Friday, May 17, 2024

"A Small Contented Smile Spread Across His Lips"

"Exhibit A".
By William O'Farrell (1904-62; Wikipedia HERE).
First appearance: EQMM, January 1955.
Short short story (6 pages).
Online at SFFAudio (HERE).

   "Anyone could have done it. Anyone with a taste for torturing small children, that is."

WHENEVER somebody pushes too hard too often, there's only one direction things can take: a parting of the ways, which can be peaceful—or . . .

Main characters:
~ The narrator (unnamed):
  "It's true that I sometimes run into people who might be described a 'characters,' and that I occasionally invite one to drop in at our apartment in New York."
~ Felicity:
  "Under her pose of aloofness my wife is as interested in people as I am, and I was curious to see how she'd react to Joe."
~ Joe Haller:
  "The funny thing is, Joe didn't seem unhappy."
~ Martha Maynard:
  "Except for certain natural ravages, Martha hadn't changed much from the scornful Roman debutante who, back in the old super-colossals, had sat in Caesar's Colosseum box and egged on the lions to eat their dinner."

- One of William O'Farrell's novels, The Twisted Image, was adapted as the premiere episode of the Thriller TV series. (Wikipedia HERE, the IMDb HERE, and A Thriller a Day HERE.)
- William O'Farrell never developed a series character, ensuring at the least that his stories wouldn't grow formulaic; here's a list of some of his contributions:
  For EQMM:
  (1) "Exhibit A," (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, January 1955 (above)
  (2) "The High, Warm Place," (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, October 1957 
       (online HERE)
  (3) "The Girl on the Beach," (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, April 1958 (online HERE)
  (4) "Lady of the Old School," (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, September 1960
  (5) "A Paper for Mr. Wurley," (ss) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, July 1963 (online HERE).
  For AHMM:
  (1) "Long Drop," (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, June 1959
  (2) "In a Tranquil House," (ss) Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, October 1959.
  For Manhunt:
  (1) "It Never Happened," (na) Manhunt, June 1958 (online HERE)
  (2) "One Hour Late," (na) Manhunt, April 1959 (online HERE)
  (3) "Death and the Blue Rose," (ss) Manhunt, December 1960.
  For The Saint:
  (1) "The Girl in White," (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine, December 1959
  (2) "The Hood Is a Bonnet . . .", (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine (U.K.), May 1961
  (3) "Death Among the Geraniums," (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine (U.K.), February 1962
  (4) "A Plague of Pigeons," (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine (U.K.), July 1962
  (5) "Philosophy and the Dutchman," (ss) The Saint Mystery Magazine (U.K.), November 1964
       Reprinted in The Saint Mystery Magazine, January 1965 (online HERE).

The bottom line:
"You did WHAT with those Taylor Swift concert tickets?"

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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