Friday, November 10, 2017

Three from Oscar

"No Nerve."
By Oscar Schisgall (1901-84).
First appearance: Liberty, December 5, 1936.
Short short short story (1 page).
Online at (HERE).

"Considering the probable reward, you two sure are lucky."
Honesty isn't merely the best policy—it just might save your life . . .

~ ~ ~

"Family Affair."
By Oscar Schisgall (1901-84).
First appearance: Collier's, November 7, 1942.
Short short short story (1 page).
Online at UNZ (HERE).

"If you don't save him I'm going to see that everybody knows about us."
Sometimes it's better to keep it in the family . . .

~ ~ ~

"Nine Roses for the Commissar."
By Oscar Schisgall (1901-84).
First appearance: This Week Magazine (1959).
Reprinted in Bestseller Mystery Magazine, January 1960.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Online at UNZ (HERE).

"Jan Karic's rise to power was based largely on his eagerness to kill, a drive so blinding that his own wife no longer knew him. Yet, irony, in the form of a gift proved his undoing . . . "
Flowers symbolize good things like marriage and bad things like funerals, but Jan Karic is about to discover another use for them . . . revenge . . .

- A Wikipedia article about the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 is (HERE).

- Oscar Schisgall, who was either Belgian or Russian by birth, generated tons of multi-
genre material (over 4,000 stories according to his obit) for the pulps and the slicks
(HERE), including some SFFnal fiction; see (HERE) and (HERE) for that.
- Schisgall got positive notices with stories featuring his "international criminologist,"
Barron Ixell: "In disguise, immensely rich, hugely clever, the Baron [sic, sp.] is a pre-
cursor of Superheroes like Doc Savage, though his adventures are relatively tame":

~ Barron Ixell: Crime Breaker. By Oscar Schisgall. Longmans, Green, 1929. $2.00.
 "Four mystery novelettes, designed to feature the extraordinary detection powers of Ixell, an American sleuth at work abroad on sensational Continental crimes, make up the present volume. The plot of each story is an infinitely complicated, not to say, original piece of invention, the scenes of action, successively, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, and Geneva. It is in the last named city that Ixell solves a crime problem which, if not his supreme triumph, seems fully typical of the man's ratiocinative genius. While the League of Nations is in session, a Russian delegate is abducted and held for a large ransom, but Ixell quickly discloses that the missing personage has hidden himself away and aims to collect for his own use the sum demanded for his release. The book seems to be something of a novelty in this over-populous field."
  — "The New Books," The Saturday Review, September 14, 1929

~ Barron Ixell: Crime Breaker by Oscar Schisgall (Longmans, Green. $2.00).
  "WE REVISE our opinion of Scotland Yard, for the exploits of Barron Ixell, international criminologist, contain no end of intrigue and adventure. In Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Geneva the American crime-breaker pits his cunning against four gangs of criminals and successfully puts them to 
rout. A very well-written piece of detective fiction."
  — "Notes on New Books: Detective and Mystery," The Bookman, September 1929 (scroll down to second page)

~ Oscar Schisgall's Barron Ixell: Crime Breaker, Longmans.
  "We thought Barron Ixell was one of these titled furrin sleuths until we noticed the second r. Then we found that he was an American criminologist, who, called in on four difficult cases by the baffled police of Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Geneva, wanders in faultless evening dress through the salons of the haut monde in the aforesaid capitals, and nails the criminals almost without disarranging his white tie. These are written-to-formula stories, but there are several new criminal methods in them which we haven't before encountered."
  — "Picked at Random," W. R. Brooks, The Outlook, August 28, 1929

- Here, from FictionMags, is a listing of the Barron Ixell adventures ("nv" = novelette):
  (1) "The Circle of Terror," (nv), Clues, July 1927
  (2) "The Devil’s Pigeons," (nv), Clues, February #1, 1928
  (3) "The King of Crime," (nv), Clues, April #1, 1928
  (4) "The Avenging Horde," (nv), Clues, September #1, 1928
  (5) "The Red Revolver," (nv), Clues,  April #2, 1929
  (6) "Chinaman’s Chance," (nv), Clues, October #2, 1929
  (7) "Murder in a Coffin," (nv), Clues, June #1, 1930
  (8) "They Die Laughing," (nv), Clues, November #2, 1930
  (9) "One by One They Perish," (nv), Clues, October 1931
  (10) "Shoot to Kill!," (nv), Clues, January 1932
  (11) "Horror in the Night," (nv), Clues, May 1932
  (12) "The Crime of the Century," (nv), Clues-All Star Detective Stories, October 1932
  (13) "Signals Mean Death," (nv), Clues-All Star Detective Stories, January 1933

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