Showing posts with label RIchards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RIchards. Show all posts

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Clan, by Tony Richards

"The Clan," by Tony Richards, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, March 2014.

I have written once before about Tony Richards' satisfying series of science-fiction mystery stories set in a near-future Federated Africa.  To my mind, this story is the best so far.

Abel Enetame has been promoted to captain in the African police for his work against people who would like to reduce the continent to the good old days of tribal warfare, but now he is pressured to go undercover against a new enemy.  The Anti-Caucasian Clan is attacking Caucafricans -- white citizens of the federated state.  Worse, they are killing them in impossible ways, getting in and out of locked rooms at will.

Abel goes undercover in situations that put him in ethically sticky situations and watching him slip around them is one of the pleasures of the story.  His method of defeating the impossible killers is the other.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Hunting Party, by Tony Richards

"The Hunting Party," by Tony Richards, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, October 2013.

Editor Linda Landrigan has been doing something risky in AHMM in the last couple of years and I haven't seen anyone else mention it.  She has occasionally published science fiction mysteries.

The usual thinking is that mystery fans don't want to read science fiction.  I think it goes back to the idea that you can't have a fair-play mystery if the solution depends on the detective knowing that the Model K3 ray guy has a defenerator switch on the left side, not the right, or who was elected emperor in 2994.  Of course, that's nonsense; a fair-play set in the present or past can be just as unfair. 

Besides, most mystery stories today are not traditional fair-play, anyway.

Which is also true of Richards' tale.  It is (at least) the second story about Lieutenant Abel Enetame, a cop in Federated Africa, a continent that has made tremendous gains over today's gloomy situation.  Unfortunately there are some fanatics who want to force a return to the good old days of tribal violence. 

The leader of this group, Chief Manuza, appeared in the first story.  Now he is more dangerous because he has an ally,  a Nobel Prize-winning physicist named Kanai. 

"There is a saying in the scientific world," Mweru told me.  "Einstein stood on the shoulders of others.  Kanai stood on the shoulders of Einstein...and then just floated off into thin air."

Such a man could give Manuza's rebels a dangerous weapon in their fight against progress.  But weapons can be dangerous in more ways than one as we learn in the stories very satisfying ending.