The first war time Mayo mystery had a speeded up pace and was chock full of war time activities. This book is also set in the early 40's but the war activities seem to have become routine, so the story could be told in a manner similar to Atwood Taylor's earlier works with their amusing portrayals of Cape Cod characters. Asey is on vacation from tank manufacturing and is sorting fish line when cousin and housekeeper Jenny gets him to take her to an estate auction. Leaving her there, he goes off fishing, but when he gets home he's asked to open a trunk bought at the auction by one of the heirs. It contains the body of a local antique dealer who had failed to attend the auction. We're off with Asey wandering around, talking to a raft of auction goers, getting biffed on the head and left tied up, etc. The big questions are what happened to the money the estate owner kept in his house and what happened to the books that had been in the trunk before it was used to hide the body. The dead woman had been on the rations board so there were folks with a motive related to that as well as to the missing money and the antique business. As always, Asey cleverly sorts it out -- A recommended mystery from the classic era.
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