FFB: The Constant God

The Constant God by Rufus King, The Sun Dial Press, Garden City, New York; First Edition, January 1, 1937.

I don’t remember when, but at some time in the last few years someone mentioned this or another book by King, in a review sufficiently intriguing that I went to the internet and found this book. I don’t think the review was of this particular book, perhaps it was of just books by King. Regardless, this is what I wound up with, and after a long hiatus on the shelves, or in a box, or somewhere, it came to light and I have now read it.

Blurb: An “upright citizen” thinks he sees a dead man riding in a car, and also links he recognizes the driver. Of course he goes to the police and demands an investigation. Lt. Valcour gets the case, and despite the challenges, succeeds in solving the case.

A blackmailer threatens the daughter of a wealthy tycoon with exposure of mash letters she had written to an actor many years before, when she was a young girl. When she paid the blackmailer for the letters and then didn’t get them back, she committed suicide.

In a later confrontation, the blackmailer is pushed against a table, injuring him fatally. The family, certain he is dead, dispose of the body, but they are seen with the dead man and so must hide their actions from Lt. Valor, who goes from doubting their guilt to being sure of it.

My Take: I’m not sure what I expected, so I wasn’t so much disappointed as bored. Nothing made me eager to read another mystery by King.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to FFB: The Constant God

  1. 1412064gk says:

    I’ve been where you are–disappointed by an author I had higher hopes for–many times. But, we keep trying to find those “gem” writers in the rough of publishing.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Back in the late ’70s and ’80s, I was trying to read more widely in the field, and I read one (perhaps the first) of the Rufus King Valcour novels. Like you, I was underwhelmed and never went back.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    First I have even heard of him.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Rick, there is a Kindle edition of all three of King’s Chief Bill Duggan (who?) stories available for 45 cents, called MALICE IN WONDERLAND. I might have to buy it. The Valcour I read was the third, MURDER BY THE CLOCK.

  5. Prashant Trikannad says:

    Richard, I’m intrigued by the title of the book.

  6. tracybham says:

    I have read one book by Rufus King, Holiday Homicide. It was sort of a pastiche of the Nero Wolfe series, and I did not like that aspect. I did plan to try one of the Lt. Valcour novels sometime. John at Pretty Sinister Books reviewed the first one in that series, and Curtis at The Passing Tramp reviewed several novels by King. Right now I am not in a rush to add him to my book piles but if I found an inexpensive ebook I might give him a try again.

  7. J F Norris says:

    On my blog I’ve reviewed two books and one playscript by Rufus King and I liked all of them. I also wrote about the movie adaptation of the play (Invitation to a Murder) that borrowed elements from one of his novels. I think you picked the wrong book to introduce yourself to King. His strength are the books that take place on boats. His shipboard mysteries and those that feature the sea or, in one case, deep sea diving are his best work and some of the best examples of nautical mysteries from the Golden Age. One man’s meat…

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