CASE OF THE MURDERED REDHEAD By Frances and Richard Lockridge

Welcome to Redhead Week! I’m starting the week’s festivities with this puzzler from the 1950s. Case of the Murdered Redhead (aka, The Faceless Adversary) is one of those incredible conspiracy novels popular back in the day. Wealthy banker John Hayward proposes to his girlfriend, Barbara Phillips, and hours later he’s charged with the murder of beautiful redhead Nora Evans–a woman Hayward has never met! Someone framed Hayward, but who? And why? Ms. Phillips believes in her fiancee’s innocence and assists Hayward as he tries to prove to the police he’s innocent. But more and more evidence piles up making the situation look dire. When another woman is murdered, the police are convinced of Hayward’s guilt. Everyone but Detective Nathan Shapiro. Shapiro sees what the other investigators miss. The Lockridges keep the suspense high in this Hitchcockian thriller. GRADE: B+
1. Case of the Murdered Redhead (aka, The Faceless Adversary) (1956)
2. Murder and Blueberry Pie (1959)
3. The Drill Is Death (1961)
4. Murder for Art’s Sake (1967)
5. Die Laughing (1969)
6. Preach No More (1971)
7. Write Murder Down (1972)
8. Or Was He Pushed? (1975)
9. A Streak of Light (1976)
10. The Old Die Young (1980)

20 thoughts on “CASE OF THE MURDERED REDHEAD By Frances and Richard Lockridge

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    The library back in the sixties had a lot of books by the Lockridges. I know my mother read some but don’t remember if I ever did. They wrote the Mr and Mrs North series which became a tv show in the fifties starring Richard Denning and Barbara Britton. I remember watching the show but it must have been in reruns since I was only 4 or 5 when it aired.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Nice. You can’t go wrong with Redhead Week! I never read much of the Lockridges as the Norths were not for me. (I didn’t watch the TV show either.)

      1. george Post author

        Wolf, Trump has lured a lot of crazies out of the shadows. Wacky conspiracy theories. Fake News, and social media manipulation create an Alternate Reality for Trump’s supporters.

  3. wolf

    Never saw these authors, though I read a few books at the America House and bought some pulps too – they were relatively cheap then, even in Germany.

    And accompanying music for this reading:
    Red Headed Woman by Bruce Springsteen (one of our favourite rockers). 😉

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      Hey Wolf, I couldn’t help but think of you today when I read the story about the two “elderly” (undefined age) German men who “escaped” (what were they, prisoners?) their nursing/care home to go to the World’s Largest Heavy Metal Festival! Maybe not your favorite music but we can all appreciate the sentiment.

      Rock on!

      1. wolf

        I read about that too – the Wacken Festival really is something special, last year they had Status Quo performing.
        But to spend a weekend among 70 000 people – if we were 50 years younger … 🙂
        Those two penssioners left the nursing home without telling anyone, so people were worried.
        PS and rather OT:
        Something similar happened to my father many years ago – he just disappeared from his house. I went everywhere, asked at the train station (he was well known), but to no avail.
        The next day he appeared in Stuttgart near an old people’s home, probably because he was hungry and smelled lunch. The nurses immediately realised that there was a problem with him and called the police which brought him home – then he agreed to go to an old people’s home too, until then he had always declared that he could manage living alone …
        I’m just hoping that nothing similar happens to me – but you never know what old age brings.

        We’re having an extreme heatwave in Europe right now – temperatures up to 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) – we are so happy that we installed A/C at least in two rooms some years ago.
        You can’t go outside during the day!

  4. Rick Robinson

    This doesn’t sound like a conspiracy in the usual definition of the word, which is widely misused today. I read a North or two long ago, I think. Maybe I just have them on the shelf. I’ll have to check. What prompted you do do a week of books with a redhead in them?

    1. george Post author

      Rick, as you might recall, I did a BLONDE WEEK last Summer. I figured this Summer I’d go with a REDHEAD WEEK. Next year…brunettes!

  5. tracybham

    I read some books in the Nathan Shapiro series years ago and liked them, but recently I have only read a few of the Mr and Mrs North series. I hope I run into one of the books from this series soon.

    1. george Post author

      Tracy, I used to find mysteries by the Lockridges everywhere. Now, those books are more scarce. Even libraries don’t have many of the Lockridge books any more.

      1. george Post author

        Jeff, I can only assume the Lockridges had a loyal following of readers for their books to be so pervasively available. Most of the volumes I own are Book Club editions with a few paperbacks sprinkled in.

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