If you're familiar with Howard Fast's bestsellers, and historical novels, you might not be familiar with the mysteries he wrote under the name of E.V. Cunningham. During World War II, Fast worked with the United States Office of War Information, writing for Voice of America. But he had joined the Communist Party USA in 1944, and was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He refused to cooperate, and was imprisoned for three months in 1950 for contempt of Congress.
Because he was unable to write under his own name, he used different pseudonyms, including that of E.V. Cunningham. And, my favorite books written under that name featured a Nisei police detective, Sergeant Masao Masuto. In 1967, a book called Samantha introduced Masuto. The title was later changed to The Case of the Angry Actress. Masuto was a Zen Buddhist, like Cunningham, and the books included aspects of his meditation that were not common in mysteries. Masuto was a detective, family man, a karate expert, and a rose lover. The series began in 1967 with The Case of the Angry Actress, and ended in 1984 with The Case of the Murdered Mackenzie.
They are not easy to find, but the Masao Masuto mysteries were always fascinating.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.