Monday, February 4, 2019

"Even Without Assembling the Facts, He Knew Who Had Killed Ann Herrick, and It Wasn’t Going To Be Good"

"The Too Perfect Alibi."
By Robert C. Dennis (1915-83).
First appearance: 10-Story Detective Magazine, December 1947.
Short short story (8 pages, 1 illo).
Online at Pulpgen (HERE).

     "Several people had a motive to kill the attractive redheaded widow. But it took the young doctor to analyze the ingredients that went into that rowboat rub-out."

Pete Allenby goes for a swim, but it's all in the line of duty . . .

Major characters:
~ Ann Herrick:
  "Somebody beat her head to a pulp."

~ Chief Sam Wheeler:
  "Raise your right hand."

~ Doctor Pete Allenby:
  "I’ve been deputized to carry on a sort of investigation. I don’t know whether that empowers me to make an arrest—"
~ Sally Sandlock:
  "He’d have slipped away if he could have been sure Sally wouldn’t keep getting into his dreams. But she would, and he might as well suffer here where it was cool."
~ Jimmy Sandlock, Sally's brother:
  "She wasn’t anywhere around the place. Her boat was gone. Maybe she went for a row."
~ Linda Telford, Jimmy's betrothed:
  ". . . moved closer to him now, as if to soothe him."
~ Wayne Burnett:
  ". . . a large, handsome, soft-looking lad who probably hadn’t done a day’s work in his life. He had a very wide frank smile, full of gleaming white teeth, that would be a great deal more sincere if he used it less frequently."
~ Steve Beck:
  "Then it was someone else. Steve Beck, maybe. He was running around with her. I happen to know Ann got men involved and then demanded money. And you know as well as I that Steve has only what Mayor Beck gives him for spending money."

- Robert C. Dennis made his fortune in Hollywood (1950-84), chalking up nearly a hundred different credits for original television scripts and teleplay adaptations for shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents (30 episodes), M-Squad, The Untouchables, Hawaiian Eye, Checkmate, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason (22 episodes), The Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-O, Dragnet 1967 (19 episodes), and other crime and non-crime-genre shows (IMDb HERE; Mystery*File HERE). Prior to making it in Tinsel Town, Dennis could be relied on to produce quality crime fiction for pulps like Dime Detective, Ten Detective Aces, and Black Mask; in the last he featured his only series characters, Margaret O'Leary and Willie Carmody (1946-50) (FictionMags data).

The bottom line:


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