A Meeting of the Criminal Minds: A Joint Review of Alias Basil Willing (1951)

Really enjoyed reading my first Helen McCloy novel and it was great to review it with veteran McCloy fan Brad Friedman, who brought up a lot of ideas that I hadn’t thought of myself when reading it. His ideas are so great I decided to re-blog our post here.

Ah Sweet Mystery!


I’ve been singing the praises of Helen McCloy ever since I discovered her novels last year. I’ve read and reviewed four or five of them and am excited that she wrote 28 novels and a number of short stories, about half of them featuring her series sleuth, New York psychiatrist Dr. Basil Willing. So when my blogging buddy Kate over at crossexaminingcrime told me that she had picked up her first McCloy, I jumped at her offer to write a dual review. And what a fun experience it has been: two teachers trading ideas back and forth across the ocean about a mystery novel we both enjoyed!

s-l300Plot Summary

From the very start of the novel we are told that the case Dr Basil Willing (who works at the District Attorney’s Office) becomes involved in is not a ‘routine’ one, but a ‘personal adventure.’ At the local tobacconist’s shop, Willing…

View original post 2,647 more words


  1. I have read 3 of her books: Through A Glass Darkly (Average), Two-Thirds Of A Ghost (Good) and Mr. Splitfoot (Excellent).
    However, I found all three heavily padded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well Alias Basil Willing was only about 150 odd pages so I wouldn’t say the story had lots of padding. Glad to hear that Mr Splitfoot is a good book, I’ll try to remember that when I next buy some of McCloy’s work


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