Doris Miles Disney // Trick Or Treat

Only silence came from the inside the sheet. Two eyes stared at Edna through the holes cut for them; below was another hole for the mouth. Red Ridinghood called from the living room, “That’s a mighty quiet ghost you’ve got there, Edna. Scares me stiff.”

Title:  Trick Or Treat
Author:  Doris Miles Disney
Publisher: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1955

An insurance investigator matches wits with a clever killer on a most unusual case. The victim, Edna Monroe, was killed by a ghost. She opened her door on Halloween night to hand out treats to a sheeted figure on her doorstep and was tricked in the worst way when the ghost pulled a gun from a paper bag and shot her dead, right there in her own hallway and right in the middle of the Halloween party she was hosting.

Her husband, Mike, has an airtight alibi; he was thousands of miles away in Texas. His secretary (and mistress), Linda Haines, can also account for her whereabouts at the time of poor Edna’s passing; she was out with some girls from work. But a $50,000 policy Mike had on Edna has the insurance company and their top claims adjuster, Jefferson DiMarco, asking questions. If neither the husband nor the mistress could have possibly done it, then who?

Highlights:

  • Following Jeff DiMarco, the sharp-witted claims adjuster determined to root out who murdered Edna, as he sleuths his way to the truth is fun. The cat-and-mouse game he engages in with the killer is tense but not overly twisted, and he remains impartial throughout his investigation. He’s not a dashing daredevil bewitching femme fatales and dramatically dodging bullets; Jeff DiMarco is just a regular man doing his job.

It is difficult to find anything substantial about this book online. Before I purchased it, I couldn’t find a solid plot description or real review or anything. The one review for it on Amazon is actually for a different book (Trick Or Treat by Caroline Crane). Goodreads had three entries for it, all a later paperback version than the one I have and none with any reviews or summaries. For the link in the information section above, I actually had to add my version to Goodreads. 

It’s a shame there is so little about this book available. It’s really a quite delightful little mystery, primarily because the omniscient point of view solidly builds backstories and slides seamlessly between the compellingly constructed characters. Disney’s writing is also clean and clear, so the story moves very quickly towards the villain’s unmasking. And, while I figured out the who and how well before the final page, the way in which the ending plays out is not something I would have predicted. I’ve never actually read any of Disney’s work before, but I plan to find more of her books after reading this. 

At a scant 185 pages, Doris Miles Disney’s Trick Or Treat is the perfect fun-sized goodie to read on this or any other Halloween—if you can locate a copy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Categories: Booked Vintage, Holiday Reads

Tags: , ,

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