The story: Divided into three sections.
Part 1: The Victim. Financier
A. J. Strode always gets his way, and what he wants now is a company called
House of Glass. He needs one more block of stock before he can take over,
so he must persuade one of three shareholders to sell. Strode decides the
only way he can make them budge is to blackmail them. All three of them.
Part 2: The Suspects. Violinist Joanna Gillespie, playboy Jack McKinstry,
and shipping magnate Richard Bruce are the three Strode has been pressuring.
The three tell their own stories, and each reveals good reason for wanting
Strode dead. One of the three kills him.
Part 3: The Cops. Sgt. Marian Larch and her partner Ivan Malecki are sent
to the scene of the crime. Do they nail the killer? Why, of course they do.
The writing: The main problem here centered upon the three suspects. None
of them is exactly an admirable person -- in fact, they're rather awful in
their own ways. But I had to make them compelling enough, perhaps even
likable, in order to keep the reader interested in finding out
what happens to them.
1. Patriot Ledger:
"How rare--and rewarding--to discover a really different mystery!"
2. Montgomery Advertiser:
"Part of the book's suspense comes out of Ms. Paul's daring authorial
maneuver of switching points of view. The author audaciously puts
her reader inside the minds of the three suspects....While the reader
is trying to solve Strode's murder, he is also seduced into resolving
the old crimes supposedly executed by the suspects years before. It's
a sweet authorial trick that adds dimension and suspense to this
3. Wilson Library Journal:
"The majority of mystery writers fit quite snugly into the confines
of a particular school of mystery writing....But there are a few
writers who defy characterization. They don't write like anyone else
and their novels don't read like any of the familiar and well-loved
formulas. One such writer is the diabolical Barbara Paul...Paul tends
to write novels about unsympathetic, reprehensible, and often downright
evil characters....The funny thing (and there is a delicious humor
throughout Paul's mysteries) is that her nasty, selfish, murderous
characters are indeed charming."
4. Drood Review of Mystery:
"There are few mystery writers who can match Paul for originality. He
Huffed and He Puffed is like no other mystery, and its unexpected
twists and turns are a constant source of wonder."
N.Y.: Scribner, 1989, ISBN 0-684-18925-9
London: Macmillan, 1989, ISBN 0-333-49692-2
N.Y.: Mystery Guild, 1989
Milano: Mondadori [as Cuore in gola], 1989
London: Pan, 1991, ISBN 0-330-31620-6
Stockholm: Spanning [as Stora stygga vargen], 1990, ISBN 91-7024-639-4
München: R. Piper Verlag [as Wer im Glashaus sitz...], 1992,
N.Y.: WorldWide, 1992, ISBN 0-373-26089-X
Anstey, Leicester: F. A. Thorpe, 1993, ISBN 0-7089-2884-6