shades of grey. Most notably, he is known for his heroic roles as The Falcon and The Saint, but he is in need of a change; hence he takes the lead role in a western.

Needless to say, it’s not long before a body is found, an extra shot dead in a gunfight scene and an attempt is made to frame George. Obviously this wouldn’t be a problem for The Falcon or The Saint. Unfortunately George is neither of these people – but it’s not clear if he, or the killer, is completely aware of that fact…

It’s a little bit of a shame that, despite George Sanders’ impressive resume, I think that, before reading this book, I knew him from exactly one role – this one.

MrFreezeGS2

Yup, Mr Freeze in the original Batman series. How the mighty had fallen… Coincidentally, directly after reading this book, I came across him in The Ghost And Mrs Muir (playing a cad) but that’s hardly a defining role either. So I’m not aware of the persona that George is channelling in this book. Not that he wrote it by himself – it’s written at least in part by Craig Rice, and the suspicion is that it’s mostly Rice’s work.

It’s an entertaining read – George is a charming voice, especially with the idea that he’s convinced himself that his film experience of solving crimes will help him solve a real one. Red herrings abound and, provided you take it with the sense of humour that it’s written with, then it’s an entertaining read. There’s probably a little more here for people who are familiar with Sanders’ work, but that’s a bonus rather than something necessary for enjoyment.

It’s a clued mystery, although the clues do come a little late (unless I missed something). It’s a satisfying little puzzle and well worth a look. Recommended.

Many thanks to Dean Street Press for providing me with this review copy. There’ll be more from them soon – including the other novel “written” by Sanders – once my backlog of reviews clears up.

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7 comments

  1. Glad you enjoyed it chum, I thought it was great fun too – but yes, it is a lot more entertaining if you have caught any of the early-morning BBC2 screenings of the Saint and Falcon movies he starred in – he got the Oscar for his performance in ALL ABOUT EVEN and most definitely deserved it. He was a very good as the murderer (no, not a spoiler this) in such films as THE WHOLE TRUTH and WITNESS TO MURDER but is also a terrific hero in the original VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED – definitely an undervalued actor.

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  2. You’ll never believe this, but I was actually watching Sanders in one of the Falcon films on the day this review went up! It just popped into my head to watch one.

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