Wednesday, August 21, 2019


SEVERAL WEEKS AGO we highlighted stories about homicide detective Timothy Trant by the composite writing team known as Q. Patrick ("Death and Canasta," "The Glamorous Opening," and "The Red Balloon"; HERE) and wondered out loud whether there might be more running free on the Interblab; as it turns out, we did manage to stumble across another one called . . .

"The Corpse in the Closet."
By Q. Patrick (Richard Wilson Webb, 1901-70 & Hugh Callingham Wheeler, 1912-87).
First appearance: Unknown (1947).
Reprinted in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January 1948 and EQMM (Australia), October 1948.

Collected in The Cases of Lieutenant Timothy Trant (2019).
Short short story (9 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archive (HERE; go down to magazine 

page 76, PDF page 78).

     "On the contrary, I couldn't have enjoyed myself more if I'd found a 
corpse in your closet."

Timothy Trant practically barges in on a murder scene, feeling depressed because 
"the solution to this crime was going to be boringly obvious." In that, however, he's 
a little premature . . .

~ Martin Prentiss:

  "He's the most impossible person. He only married her for her money . . ."
~ Lieutenant Timothy Trant of the New York Homicide Division:

  "He usually avoided social functions; but his sister Freda always bullied him 
into attending hers."
~ Freda Trant:
  "She was the only woman who could still intimidate him and knew it."
~ Celia Prentiss:
  ". . . an expensively shiny blonde."
~ Sue Spender:
  "Suddenly her body stiffened. Swiftly she pulled a piece of paper out of the 
bag and stared at it. . . . Mystery or no mystery, she was a very desirable dish."
~ Oliver Brown:
  ". . . claimed no knowledge of the murder or the note in Sue's bag."
~ Dr. John Barker:
  "We must have been here less than thirty seconds before you came."
~ Captain Dalton:
  ". . . was Timothy's superior and had never liked him."

The bottom line:

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