Sunday, October 7, 2012
The Premature Murder, by Michael Mallory
I have indicated before I am a sucker for stories that try to rethink some elements of our genre's history. My old friend Michael Mallory does a fine job in this story.
The time is 1852, the place is Baltimore, and the narrator (anonymous, unless I missed his name somewhere along the line) is a new recruit for a private detective agency, trying to prove he is good for more than filing papers and fetching growlers of beer.
In a bar one night he meets a potential client, a down-on-his-luck actor who wants him to investigate the mysterious death of the actor's estranged son, one Edgar Allan Poe...
The story is full of detail and atmospheric language (our hero doesn't carry a pocket watch, he carries a repeater. The gun in the story is a Philadelphia Deringer, spelled correctly for once.) A treat, all in all.
This is my first encounter with Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and I am enjoying it, but I resent paying for the twenty pages that repeat a Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Don't most of us already have a copy of those books?