Sunday, July 2, 2017

"In This Room, Gentlemen, Is a Frightened Man, Acutely Aware That His Life Is at This Moment Hanging in the Balance"

"A Nose for Crime."
By John Michel (1917-1968/9).
First appearance: Ten Detective Aces, October 1943.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Online at Pulpgen (HERE) (PDF).

"When he could see no visible clue to that international murder, Scotland Yard’s Harringay was not left in the dark. He simply borrowed . . . A Nose for Crime."
Harringay might be "the scourge of criminals of three continents," but he's also on the run from his ex-wife ("She’s still looking for alimony, y’know"); so when Fothergill, an old friend, comes to him hoping to clear himself from a murder charge, Harringay isn't above asking (sub rosa, of course) for a fee: "I shall be pleased to accept some slight remuneration for my services—say fifty pounds." As Fothergill will soon see, it'll be money well spent . . .

Typo: "eoncentratedly"
- FictionMags credits John B. Michel with roughly a half dozen crime stories, with most of his other work being SFF-nal; for the latter, including his tragic death, see Wikipedia (HERE), the Fancyclopedia (HERE), ZineWiki (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE).
John B. Michel, second from right.
The bottom line:
   "What do you think of the suicide theory now, Sergeant?"
   "Well, it's slightly complicated since the man shot, slugged and stabbed himself—especially in the back."
Philo Vance and Sergeant Heath

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