This omnibus contains four books by Footner from the Amos Lee Mappin series of mysteries: his first Mappin story The Mystery of the Folded Paper
(1930), Death of a Celebrity
(1938), Who Killed the Husband?
(1941) and Orchids to Murder
(1945) published after his death.
William Hulbert Footner (1879-1944) was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was obliged to leave school at fourteen to earn his own living as an office boy and clerk. After a diverse series of endeavors he traveled to the United States in 1898 where he began his writing career. In 1911 he published his first book, New Rivers in the North
about his and a friend's 1200 mile canoe trip from Edmonton into the almost unknown north of Alberta.
His first mystery story was The Fugitive Sleuth
(1918) followed by Thieves' Wit
(1918) and The Substitute Millionaire
(1919). The Fugitive Sleuth is a very scarce book - World Cat (2012) lists only 5 libraries in the world that have this book. His first series detective character was Madame Rosika Storey (The Under Dogs, 1925, and following). Footner's other series detective is Amos Lee Mappin, a successful, middle aged mystery writer whose crimes tend to occur in New York's café society. Mappin is unusual for the times in some of his tales his "Watson" is a young woman, his secretary Fanny Parran. She is one of the few female "Watsons" in fiction. During his writing career he published more than 40 mystery books most of which are not easily available.
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