Who's Calling?

A Dr Basil Willing Mystery

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Pub Date 10 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2022

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Wouldn’t you like to know what a poltergeist is?

The engagement of Archie, a young doctor, to night club artiste Frieda sets off a sequence of eerie and seemingly unexplainable events, all starting with a strange, cruel warning on the telephone.

As the supernatural mysteries continue, a shocking murder takes place – and that can’t be explained by a ghost.

Dr Basil Willing steps in to help the four people involved in these hauntings answer the question: Could I have committed a murder without knowing it?

Who’s Calling? is the fifth book in Helen McCloy’s Dr Basil Willing Mystery series.

Wouldn’t you like to know what a poltergeist is?

The engagement of Archie, a young doctor, to night club artiste Frieda sets off a sequence of eerie and seemingly unexplainable events, all starting...

A Note From the Publisher

If you loved Who's Calling?; we'd love you to leave a review on any platform where you purchase or review books. Thanks for reading!

If you loved Who's Calling?; we'd love you to leave a review on any platform where you purchase or review books. Thanks for reading!

Available Editions

ISBN 9781914905582
PRICE £4.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Written in 1942, Helen McCloy's fifth book in the Dr. Basil Wiling Mystery series is superb in every way including the wonderful descriptions, heady wit which made me chuckle out loud, eclectic characters and fun mystery. McCloy must have really enjoyed writing this...I imagine she giggled herself! She wrote with that special je ne sais quois of the Golden Age that just cannot be replicated.

This mystery contains a cast of characters and objects of interest at the front...pay close attention! One of the characters is particularly well described, "His face looked boneless, pale, and a little greasy, like a ball of suet." This young man also had gooseberry eyes. Archie's sarcasm is fabulous! Amongst the objects of interest are yarns (of various sorts!), oily-voiced phone calls and doodling.

Archie's engagement to Frieda is met with mixed emotions. The characters meet at a dinner party/ball during which time a dead body is discovered. Anonymous phone calls, mysterious knocking, gluttony and suspicions of each other lend to the atmosphere. You can't throw a brick without hitting it. Even the puppy has personality! Dr. Willing, a psychologist with FBI experience uses his psychology to delve into everyone's brains to find the killer. I love the inclusion of original meanings of words such as "poppet" and "spit and image" as well as the gorgeous vocabulary.

This book would be a shame to miss out on, especially for Golden Age mystery readers. To me it is the epitome of perfection.

My sincere gratitude to Agora Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this delightful book! I am besotted with it...and with Helen McCloy. Thank you so much for re-publishing this masterpiece.

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Gripping, twisty, and fast paced.
This is very "modern" as some of the topics were not very common when it was written.
It kept me turning pages till late in the night and I was surprised by the solution and the twists.
Great plot and storytelling, excellent character development.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Helen Mccloy is just so readable. Which reader could not but love a writer who comes away with paragraphs such as this?
"... Long ago Eve had discovered that the small amenities and sensualities of life are more comforting in a crisis than any philosophy. She was fond of saying that there was no tragedy in this world that could not be softened a little by a hot bath, a cup of strong coffee, and a good cigarette, while a couple of cocktails and a well-cooked dinner would mend a broken heart."

In a few words, she not only brings a smile to one's face, but also gives huge insights into the thoughts and feelings of one of her characters.

The quality and clarity of her prose is a major asset as far as I am concerned, as one can easily devour her books at one sitting. However I am less enamoured of the plot and the subject matter here.

The idea of the dual personality is initially quite interesting, but I found it increasingly irritating as the book progressed, especially towards the end, when it led to deadening musings on the part of some of the suspects. With a limited cast and with the nature and direction of the "poltergeist" activity it was too soon obvious who the culprit was for that. So when murder was done, that too was easy to pin down.

Even so this was a terrific read, and highly recommendable.

Thank you to NetGalley and Agora Books for the digital review copy.

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I expect when this was first published in the early 1940s it was deemed daring and risque subject matter for a female author. Helen McCloy wrote of psychology and psychiatry long before it was fashionable to do so. She explored the whydunit before revealing whodunit.
This story of a nightclub singer frightened by a poltergeist has always been one of my favourite Dr Basil Willing mysteries. There's a haunting beauty in a concept so perfect for the unraveling of the fragile human psyche. A rare gem of a novel.

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I love the Basil Willing mysteries. I had not read this one before so it was a treat to read it. I love the character development. Characters who seemed so benign and innocent, we'll, let's say maybe not so much. And some were courageous and still so human. And although, like most of the mysteries I love, the plot seemed somewhat fantastical, it still kept my attention and I had trouble putting it down. I have read all of these wonderful stories about Basil that I have found on e book format, I keep hoping for more. The ending was predictable but what I hoped for.

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