C. W. Grafton

Cornelius Warren (“Chip”) Grafton (June 16, 1909 – January 31, 1982) was an American crime novelist. He was born and raised in China, where his parents were working as missionaries. He was educated at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, studying law and journalism, and became a municipal bond attorney in Louisville, Kentucky.

The hero of his first two mystery novels (The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope and The Rope Began to Hang the Butcher) was a lawyer named Gilmore Henry. Using the first two lines of a nursery rhyme as the titles of his first two novels suggested that other Gilmore Henry novels would follow, but none did. (A partial manuscript of a third novel, The Butcher Began to Kill the Ox, is known to exist.) Henry did not appear in Grafton’s two subsequent novels.

Books in order of publication:

  • The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope (1943)
  • The Rope Began to Hang the Butcher (1944)
  • My Name Is Christopher Nagel (1947)
  • Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1950)
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