"The Nifty Murder Case."
By Richard Mueller (born 1920).
First appearance: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1985.
Reprints page (HERE).
Short story (16 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"A homeotropic dart embedded in the base of the couch. It was lodged in his spine."
You'd think the trip to The Fourteenth Cycle Interworld Comedy Competition with a shipload of comedians would be a million laughs; the soon-to-be-victim probably thought so, until . . .
~ Billy Nifty:
"E'ryone loves Billy Nifty, you'll see."
"Vinnie, we've got a cessation of life-form reading in the passenger section."
~ Vinnie Jones, First Officer and Second Pilot of the One-Eyed Reilly:
"Murder is a serious business, and under the regulations of the Merchant Service, as a ship's officer, I'm required to investigate."
~ Dan Cordon, Pierre Martel, Merle Shoals, Baker Steeves, and Rand ee Duckworth:
One of these guys—or maybe more, but what do I know?—has big plans for Billy Nifty:
an eternal engagement in that Great Comedy Club in the Sky.
"I don't understand. Is that supposed to be funny?"
Typos: "sequined geen velouralon cutaway"; "Her's".
- Our author isn't widely known for his mystery fiction, but his bona fides with SFF (HERE), especially the visual media manifestations thereof, are rock solid, producing stories for Robocop: Alpha Commando (1998-99; 40 episodes), The Real Ghostbusters (1987-89; 24 episodes), and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1990-91; 6 episodes) animated TV series, plus dozens of other fantasy and science fiction productions (HERE).