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Old 03-21-2010, 12:54 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Footner, Hulbert: The Substitute Millionaire ... V1 21 Mar 2010

Hamilton, Ontario born novelist Hulbert Footner (2 Apr 1879 – 25 Nov 1944), wrote about what he knew: canoeing, New York and Chesapeake Bay. He moved to New York City as teenager, dabbled in acting (he toured briefly with William Gillette's Sherlock Holmes) and wrote magazine articles while supporting himself working as a clerk at a financial firm. As a freelancer for the New York Herald and Calgary Morning Albertan, he sent dispatches from two major canoeing adventures through north western Canada. Out of these flowed romantic novels and enough to purchase a summer home, "Charles' Gift", in MD and among the oldest homes in America. He continued to write magazine articles, plays for Broadway but soon turned to popular detective mystery novels beginning with The Fugutive Sleuth in 1916. He eventually wrote nearly 60 books, including an affectionate look at New York, histories of Maryland and about thirty mysteries. Madame Rosika Storey and Amos Lee Mappin were his two principle recurring sleuths, both fondly remembered today although his works are largely out of print.

His third mystery, The Substitute Millionaire, 1919, followed a year after Thieves' Wit and received similar glowing praise in the New York Times: "this latest and very entertaining yarn ... is ingenious and cleverly worked out".

Jack Norman, a handsome young clerk in an accounting firm with few prospects at a salary of $12, suddenly inherits $100 million when Silas Gyde dies in a terrorist assassination. Gyde, a bachelor, was the long ago unrequited suitor of Jack's mother. In poking around Gyde's diaries, Jack discovers a "protection scheme" for millionaires run by the assassins and determines to avenge his benefactor. With a cast of engaging characters, and some delightful twists and turns, The Substitute Millionaire makes a light, but compelling, read.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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Thanks SensualPoet. Praise from the New York Times is enough to get me to give it a chance.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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Do post your thoughts. I am thinking of adding a few more titles, by and by.
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