About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bury Me Deep by Harold Q. Masur

40.– 787.) Bury Me Deep by Harold Q. Masur – Not long ago I was one of the lucky winners of a copy of this book which John Norris, through his excellent blog Pretty Sinister Books, made available to readers.

It is a new edition of the book published by Raven’s Head Press which is re-publishing classic crime fiction. Bury Me Deep was first published in 1947.

The book features New York City lawyer Scott Jordan. He represents a sub-genre I have rarely read. He is a hard boiled lawyer.

It was interesting to me as a general practice lawyer that Jordan six decades ago had a comparable practice in Manhattan. During the book he represents clients involved in family law, estate litigation and criminal defence.

The book opens with a flourish. Jordan returns home early from Miami to find a luscious blonde sipping brandy in his living room:
She was wearing black panties and a black bra and that was all. She sat with one long leg folded comfortably under her and she smiled at me.
Jordan adds:

         She looked up at me, and the alcoholic glassiness in her eyes
         didn't keep her from making them warm and cordial. Women
         have looked at me like that before, but never in church.

Sultry is too mild a term for his welcome home.

Shortly after, when the doorbell rings, the blonde leaps amourously upon Jordan. After he somewhat reluctantly discourages her and then disengages she has some more brandy and soon falls unconscious. 

Back at the door a private detective, another man and a lovely young woman start to enter the apartment. Jordan physically discourages the P.I. 
After Jordan dispatches the blonde in a taxi he is drifting away when suddenly a powerfully built man is standing before Jordan. He is searching for Verna (the blonde) and threatening Jordan.
Barely asleep Jordan is roused by the freight elevator operator and the police. Verna has died from being poisoned.
It is a challenge explaining to Lieutenant John Nola his evening of unknown and uninvited guests. Nola is not interested in being charming:

          .... and a print of Valley Forge that looked no colder than
         Nola's eyes.
Jordan is soon caught up in a messy divorce action and vicious estate litigation. With loads of money involved everyone has ample motive. Jordan has to consider multiple suspects.

The post WW II New York of the book is a city full of energy. For readers of the time in mid-Western North America it must have seemed an impossible dream.

The plot flows smoothly. The action is steady. The characters lively.
Bury Me Deep has the snappy crisp dialogue I associate with the hard boiled characters of that era. Jordan is more comfortable with the language of the street than the courtroom. While it was kind of exciting to read of a lawyer who is as good with his fists as he is with words for myself, as a black belt in judo, I would have been more envious if Jordan had his Shodan.

I can certainly understand why Raven's Head chose to re-publish Bury Me Deep. It is an excellent book.
John has a fine review of the book on his blog Pretty Sinister Books.


  1. Bill - Oh, it sounds as though this is a terrific example of the 'hard boiled' legal mystery. The very first few of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason novels were just a bit like that. When it's done well it can definitely make for an absorbing story. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. It is a good book. I have not read any Perry Mason mysteries. It is a gap in my mystery reading.

  2. Love the idea of a hard-boiled noir lawyer, and this book sounds very much of its time, and like a good solid read. And a detailed description of the young lady's underwear...

  3. Moira: Thanks for the comment. The opening description of Verna is memorable.

  4. I haven't read my copy of this one yet. Looking forward to it. The time frame and the setting sound very interesting.

  5. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I think you will like the book.