One of those good old fashioned mysteries with a supernatural element to keep it interesting.
Mrs.Hicks discovers the bodies of her husband, mystery writer Braxton and their good friend Dr.Dryer. Hicks consulted Dyer for the medical aspects of his books. Dyer had an amputation knife through his heart. It looks like Hicks died of natural causes.
Two homicide cops investigate. They hear a noise. On the floor is a skeleton that appears to be moving. Next thing they know someone fills the room with gas. Could this be the work of the master criminal The Hawk? It’s finally decided that Hicks killed Dyer and then died on the spot.
Master detective Bradley Holmes (no relation to Sherlock) isn’t so sure and starts to investigate. Strange things are happening. Dyer’s office had twelve skeletons in it. Now they’re all gone. On his desk is a picture of Mrs.Hicks. An insurance policy pays her big time if her husband is murdered.
Holmes thinks Hicks was killed and died of a broken neck. He and Medical Examiner Martin and undertaker Scruggs decide not to wait for a court order to exhume the body. They go to the Hicks mausoleum, put the body in an ambulance and take it to Martin’s office where it’s X-Rayed. Sure enough Holmes was right.
They return the body but are locked inside the mausoleum. Also inside are the missing skeletons. Maybe it all has to do with the manuscript of Hicks last book “The Skeleton Talks.” One suspect is Henry Landru a competing author who has accused Hicks of plagiarizing his work. No one knows who he is since his manuscripts get to the publishers from different addresses and he never shows himself.
The book has the feel of the early serials with secret passages, underground rooms, machine guns, poisoned bullets etc. Well worth picking up.