Wednesday, December 2, 2020

"A Nightmare Tale of a Murder in Your Garden"

"Who Killed the Ghost?"
Super Detective Library No. 52.
Characters created by Charles B. Child (Claude Vernon Frost, 1903-93).
Graphic novel (64 pages).
Online at Comic Book Plus (HERE).

     "Take a dead man's word for it—it's all true about paradise! Black-eyed houris, flowing wine . . ."

After Inspector Chafik's adopted son breathlessly informs his father that he has seen a dead man being buried, Chafik reluctantly initiates an investigation, skeptical of the whole thing. Thanks to "the filing cabinet of his mind" and old-fashioned slogging police work, the Inspector discovers what has all the earmarks of a deadly conspiracy involving a handsome inheritance. Nevertheless, his inquiry encounters baffling stumbling-blocks and strange twists and turns, causing Chafik at one point to admit to his sergeant: "This is the most fantastic case I have ever investigated!"
Major characters:
~ Zaki Attala:
  ". . . the dead one . . ."

~ Faisal:
  "I know he was dead because his head was twisted—to one side."
~ Leila:
  "Allah be merciful! For a boy to see such horror!"
~ Ibrahim:
  "That boy has visions! I, too, sometimes have them!"

~ Jamil:
  "I advise you—take a stick to that boy!"

~ Naomi:
  "My father's temper—you understand?"

~ Aziz Chelebi:
  "You speak of him as if he were an inanimate object!"

~ Lady Rejina:
  ". . . for twenty years Rejina had ruled her brothers with her father's money. She had never married, neither had she allowed them to marry."

~ Malek:
  ". . . does not like talking to policemen—but he has told me that, last night, he took shelter from the storm among the date palms outside this very house. He heard a shot, my father, and then saw a gun thrown over the wall."

~ Sergeant Abdullah:
  "He has a bullet between the eyes; the gun, of small calibre, is missing; it rained when he was buried, and it ceased to rain at midnight. Therefore—"

~ Inspector Chafik J. Chafik:
  ". . . tried to reassure himself . . . He told himself he dealt in facts . . . He would not let an imaginative boy and a moon-mad woman confound the evidence of his eyes . . ."

- Previous encounters with the Super Detective Library's version of Inspector Chafik are (HERE) and (HERE).


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