Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Brilliant Storyteller

EXEUNT MURDERERS: THE BEST MYSTERY STORIES OF ANTHONY BOUCHER.
By Anthony Boucher. Edited by Francis M. Nevins and Martin H. Greenberg.
Southern Illinois University Press.
1983. 324 pages.
Collection: 23 stories.
On the CRIMINAL BRIEF weblog (March 23, 2009), Louis Willis gives us his reactions to the short fiction of Anthony Boucher:
Sometimes I make the mistake of anticipating the tone and subject of a story based on the title. The title, "Screwball Division," of the first story made me think that the nine stories would be a humorous treatment of the L.A.P.D. in the years 1940-1950. I was wrong. Although the stories do contain some humor, they are primarily clever puzzles of murder involving a bad cop, German and Russian spies, a record collector, actors, and not so clever female murderers.
On the GAD Wiki, Mike Grost:
None of the Boucher novels I have read, considered as fair play, puzzle plot detective stories, reach the heights of his mystery short fiction collected in 'Exeunt Murderers.' These are general purpose mystery stories in the Ellery Queen tradition, not impossible crime tales, and are outstandingly plotted.
B. V. Lawson (IN REFERENCE TO MURDER, October 15, 2010):
Many Boucher stories pivot around talented and brilliant amateur sleuths, although the first third of 'Exeunt' consists of nine stories featuring former police Lieutenant Nick Noble, once a rising star in the force until he took the rap for a bad cop. The second part is a series of Sister Ursula stories grouped under the title "Conundrums for the Cloister." . . . Part Three of 'Exeunt' is "Jeux de Meurtre," narrated by both cops and amateurs, and in one case, the murderer.
Contents:
Introduction: "The World of Anthony Boucher" · Francis M. Nevins, Jr.
"Screwball Division" [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' Sep ’42
"QL 696.C9" [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' May ’43
"Black Murder" [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' Sep ’43
"Death of a Patriarch" [Nick Noble] · ss
"Rumor, Inc." [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' Jan ’45
"The Punt and the Pass" [Nick Noble] · ss 'Short Stories' Nov 25 ’45
"Like Count Palmieri" [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' Feb ’46
"Crime Must Have a Stop" [Nick Noble] · nv 'EQMM' Feb ’51
"The Girl Who Married a Monster" [Nick Noble] · ss 'EQMM' Feb ’54
"Coffin Corner" [as by H. H. Holmes] · ss 'The Female of the Species', ed. Ellery Queen, Little, Brown, 1943
"The Stripper" [as by H. H. Holmes; Sister Mary Ursula OMB] · ss 'EQMM' May ’45
"Threnody" · ss 'Maiden Murders', Mystery Writers of America, Harper’s, 1952
"Design for Dying" · ss 'Detective Short Stories' Sep ’41
"Mystery for Christmas" · ss 'EQMM' Jan ’43
"Code Zed" · ss 'World’s Greatest Spy Stories', ed. Vincent Starrett, World, 1944
"The Ghost with the Gun" · ss 'The Master Detective' Jun ’45
"The Catalyst" · ss 'Black Mask' Jul ’45
"The Retired Hangman" · ss 'Shadow Mystery' Feb ’47
"The Smoke-Filled Locked Room" · ss 'The Locked Room Reader', ed. Hans Stefan Santesson, Random, 1968
"The Statement of Jerry Malloy" · ss 'Dangerous Dames', ed. Mike Shane, Dell, 1955; as “Command Performance”, 'EQMM' Nov ’58
"A Matter of Scholarship" · vi 'EQMM' Apr ’55
"The Ultimate Clue" · vi 'EQMM' Oct ’60
A Checklist of the Fiction of Anthony Boucher · Francis M. Nevins, Jr.

Category: Detective fiction

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