Saturday, March 4, 2017

Deal Me In Week #9: "Human Interest Stuff"

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).

image credit

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 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.


MG said...

I like your card--so appropriate for a mystery story. Neat to have a deck of cards with your library logo. What a great idea for a prize.

Jay said...

I love the idea of the cards as a prize too. So everyone who finished got a deck? That's awesome. I may have some decks as Deal Me In give-aways this year. I've started collecting playing cards and just got in a new "shipment" from amazon et. al. last week. Maybe I could order a customized Deal Me In deck, with the DMI logo on the backs?! Now you've got me thinking. :-)

Bev Hankins said...

Jay, yes, everyone who finished got a prize--for as long as the prizes lasted. They make a guesstimate each year on how many will finish (based on previous years). I've never not gotten a prize....