Sunday, July 7, 2024

Bridge to Nowhere, by William Kitcher

 "Bridge to Nowhere," by William Kitcher, Mystery Magazine, July 2024

How far back can we trace the subgenre this story belongs to? The oldest comic tale I can think of about incompetent criminals is "The Ransom of Red Chief" by O. Henry (1907).  No doubt someone can name an earlier one.

The master of the field was Donald E. Westlake with hias Dortmunder novels, although he would argue that poor John D. was very competent, just highly unlucky. I'll admit the man could plan a crime brilliantly, but as for the accomplices he selected, well, he has to take some responsibility for picking them. 

In any case, let's look at today's example.  Greenizan is desperate for money so when an acquaintance named Murphy offers him a grand for doing a favor he doesn't see how he can say no.

He should have tried harder. Turns out the favor involves a corpse. And a bridge. What could possibly go wrong?

I won't say more about this short story except that it is well told, and it surprised me and made me laugh. What else do you want on a summer afternoon?

turmns kkkkkkkkk

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