Three Little Pigs

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. Biiigggg mistake.

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 terrific tale."

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,
ISBN 3-492-15581-2
N.Y.: WorldWide, 1992, ISBN 0-373-26089-X
Anstey, Leicester: F. A. Thorpe, 1993, ISBN 0-7089-2884-6

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Page created June 26, 1995; last updated October 29, 2000.