I had never heard of Henry Kuttner’s short four-book Michael Gray mystery series before an omnibus of all four titles popped up as a recommendation for me from one of the major e-book retailers – I can’t remember which one now. Usually these recommendations are bosh, but the omnibus with four titles is on sale for $1.99, so at $0.50 per title, I figured it was worth a look.
Imagine my surprise to find out, courtesy of Fantastic Fiction, that Kuttner and his wife, CL Moore, were well-known and influential science fiction and fantasy authors in the 1940s. Again per FF, in the early 1950s, he and his wife then both largely turned away from writing, enrolled at that evil school across town (USC), and earned psychology degrees. (It’s interesting that Kuttner’s mystery protagonist, Michael Gray, is a “psychoanalyst turned sleuth”.) And then Kuttner died rather young. Wow!
Fantastic Fiction also says that it’s not clear whether he actually wrote all of the Michael Gray titles – that he may have farmed out the later ones to other authors when he “found himself incapable of finishing them”. In any case, with that rather wild background, I figured that at $1.99 (actually $1.79, since it’s discountable at Kobo), the omnibus was worth the risk, and I snagged it for my TBR pile. Titles in the omnibus include: The Murder of Eleanor Pope, The Murder of Ann Avery (apa Masked for Murder), Murder of a Mistress, and Murder of a Wife.