Thursday, March 8, 2018

"Trouble Is Fun When You’ve Got the Perfect Escape Hatch"

"The Miracle of Ivar Avenue."
By John Kessel (born 1950).
First appearance: Intersections—The Sycamore Hill Anthology (1996).
Multiple reprints (HERE).
Novelette (22 pages).
Online at Baen Books (HERE) (HTML).
(Note: Parental caution: Some strong language.)

"You should have seen us trying to get the body out of the car and onto the boat. What a comedy of errors."
STORIES about a hardboiled alcoholic detective who is divorced and not enjoying life are fairly common, as are tales with a Hollywood background—but there can't be too many stories about a hardboiled alcoholic Hollywood detective trying to collar a dead man
who's doing his level best to avoid being suspected of his own murder . . .
Typo: "Could an impostor could pick up"
- John Kessel's SFFnal accomplishments are the subject of a Wikipedia article (HERE), the SFE (HERE), and the ISFDb (HERE); he also has a webpage (HERE).
- Yes, there really was a Preston Sturges; his career is limned (HERE), and one of his most famous films, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), which figures heavily in our story, is detailed (HERE).
"You know, he looks like that director, Sturges."
   "Sturges was a temperamental talent who fully recognized his own worth.
He had invested in entrepreneurial projects such as an engineering company and The Players, a popular restaurant and nightclub at 8225 Sunset Boulevard, which were both net losses. At one point the third highest paid man in Ameri-ca—for writing, directing, producing, and numerous other Hollywood proj-ects—he was often known to borrow money (from his stepfather and studio, amongst others)."
(Weird Fiction Review image.)

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