This is my first year participating in Jay's Deal Me In Challenge . In a nutshell--we line up 52 short stories for the year, we match those stories up to a card in a regular deck of card, and each week we shuffle our deck (of real cards) and draw a card from whatever remains in the deck. Week #9 gave me the King of Diamonds and "Human Interest Stuff" by Brett Halliday (from Murder by Experts edited by Ellery Queen).
For those of you who aren't quite as into mysteries as I am--if you're going to try a mystery short story, you really should give this one a try. Overshadowing the crime, the story is more about the relationship between the two central characters--our narrator and a man named Sam. The narrator, who has been an engineer responsible for the completion of a railroad line from St. Louis to Mexico, opens by responding to a question from a newspaper reporter. The reporter is looking for a human-interest angle on the execution (next day) of a man who was captured in Mexico for the murder of Bully Branson. The narrator promises to give the reporter an exlusive.
I'm the only person that can give you the real low-down. Me, and one other. But it's a cinch the other fellow isn't going to talk for publication.
What follows is the story of the hunter and the hunted--two men who have so much in common, but who are pitted against each other with the life of one and the integrity of the other at stake. Readers are pretty sure they know the outcome of this contest...be prepared for a surprise.
Jay, I thought you might be interested in these cards.
Our public library hosts an adult reading challenge each summer and winter--with prizes! This year's prize for completing the challenge (which I did) was a custom-made card deck with the library's logo on the back. Unfortunately, no cool artwork on the face of the cards.