Friday, May 26, 2023

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine October 1965

 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (October 1965) edited by Clayton Rawson

About four years ago, I picked up a batch of older EQ Mystery Magazines on Ebay because they had short stories by the Lockridges in them. In 2020, I put this collection down as part of the Deal Me in Challenge--but somehow (I'll blame it on the pandemic) I went off the rails on reading the short stories I had lined up for that. I've decided to revisit the collections and finish the stories I didn't get to. I'll keep adding mini-reviews until this collection is finished and then add a wrap-up for the magazine.

Wrap-up: Overall, a fine collection of stories. Just about every one of them is a tasty little tidbit for when you're looking for something short and sweet, but still has a nice mystery bite to it. The only one I really have a quibble with is "Want to Buy a Cat?" by Kersh...I just wouldn't call it a mystery. Not in the detective sense, anyway. Very enjoyable. ★★

"Flair for Murder" by Frances & Richard Lockridge [last short story the couple wrote together]: Captain Heimrich is called upon to find out who killed "Old John" and buried him in a bed of asparagus. How the elderly caretaker had become a danger to anyone? [one natural; one shot]

"Want to Buy a Cat?" by Gerald Kersh: A curious story about the cat who would not go away and the man who tries to get rid of it.

"The Course of Justice" by Hugh B. Cave: John Houghton believes he has plotted the perfect dish of justice for the man who raped his wife--even if that man is the protected president of a Caribbean country. But what happens when the plot goes awry? [one shot]

"The Three R's" by Ellery Queen: Ellery is called upon by Dr. Barlowe of Barlowe College to find out what happened to the missing Professor Chipp. All signs point to murder--with clues following the three R's.

"Miss Potter, Chipp's being ten days late is as unlikely as--as my being Mrs. Hudson in disguise. Unlikelier." (Dr. Isaiah St. Joseph A. Barlowe)

"The Great Glockenspiel Gimmick" by Arthur Moore: Albert thinks he's come up with a foolproof plan to replace the money he's embezzled from Faceless Robert's Horse Parlor. But he doesn't taken into account the fools he's got helping him.

"The Japanese Card Mystery" by James Holding: King Danforth and Martin Leroy, coauthors of numerous mystery novels, are on a cruise with their wives. When they get caught up in what they think is a con game, they're determined to figure out how a man's niece can predict what card you draw...over the telephone.

"Not Easy to Kill" by Philip Wylie: Someone is out to kill millionaire Emerson Stickney while he's on a cruise ship. When it appears that someone has succeeded, suspicion falls first on the ship's young Doctor, Mark Adams, because Stickney had signed papers giving Adams complete control of his business empire in the event of his death. But it's not as simple as that. [two shot]

"Baskets of Apples & Roses" by Victor Canning: Baskets of apples and roses, sent as gifts to various journalists, contain deadly explosives. It's up to Mascaux of the Department of Patterns (connected to the French Police) to discover the pattern that will lead to the culprit/s and their motive. [one broken heart]

"The Sound of the Peepers" by Caroline Breedlove: Trudy's dad has been murdered and no one knows who did it--looks like a tramp or a hitchhiker. But Trudy keeps thinking that there's something that she mustn't tell... [one hit on head]

"The Right Way & the Wrong" by Sondra Morrow: Jim Chambers isn't too happy when his brother Mark, a lieutenant in the police department, tells him to give back the fifty dollars Jim took from his wallet. Doesn't Jim know there's a right way and a wrong way to come by money?

"Father Crumlish & the Cherub Vase" by Alice Scanlan Reach: Father Crumlish sets off an unfortunate string of events when he picks out an ugly cherub vase as a door prize for the Ladies' Aid Society's annual supper.[one hit on head; one natural]

The Theft of the Black Jupiter" by Margaret Austin: It is 1641 and our narrator is puzzling over the theft of a rare black tulip. A very odd way to steal, indeed.

"Grandfather & the Labor Day Mystery" by Lloyd Biggle Jr.: A man named Dick Scott shows up for the Labor Day fire works and then promptly disappears. Nobody admits to knowing who Scott is. [one stabbed]

"Devil to Pay" J. F. Pierce: A elderly man makes a deal with the devil (well...the devil's representative) and finds a way to keep his soul after all....

"Jericho & the Dying Clue" by Hugh Pentecost: This finds Pentecost's artist/detective John Jericho staying at the home of presidential hopeful Senator Willard Rice. Rice wants Jericho to paint his portrait and Jericho wants to get the atmosphere surrounding the man before he begins. But the Senator's death after an accusation of impropriety takes him from artist to detective overnight. It would look like suicide--if there had been a note and the weapon weren't missing. And, as the title implies, the Senator's supposed last words provides him with the solution to the mystery.[one drowned; one shot]

First line (1st story): The dog was constantly bringing things home.

Last lines (last story): "We can't live without truth, David. If we try, everything else becomes meaningless."

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