Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"I've Found Out the Name of the Murderer!"

WHILE COLE PORTER encouraged us all to brush up our Shakespeare, the two amateur sleuths in our story just might have gone a little overboard as they try to solve . . .

"The Macbeth Murder Mystery."
By James Thurber (1894-1961).
First appearance: The New Yorker, October 2, 1937.
Reprinted in Lilliput, March 1938; Literary Cavalcade, October 1955; and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-September 1983.
First collected in The Thurber Carnival (1943).
Short short short story (2 pages as a PDF).
Online at Fadedpage (HERE; scroll down and click on title hotlink) and (HERE; PDF; beware of typos).
     "The person you suspect of the first murder should always be the second victim."

It has been noted that while reading between the lines can reveal unspoken truths, it can also have its pitfalls. Take, for instance, Duncan's undeserved demise in the Scottish play . . . .
Principal characters:
~ The American woman:
  "In the first place, I don't think for a moment that Macbeth did it."
~ The narrator:
  "Did what?"

References and resources:
- You might want to brush up your Shakespeare with a short summary of Macbeth; go to Wikipedia (HERE). The full play is (HERE).
- There are brief mentions of Penguin books (HERE), Ivanhoe (HERE), Lorna Doone (HERE), Agatha Christie (HERE), Hercule Poirot (HERE), Mr. Pinkerton and Inspector Bull (Book Scribbles HERE and Michael Grost HERE), and Hamlet (HERE).
- The infamous Third Murderer also figured into Anne Lear's "The Adventure of the Global Traveler or: The Global Consequences of How the Reichenbach Falls into the Wells of Iniquitie" (HERE); also see Wikipedia (HERE).
- For years James Grover Thurber was hot stuff with the editors of the "slicks" and in Hollywood; see Wikipedia (HERE) and the IMDb (HERE; 45 credits). The Fadedpage Thurber collection is (HERE).
- We've encountered Thurber before, with the 1991 collection Thurber on Crime (HERE) and his "The White Rabbit Caper" (HERE; go down to item 3).


  1. This is one of my all-time favorite stories starting about age nine. And so often relevant! "Buy a copy of HAMLET, and solve that."

    1. It's hard not to enjoy Thurber, an accomplished writer who excelled in the very difficult area of humor.