JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
The Poison Plague was written by Will Levinrew (William Levine) and published in 1929, and by accounts that I have seen is the birthplace of an early and very competent scientist/detective, Prof. Herman Brierly. I don't know much about detective fiction from this time period, but I do like this just jacket artwork, and from the little bits that I have been able to find of this novel online I can so far safely say that I like the dj image more than the text.
The stories for The Poison Plague were evidently serialized in Argosy--here's an interesting ad for the story, set to appear just a week after the ad in 1922, though it took another seven years for the book form to be published);
Levine created an interesting character, though perhaps one of the reasons we don't know of his prof-gumshoe was how his story was told: the writing seems unbroken in a broken way, waiting for someone to stop it with some good punctuation. Here's a random sample from one of his other books (available in full online, here http://www.loyalbooks.com/download/text/Death-Points-a-Finger-by-Will-Levinrew.txt):
"Marie LaBelle was cursing fluently the luck that on that occasion had seemed to run all in one direction with Pop Fosdick. Marie hitched up the left half of his suspenders and began his old plaint..." --Death Points a Finger, 1933. Some of Levine's other works include Murder on the Palisades (1930), Murder from the Grave (1930), and For Sale, Murder (1932).
Anyway, I wasn't attracted to the book by the writing--it was for the dust jacket art, which is pretty good.