Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Feb 1961

 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Feb 1961 edited by Ellery Queen

Another of the EQMM's that I picked up in a search for short stories by the Lockridges. This collection isn't as strong as those I've read earlier in the year. Of the stories, the ones I would recommend are the Lockridge, "The Rubber Doorstops" by Pentecost, and "The Marvelous Mundo Case." The rest are mostly just okay--or barely so. ★★ and 1/2.

"A Winter's Tale" by Frances & Richard Lockridge: A miserly old man who was thought to have died from a fractured skull is found to have froze to death. Captain Heimrich must figure out how he froze to death in an 80 degree house. [one froze to death]

"Dead Heat" by Juan Page: A short little riddle about horse race.

"A Matter of Speculation" by H. C. Bailey: Miss Pumphrey, the last (poorest) of the Pumphreys launches her detective career at the behest of a butler of her acquaintance. The man wants her to look into the bona fides of a new claimant to be an heir of the Madans.[one died at sea; two natural]

"The Rubber Doorstops" by Hugh Pentecost: When a member of a law team set to present a case for the Grand Jury is killed, it looks like the gangster Carl Zorn has made an attempt to "get" Warren Cuyler just as he promised to do. But another member of the staff realizes that all may not be what it seems.[two fell from height; one electrocuted; one hit on head]

"Always Keep Running" (aka "Pale Tea for Hannihan") by Walt Sheldon: Hannihan runs to Japan to get away from his fears--fears of inadequacy as a cop, as a man. But when trouble follows him, he learns that the best way to conquer fear is to face it.

He was beginning to understand that until a man actually risked danger or ruin or death for what he really believed, he never would feel strong, and would always keep running.

"Out of the Darkness" by Gordon R. Dickson: A lighthouse keeper who is on the brink of forced retirement, has one more adventure ahead of him. [two poisoned]

"The Dead Do Not Come Back" by Jack London: Would a man really commit murder over an argument about the reality of existence? [one hit on head]

"The Truelove Chair" by Susan Thimmesch: A slick young man is well on his way to being a con man. But just who is conning who?

"The Marvelous Mundo Case" by June McMahon Roy: Mundo nearly pulls off the perfect method for corpse disposal. If he just hadn't had that one piece of bad luck....[one strangled; one natural]

"The Man in the Next Cell" by Henry Slesar: A businessman speeds through a small town and winds up with a ticket and a visit to a jail cell when he tries to bribe the trooper who stops him. While there, a violent man accused of killing a young woman is placed in the next cell. An angry mob is on its way to make sure justice is served...[one stabbed]

"Exploit at the Embalmed Whale" by Jacob Hay: When the British government decides it wants to get its hands on a ton (really!) of new rocket fuel, they call on their most irritating, yet brilliant spy. He takes the instruction to "steal it from right under their noses" quite literally.

First line (1st story): At a quarter after one on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-January, Florrie Watson parked her battered sedan and for a moment sat in it shivering, hugging a worn cloth coat around her.

Last line (last story): "I shall miss the old girl."

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