Sunday, February 4, 2018
The Crucial Game, by Janice Law
In her fifth appearance at this blog, my friend and fellow SleuthSayer Janice Law has offered a story that is more fantasy than mystery. But never fear, it does have a criminal, or, as Ellery Queen used to say, criminous, element.
Ever since he lost his wife, Frank had immersed himself in sports, especially in his all-time favorite, ice hockey.
So we begin. One day lonely Frank, walking through Manhattan sees, among the vendors, a "little makeshift stand offering sports CDs and DVDS..." The merchant is "thin, almost gaunt, and very dark so that his large eyes gleamed above the bold cheekbones and the wide, and to Frank's mind, somewhat predatory nose." Sounds a bit spooky? How about when he calls "I have what you need"? A cautious man would run but Frank invests ten bucks in a DVD of the 1994 Rangers v. Devils match. "Take you back where you want to go," the vendor promises.
And sure enough, when he pops it in the machine and starts it, his apartment is suddenly back in 1994, and he hears his wife cooking in the kitchen. Astonishing. But, well, what happens when the last game on the DVD ends?
This story grabbed me from beginning to end.