Wednesday, December 27, 2023

"No Chance for Anything To Go Wrong"

IF you've been with us even for just a little while, then you know that today's author aggregated a lot of pulp verbiage working and reworking a common theme: the futile attempts by people (who should know better) striving for that acme of criminality,
that apex of villainy, the perfect crime:

"The Clue Outside."
Ray Cummings (1887-1957).
First appearance: The Phantom Detective, March 1948.
Reprinted in The Phantom Detective (Canada), March 1948.
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 82).

   "A leaden pellet can sometimes point the finger at a killer if a crafty policeman knows how to make it tell the tale!"

"Everything was so carefully planned," we're told, which means that the first shot, the one that misses its mark, shouldn't be a cause for concern, nothing to worry about, take it easy, no sweat—right?

Main characters:
~ Tom Benz:
  "The big suitcase was heavy. Benz was salesman for the Harrington woolen mill. Besides the clothes needed for his week's trip from which he was just returning, the case was packed with his samples of woolen goods."
~ John Harrington:
  "The revolver cracked again and through the smoke of the shots came a glimpse of Harrington wilting, falling, to become a dead thing, lying there on the rug."
~ Lieutenant Saunders:
  "As it happens, I've always been especially interested in ballistics."

- The latest Ray Cummings accounts of (im)perfect crimes were a two-fer: "Time for Murder" and "Time Out for Murder" (HERE).

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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