Friday, July 15, 2011

Fri Forgotten Bks: George Barr McCutcheon, Anderson Crow, Detective (1920).

"... I am proud to say that I have been arrested by Marshal Crow more times than I have fingers and toes. And, I am further proud to add, that on not a single occasion did Marshall Crow hesitate to admit that he was mistaken."
—George Barr McCutcheon, Anderson Crow, Detective 128
Illustration of George Barr
McCutcheon by James
Montgomery Flagg,
New York Tribune, 9 Mar 1913
Anderson Crow—"town marshal, superintendent of streets, chief of the fire department, post- commander of the G[rand]. A[rmy of the]. R[epublic]., truant officer, dogcatcher, member of the American Horse-thief Detective Association, member of the Universal Detective Bureau" (57) of Tinkletown, New York —suspects "a German plot" behind several outbreaks of skullduggery in his small town. These include a rash of marriage proposals, arson, thefts, con men, and the activities of a mysterious veiled lady that the hapless Crow resolves entirely by accident.

Given the time period when these comic stories were written, World War I looms large. Humor is the priority here rather than any serious attempt to present a mystery or an investigation, and some of the attitudes regarding women may be disconcerting to the modern reader. Those who like village mysteries may enjoy these tales.

Bestselling author, playwright, and book collector George Barr McCutcheon (1866–1928) is probably best known for Brewster's Millions (1902; filmed several times, including one movie with Richard Pryor, 1985) and Truxton King (1909). His brother, John T. McCutcheon, was a well-known cartoonist and illustrated Anderson Crow, Detective. Crow also appears in The Daughter of Anderson Crow (1907).

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Beth. This one is new to me.