“A Much Expected Murder” by Gail Ingram, from Tales of Fatima
Basil Rathbone, yes the Basil Rathbone who played Sherlock Holmes in many movies, is getting ready after a performance when he and his secretary Lavender are warned by a brute of a man with a gun to “leave Mrs. Dawson’s case alone”.
As Rathbone is not involved with any case, he agrees. After the man leaves he receives a phone call from a Mrs. Dawson in need of help.
Rathbone meets with the woman who asks for his assistance as her husband has something bothering him and she can’t tell what it is. Rathbone goes to speak to the man, and discovers that he is convinced that his wife is murdering him. She had a young chemist help her with a poison that was undetectable and killed her first husband, and now she is killing him. But how does he know she murdered her first husband? Why he was the chemist.
The brute returns and attacks Rathbone for reneging his promise. Rathbone then goes to see his detective friend and he discovers that Mrs. Dawsonn never had a first husband. Then what is going on?
Wen they return to the house they discover they are too late, Mr. Dawson is dead.
And then to complicate things, the brute is there at the house! He is the doctor and an old friend of Mrs. Dawson, in fact her old lover.
He tells Rathbbone that Mr. Dawson told him his suspicions about poison and they are pretending he is dead to catch the killer. They made up a story of the first husband as to distract Rathbone. As they are in the house they stumble upon Mr. Dawson. They try to talk to him but he is dead-throat cut.
They call the police and try to figure out who did the deed? Mrs. Dawson for the money? The Doctor for Mrs. Dawson? Mr. Dawson’s crazy sister who constantly speaks of death?
Thoughts After Reading:
Great story. Loved it! And Basil Rathbone amazing!!!
For more short stories, go to The Old Plantation
For more on a husband’s murder, go to Death by Honeymoon