Friday, September 4, 2015

A Not-So-Nice Example of the Locked Room Mystery

"Top It Off With Death."
By Basil Wells (1912-2003).
First appearance: Ten Detective Aces, June 1946.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Reprinted at Pulpgen HERE.
"A killing in a locked room is always a puzzle—except to this Sheriff’s impractical brother-in-law."
Some people don't like being on the outside of a sweet deal and choose to shoot their way in:
. . . Three of them had a motive. The Stayn estate must be worth half a million dollars. Leonard and Ida would inherit that. The ten thousand dollar bequest to Mrs. Proctor was another motive. As for the repairman—he had been on the roof.
- Basil Wells is known for primarily being an SF and fantasy writer, a fact confirmed in this passage from Richard A. Lupoff's introduction to The Basil Wells Omnibus (HERE) compiled by Ramble House: "Over a span of fifty-eight years Basil Wells published no fewer than 71 science fiction stories, but that was only one aspect of his work. Basil Wells fan Richard Simms has compiled an extensive Wells bibliography, listing stories published in non-science-fiction magazines including Crack Detective Stories, Ten Detective Aces, Mike Shayne’s Mystery Magazine, Double-Action Western, Thrilling Western, and even one called Blazing Armadillo Stories."
- Wikipedia has a stubby entry on Wells HERE, and there's a tribute site to him HERE; some of his output is listed HERE.

Category: Amateur night in JohnDicksonCarrville (cf. HERE)

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