Nancy Barr Mavity. The Man Who Didn’t Mind Hanging (1932) 300 pp.
When San Francisco millionaire philanthropist Gabriel Jeffries is found
murdered, the police announce that they have solved the crime—and have
arrested the perpetrator—in just three hours. What appears to be an open-and-shut
case against Jeffries’ Chinese servant Sing Wong (who also holds a Ph.D.
from UC Berkeley) attracts the attention of three men: Fon Ng Chee, leader
of San Francisco’s Chinese colony; Sam Hardwicke, brilliant, young, publicity-seeking
defense attorney; and Peter Piper, crime reporter for the Herald.
Together, the three set out to gain an acquittal for Sing Wong, who refuses
to defend himself and claims to be prepared for any punishment that might
come his way. As Peter investigates the circumstantial evidence against
Sing Wong, which includes three cigarettes, a misplaced money box, and
a mysterious stab wound, the details about Jeffries’ treatment of those
closest to him begin to surface, showing that just about everyone Jeffries
came into contact with had a motive to kill him—except Sing Wong.