Thursday, November 16, 2017

"George Had Thought of Everything"

HELEN REILLY was primarily a crime fictioneer who very often featured her series character, Inspector Christopher McKee, in both novels and short stories [data from FictionMags]:
 (1) Murder in the Mews, serialized novel, Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine, June 20, 1931-July 25, 1931

 (2) Three Women in Black, novella, Random House (1941)

 (3) Murder on Angler’s Island, novel, Random House (1945)

 (4) "The Phonograph Murder," short story, Collier’s, January 25, 1947 (below)
 (5) Tell Her It’s Murder, novel, Star Weekly, August 14, 1954
 (6) Compartment K, novel, Star Weekly, June 4, 1955

 (7) "Follow Me," novelette, Star Weekly, May 21, 1960 (discussed HERE)

 (8) "Certain Sleep," novelette, Star Weekly, June 17, 1961

. . . and quite a few other titles as well (see "Resources," below).

"The Phonograph Murder."
By Helen Reilly (Helen Margaret Kieran, 1891-1962).
First appearance: Collier's, January 25, 1947.
Reprinted in The Saint Detective Magazine, May 1955; The Saint Detective Magazine (U.K.), September 1955; and Ellery Queen’s Anthology #8 (1965) and #56 (1987).
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at UNZ (HERE) and (HERE; scroll down to page 26).

"The murder was perfect—no clues, no suspicion. George had thought of everything."
These people who strive to commit the perfect murder—when will they ever learn?

~ George Bonfield:

  "It was then, as he stood beside the stove in the kitchen, that the idea came to him. He fingered the clock."
~ Louise Bonfield:
  "Her skin was soft and a little moist. He shivered, and fought down a sudden sickening
soul-shaking wave of nausea."
~ Joe Tyler:
  "Joe was in the next room every single minute of the time, and he couldn't be mistaken."
~ Mr. Gamble:
  "Promptly at eleven Mr. Gamble was roused by piercing screams issuing from the red-brick house next to his own. He rushed out, a coat thrown hastily over his pajamas, and found . . ."
~ Hannah Swenson:
  ". . . the maid, shrieking at the top of her lungs . . ."
~ The local precinct lieutenant:
  "You'll understand that this is just routine."
~ Inspector Christopher McKee:
  "Mrs. Bonfield trained Hannah well."
- The book that basically kicked off a trend in stories with a similar premise as in today's tale receives a short, sharp review (HERE).
- There's a lot of information to be gleaned about Helen Reilly from Mike Grost's Mystery*File article (HERE) and one by Steve Lewis (HERE), and the GAD Wiki has more (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE).

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