No Coffin for the Corpse by Clayton Rawson

No Coffin for the Corpse by Clayton Rawson

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A murdered blackmailer haunts a captain of industry

When Ross Harte gets into a screaming match with his fiancée’s father, millionaire Dudley Wolff, the old man cuts Harte’s beloved out of his will. As far as Wolff is concerned, this is an empty threat, because he plans to live forever. He has a team of scientists working to extend his life as long as possible, and should they fail, a renowned psychic will contact him after his death. Wolff is obsessed with death’s mysteries, and he is about to get a first-hand look.

When a detective attempts to blackmail him, Wolff punches him in the jaw so hard that it stops the crook’s heart. Fearing scandal, Wolff and his staff bury the body in the woods. When the dead blackmailer comes back to haunt him, the millionaire is forced to call on Harte and his friend the Great Merlini, conjurer and sleuth, to banish the spirits that have brought death to his door.


“Merlini . . . does himself proud.” —New York Times Book Review

“Excellent.” —Time

“One of the topflight mystifiers in the whole bloodhound business, a favorite with plain fans and fancy connoisseurs alike.” —Fred Dannay, co-creator of Ellery Queen

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via Wikipedia

The 1942 movie The Man Who Wouldn't Die, starring Lloyd Nolan, was based on No Coffin for the Corpse, but the Merlini character was replaced by Michael Shayne, a popular fictional private eye at the time, created by the writer Brett Halliday.