Tuesday, December 5, 2023

"It Was His Heart, All Right. There's a Knife Stuck in It!"

"Murder and Matilda."
By Fredric Brown (1906-72; FictionMags HERE; GAD Wiki HERE).
First appearance: Mystery Book Magazine, Summer 1949.
Collected in Three-Corpse Parlay (1988).
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 137).
   "If you got to have a murder, go find one."

From time immemorial men have been underestimating women, and always to their regret. It will take a huge dose of feminine logic to sort out how and why a body found lying on a kitchen floor isn't the open-and-shut case it appears to be . . .

Main characters:
~ Hank Wheeler:
  "You wouldn't catch Olin slipping up on something that costs him fifteen cents a day. He'd have left me a note."
~ Olin Pearce:
  ". . . there was a knife sticking up out of his chest, or rather the handle of one. The blade was all the way in."
~ Joe Pearce:
  "Nobody in town liked Olin, and nobody but his brother had any reason to kill him."
~ Matilda Jones:
  "I opened my mouth to say sixteen, but Matilda jumped in. I mean in the conversation, not in my mouth, but she couldn't have surprised me any more if she had."
~ Andy (no last name):
  "What worries me is those detective stories she always reads."
~ Harry Wilks:
  "Trouble is, Andy, you're afraid of her."
~ Billie and Bessie Lang:
  ". . . I remembered what they'd said about seeing somebody carrying a body out of the woods and toward Olin's house, three days ago."
~ Doc Breneman:
  ". . . took a look and a sniff and agreed that three days were likely enough."

- Our last contact with Fredric Brown was his story about "The Wicked Flea" (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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