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Saturday, December 7, 2013

alfred hitchock's games killers play

alfred hitchock's games killers play
1967

you've gotta love those old hitchcock anthologies. although, given the fact that the stories were presumably drawn from the pages of alfred hitchcock's mystery magazine, there's not much content that's in the way of what i would call mystery.

most of the stories in this volume seem to fall into a pattern. a nasty person or persons do nasty stuff and typically get what they deserve in the end, usually by way of a late-breaking twist. more often than not the alert reader will be able to see these twists coming from about a mile away. which makes for an entertaining if not very substantial reading experience.

the standouts among this group of fourteen stories are the feel of a trigger, by donald westlake, which is a fairly straightforward account of a pair of cops apprehending a known murder suspect. also of note, august derleth's the china cottage. it's another of the many adventures of his sherlock holmes knockoff, solar pons. the only tale here that i'd really call a proper mystery story, it’s a locked room yarn that's arguably not among the best examples of this sub-genre, but is fun reading nonetheless.

also worthy of note, hitchcock's own tongue-in-cheek introduction, in which he offers some grim alternate endings for well-known movies. going into this i just assumed that it must have been ghostwritten on his behalf. but it's got that exceedingly dry hitchcock wit down so well that either he actually wrote it or found a stand-in who could mimic his style perfectly.