navbar_draft_6.jpg (14851 bytes) PB Skeleton in the Clock2.jpg (29768 bytes)The Skeleton in the Clock

Dell 481 (1951)










That old expert on supernatural phenomena, the famous Sir Henry Merrivale, prods the police into re-opening the Fleet case twenty years after it has been written off as a death by accident, and has himself a rollicking time tracking down the most vicious killer in his long and colorful career.

Persons in the mystery:

Sir Henry Merrivale:
blustering, barrel-shaped solver of "impossible" crimes, is faced with a murder mystery worthy of his amazing talents - and a golden opportunity to renew his long-standing feud with the crusty old Countess of Brayle.

Martin Drake,
tall, good-looking, and likable, is a highly successful artist. Just now he is nervous and thin as the result of a fruitless hunt for a girl he kissed on a station platform on a mad evening three years, one month, and five days ago.

Jennifer West,
a slender, eager blonde, is in love with Martin, but her engagement to Richard Fleet presents an annoying complication. Jenny hasn't much sense of humor and her serene and lovely face hides violent emotions.

Richard Fleet,
Jenny's fiancÚ, is an athletic young man of great charm and good humor. He has known Jenny since they were children, and as far as she is concerned, their engagement was "arranged".

Ruth Callice,
a pretty and thoroughly nice young woman, likes Martin more than a little, and admires his faculty for idiotic behavior. She thinks he's a fool to waste his time looking for a girl he knows almost nothing about.

John Stannard,
a stocky, brilliant criminal lawyer, is brimful of self-confidence - except where Ruth is concerned. He has some ideas about "earth-bound spirits" and thinks the execution shed of a prison would be a wonderful place to test them out.

Sophi, Dowager Countess of Brayle,
Jenny's dominating grandmother, is a large, commanding woman who speaks at public meetings and is give to rakish, even skittish, hats - and habits. She and H.M. react on each other like a match and powder keg.

Lady Cicely Fleet,
Richard's fluttery and doting mother, is still pretty in spite of a serious heart condition. She carries within her some sort of burden that dates back to her husband's death two decades ago.

Doctor Hugh Laurier,
the Fleet family physician, is a precise, fastidious, conservative man with a pince-nez and an ascetic face. He is the son of the "old doctor" who was in attendance at the "accidental" death of Sir George fleet.

Arthur Puckston,
landlord of Dragon's Rest Inn across the road from Fleet House, was one of half a dozen eyewitnesses to the strange death of Sir George Fleet.

Enid Puckston,
Arthur's daughter, is a pretty, lively, and intelligent girl of 16, and the pride of her father's heart.

Solomon MacDougal,
who runs the largest and noisiest traveling carnival in England, has a shrewd idea that H.M. is probably the greatest showman of them all.

Humphrey Masters,
grizzled Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard's Criminal Investigation department, is large and burly and usually as bland as a card-sharper, but there is the distinct possibility that some day H.M. will drive him stark, raving mad.

Lady Cicely's bored maid, has been conditioned by her war-time experiences with American GI's and the result is some rather startling behavior.