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Murder in the Gunroom

H. Beam Piper

Book Overview: 

The Lane Fleming collection of early pistols and revolvers was one of the best in the country. When Fleming was found dead on the floor of his locked gun room, a Confederate-made Colt-type percussion .36 revolver in his hand, the coroner’s verdict was “death by accident.” But Gladys Fleming had her doubts. Enough at any rate to engage Colonel Jefferson Davis Rand—better known just as Jeff—private detective and a pistol-collector himself, to catalog, appraise, and negotiate the sale of her late husband’s collection.

Recommended for fans of John Grisham, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Scott Turow and David Baldacci.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Then you're not making an investigation?"

"What in the world is there to investigate?" Rand asked. "I'm just selling a lot of old pistols for the Fleming estate."

"I thought Fred Dunmore was doing that."

"So did Fred. You're both wrong, though. I am." He got out Goode's letter of authorization and handed it to Rivers, who read it through twice before handing it back. "You see anything in that about Fred Dunmore, or any of the other relatives-in-law?" he asked.

"Well, I didn't understand; I'm glad to know what the situation really is." Rivers frowned. "I thought you were making some kind of an investigation, and as I'm the only party making any serious offer to buy those pistols, I wanted to know what there was to investigate."

"Do you consider ten thousand dollars to be a serious offer?" Rand asked. "And aren't you forgetting Stephen Gresham and his friends?"

"Oh, those people!" Rivers scoffed. "Mr. Rand, you certainly. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Known mainly for SciFi, Piper, like many writers in the day, wrote in whatever genre would pay the bills. This is a serviceable whodunit set post WWII with interesting digressions into firearms collecting. One amusing point is the character who makes his living by writing SciFi for the magazines of

4.25 / 5

Piper is known for his science fiction but his only mystery is well written with many historical reference

As with all Piper stories this one is filled with historical references which any fan of history will enjoy and appreciate

I'm familiar with H. Beam Piper mostly as a science fiction author, but I do like the occasional locked room mystery and, with a reading challenge in mind (a book with a gun or a gun on the cover), I picked up this book. There are guns: 2,500 in the collection for which someone has been murdered, no

It was a good diversion, as well as instructive on style. Publ. in early 1950s
Coarse, cliché imagery
going at it, hammer-and-tongs
as though he had six legs and a hard shell
roaring like a bull
Hilarious variation of he said: he ejaculated and others
Heavy effect of WWII military incl. Nazi hi

A well-paced murder mystery. Rand is called in ostensibly to inventory and negotiate the best price for the firearms collection of Lane Fleming, recently deceased, by his widow. Does she mean him to investigate the death too? Could a serious amateur expert like Fleming accidentally kill himdpself wh

It was nice to read a story by Piper that was NOT science fiction - the only slight SF element was one of the minor characters is a science fiction writer and discusses a story idea with the protagonist.

Roughly thirty-two years ago I went through a time of reading any and all H. Beam Piper books that I could get my hands on. Over a period of one year (1983-1984) I read approximately a dozen of his books. However it was all his science fiction works. Never found a copy of "Murder in the Gunroom" and

I've long been familiar with H. Beam Piper's science fiction (Little Fuzzy, etc.), but it was only recently that I discovered he also wrote a detective novel, Murder in the Gunroom. Naturally I had to lay hands on this curio.

Lane Fleming was a prominent collector of antique firearms. One night when

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