Saturday, April 11, 2020

"It Occurred to Him That This Was the First Time in His Two Years' Experience As Medical Examiner That He Had Beaten the Police to a Homicide"

"The Fourth Visitor."
By George Harmon Coxe (1901-84).
Illustration by Earl Cordrey (1902-77; HERE).

Paul Standish No. 1.
First appearance: Cosmopolitan, August 1942.

Reprinted in the one and only issue of Popular Detective Stories, January 1950.
Short story (7 pages).
Online at starting (HERE) and finishing (HERE).

     "I didn't do it."

The sudden death of a man who "had a weakness for women, gambling and sharp practice" and owed a lot of money to ungentle people gets our M.E. in a bind as he tries to protect a young woman he's never met . . .

Principal characters:
~ Eddie Tyler:

  . . . is unpleasantly surprised.
~ Jay Arnold:
  . . . is unpleasantly dead.
~ Janet Payson:
  . . . is found hiding in a closet.
~ Paul Standish:
  . . . acts on a hunch.
~ Mary Hayward:
  . . . is Standish's Girl Friday.
~ Captain Cavanaugh:
  . . . isn't fond of our hero.
~ Lt. Ballard:
  . . . is an efficient cop.
~ Leahy:
  . . . is skeptical.

~ Our cast of suspects:
  . . . in addition to Janet includes Henry Ewing, Al Dumont, and Dean Forbes.

- "a dollar-a-year man in Washington": They weren't what you'd call poor. ( HERE).
- FictionMags informs us that George Harmon Coxe's Paul Standish shorter adventures ran to nine stories and one novella:

 (1) "The Fourth Visitor," Cosmopolitan, August 1942 (above)
 (2) "The Doctor Makes It Murder," Cosmopolitan, September 1942 (a.k.a. "The Doctor Calls It Murder")
 (3) "The Painted Nail," Liberty, May 5, 1945 (a.k.a. "Murder Makes a Difference," featured HERE)
 (4) "The Canary Sang," Mystery Book Magazine, October 1945 (a.k.a. "Frightened Canary")
 (5) "Murder to Music," Liberty, September 7 1946
 (6) "Post Mortem," Liberty, November 16, 1946
 (7) "Cause for Suspicion," Liberty, February 1, 1947
 (8) "Death Certificate," Liberty, December 1947 (collected in Four-&-Twenty Bloodhounds, 1950, reviewed HERE)

  (9) "Circumstantial Evidence," Liberty, September 1949
 (10) "Black Target," The American Magazine, March 1951 (a.k.a. "The Appearance of Truth").

- Also see Mike Grost's rundown of Coxe's other series characters (The GAD Wiki HERE) and James Reasoner's article (Mysterious Press HERE). Other books by Coxe, including a Paul Standish novel, are listed on the BookFrom.Net Archive (HERE).

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