In an essay ("Questions / Answers") about mysteries as told through stories in songs, Ben Greenman talks about two of Harry Nilsson's "mystery" songs:


Neither [the songs "Who Slapped John" and "Who Shot Sam"] has the production values or the narrative drive of Harry Nilsson's "Who Done It?" (1977). Nilsson had already recorded a murder mystery, of sorts, with "Ten Little Indians" (1967); "Who Done It?" revives the calypso stylings of "Coconut" (1972) for a closed-door manor-house murder mystery that's straight out of Agatha Christie. The song is from the underrated album "Knnillssonn," whose double-exposure cover image doubles its doubled typography, and it's pushed along by a lovely, confusing string part that sounds like a sample in a hip-hop song. Nilsson's vocals are not as angelic as they once were; he ruptured his vocal cords while making "Pussy Cats" with John Lennon. But it's a committed performance, if you mean commitment to irony. There are Smythes, Sloans, Chopin quotations (the Piano Sonata No. 2), and a superb alibi from Nilsson's narrator ("I was in Colorado, having breakfast, with a nun!"). In the end, like much of Nilsson's best work, it's a very high-level novelty record and all the more personal for its impersonality.