Monday, August 9, 2021

"A Perfect Crime? There's No Such Thing!"

WHEN IT COMES to short, punchy crime fiction nobody did it better than the late Edward D. Hoch. Submitted for your approval . . .

By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008).
First appearance: Murder!, September 1956.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Online at (HERE).
(Note: Text very faded but legible.)

"I figured everything," he says. "I figured every angle."

Principal characters:
~ Hal Martin:
  "A fast car, a beautiful woman, and all the money in the world. That's all I ever wanted. And I've got all three."
~ Dawn Withers:
  "They sure were suckers back in River City."

- "the snub-nosed .38 revolver": Police detectives have a preference for them:
  "A snubnosed revolver (colloquially known as a snubbie, belly gun, or bulldog revolver) is any small, medium, or large frame revolver with a short barrel, which is generally 3 inches or less in length. Snubnosed revolvers were extremely popular in the United States until the 1950s and 1960s, when most states passed laws limiting or prohibiting the carry of concealed weapons" (Wikipedia HERE).
~ ~ ~
"Execution on Clover Street."
By Edward D. Hoch (1930-2008).
First appearance: Murder!, March 1957.
Short short short story (3 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; PDF; it will be necessary to download the entire issue; go down to text page 22).
(Note: Text faded but readable.)

     "The men were nice to Ugly. They gave him money—ten whole dollars—just to wait around and pull the two triggers."

Following orders to the letter might not work every time. Take, for instance, the situation with Hammond . . .

Main characters:
~ Ugly:
  "Why did they always call him Ugly?"
~ First man:
  ". . . we're going to kill Hammond in a way that's completely foolproof."
~ Second man:
  "What you want is a robot."
~ Hammond:
  ". . . turned and saw him there in the rain."

- "the double-barreled shotgun": When it fires, be sure you're on the right end of it:
  "A double-barreled shotgun is a break-action shotgun with two parallel barrels, allowing two single shots to be fired in quick succession" (Wikipedia HERE).
- Last October we highlighted Ed Hoch's Captain Leopold story, "Bullets for Two" (HERE).

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