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The Trouble with Harry
by Jack Trevor Story
Westholme Publishing, 1949
Paper: 978-1-59416-142-1

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

"As engaging a tale as I have encountered in months of looking for something really amusing to read.”—Kelsey Guilfoil, Chicago Tribune


“A pleasantly muted mystery that is genuinely funny fantasy as well.”—New York Times


On the outskirts of a small English town, young Arnie discovers the body of a middle-aged man in the woods. Three people are convinced they are responsible for the death: the captain thinks he accidentally shot the man while hunting rabbits; the local spinster thinks she may have done more damage than she intended when she hit him with her shoe—and Arnie’s mother, most damningly of all, reveals that the man is her long-lost husband, Harry, and that she had smashed a bottle over his head when he suddenly reappeared.


The police are called in to investigate the crime, but free-thinking artist Sam Marlowe becomes a good-natured sleuth, helping the townspeople to bury, dig up, and rebury the corpse in an effort to evade the authorities and discover the truth. While no one is particularly troubled by Harry’s death, everyone feels some guilt over the apparent murder. In the end, two couples fall in love, Arnie has a new father, and the mystery is happily solved.


First published in 1949, The Trouble with Harry was one of Jack Trevor Story’s early successes. Written with wit and insight, the novel was a bestseller and praised for both its succinct style and its original blend of mystery and humor. The story was adapted by Alfred Hitchcock for his film of the same name in 1955.

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