Poor Margaret Annister is going to die in the gas chamber for the poison murder of her sister-unless her new attorney Croxson Kalver can convince the governor that she is innocent. But the forces lined up against her are formidable, and one of them is Gorilla Svenson, head of the local Nevada City mob. Everybody knows that he is too stupid to make big decisions but he's got one of the most brilliant criminal minds of the West advising him. If only Kalver could find the identity of this genius moll-whom nobody has ever seen-before the pellet falls on the woman he loves!
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Harry Stephen Keeler was called "one of the greatest alternative writers" by Bill Pronzini. He wrote over 90 novels between the years 1912 and his death in 1967 and thanks to Francis M. Nevins' research all of them are in print today by Ramble House. He wrote like no one else. His mysteries are twisted, surprising, erudite (to the point of humor) and logical -- if you live in Keelerland. About 20 of his later novels were never published in English (or at all for about a dozen) until recently. His astonishing plotting techniques had gone out of style when Mickey Spillane and rough writing swept the publishing world in the late 40s but these days Keeler's writing fits right in. It's as if Neil Gaiman, Thomas Pynchon and David Foster Wallace grew up on him -- and maybe they did?
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