Wednesday, November 15, 2023

"Far from the Perfect Crime"

"Eye Witness."
By Grant Lane (house pseudonym used by William G. Bogart, 1903-77).
First appearance: Underworld Detective, July 1935.
Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 66).
(Parental caution: Violence and language.)

   "In former years, Slip had done a lot of thinking of the perfect crime. He congratulated himself now on having pulled one. It was such a cinch."

The perfect crime. Yeah, sure . . .

Principal characters:
~ Slip Leighton:
  "Too bad everybody didn't have brains like Slip. But then everyone couldn't be smart."
~ Stan Fraser:
  "Looked as though Stan Fraser was doing pretty well with himself these days. Well—why not? Hadn't he and Lea given Slip the run-around and let him take the rap?"
~ Lea Turner:
  "A slight moan broke from her lips. But that was all."
~ Manx:
  "Slip knew immediately that the cat was a Manx. It was the cat Stan had had ever since Slip knew him."
~ The old lady:
  "She eyed him critically, expecting an apology. But Slip never apologized to anyone."
~ Detective Smythe:
  ". . . huge and with a beety red face, steamed in."

Typo: Is it Stan "Fraser" or Stan "Frazer"?

Reference and resources:
- "a Manx":
  "The Manx cat (in earlier times often spelled Manks) is a breed of domestic cat (Felis catus) originating on the Isle of Man, with a mutation that shortens the tail. Many Manx have a small stub of a tail, but Manx cats are best known as being entirely tailless; this is the most distinguishing characteristic of the breed, along with elongated hind legs and a rounded head." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- Writing as "Kenneth Robeson," our author (William G. Bogart) produced 3 Doc Savage novels on his own and with Lester Dent wrote 11 more (FictionMags HERE), plus dozens of stories in several pulp genres.
- You could also be interested in Edmund Pearson's take on the perfect crime (HERE).
- You might find it alarming how many university students have plotted perfect crimes (fictionally, of course), at least six of them, but the pros do get a representation with David Morrison's "Slight Detail" (HERE).
- Finally, we discussed Bogart's wartime crime story "Murder on Santa Claus Lane" (HERE) a few years ago while the story link was still available.

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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