At One Fell Swoop by Stuart Palmer: A review by Warren Bull
Published in 1951, At One Fell Swoop is one of a series of book with Hildegarde Withers, a retired maiden schoolteacher as an amateur sleuth and her friend and antagonist police detective Oscar Piper. He puts up with her schemes but benefits in the end from her insights. The pairing lasted through fourteen novels, three motion pictures and a made-for–television movie.
Palmer has a deft hand at writing. The plot is tight with a justified, satisfying ending. It plays fair with the reader. The heroine is caustic and comedic. The hero is amusingly frustrated and aware of Miss Wither’s ability to unravel riddles. The novel zipped along with action, humor and surprises. Palmer was considered one of the best writers of the time. One year he was the president of Mystery Writers of America.
His characters and writing stands the test of time. I highly recommend this mystery.