The Man Next Door

“The Man Next Door” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Mr. Mensch just finished with one of his “guests” and is looking for a new “visitor” to join him. Mr. Mensch inherited millions from his penny-pinching, miserly father. He has moved around the country and had many “visitors” stay with him in his basement or secret rooms.

This is not good

He’s been looking at his neighbor Bree Matthews, watching her. He knows that choosing her would be dangerous, police would come-but he can’t get her out of his head. She had been remodeling her townhouse next door and had a leak destroy everything. She came over enraged and yelling that the contractor told her it was his fault-he had a leak pouring onto her roof. Mensch just told her calmly to get another contractor take a look-its not his fault. While he was calm on the inside, a fire was growing inside him. He wanted her.

The next day, Bree came to apologize and admit she was wrong. She had another contractor view and it turns out the original contractor cut a lot of corners. Mensch accepted her apology and couldn’t deny it. She was to be his next visitor.

That night he went to work, cutting out the stone in the basement that connects the two houses, his plan to get in and get Bree.

Bree has been having a bad weekend. She had her beautiful home decorated and destroyed by shoddy work. She is taking the contractor to court, which caused a fight and break up with her boyfriend Kevin Carter, as he felt she should just accept the settlement. She had to spend their planned Friday night alone, leave the office early Saturday because she has a cold, and spent all Sunday in bed miserable. Now she is heading to court and is woken early because of a strange grinding noise from next door. Ugh!

She doesn’t know how much worse her life is about to get as that noise marks Mensch’s entrance. He breaks in, drugs her up-makes it look as if she was abducted on her way home Friday night, and imprisons her in her basement. Will she make it out okay, or face the same fate as his previous’ visitors?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved it. It was so engrossing that I read faster and faster until I reached the conclusion. I had to know if she survived or ended up dead in the river.

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Let Me Call You Sweetheart

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more short stories, go to A Much Expected Murder

For more books with kidnapping, go to The Secret Adversary

For more serial killers, go to The House on Foster Hill

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A Much Expected Murder

“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.

Hmm…

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.

Hmm…

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.

WHAT!

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

The Old Plantation

“The Old Plantation” by Unknown from Tales From the Midnight Hour edited by J.D. Stamper

Jonas Ellerby turned the car into the driveway of the old plantation. He’s never seen one before except in movies.

Weird

The house was completely crazy-rooms sagging at an angle, the color a dull rotten gray, a dying house. Jonas’ company was planning on destroying it and selling the land.

This place is a mess!

The house had a strange reputation, but Jonas had decided to spend the evening in the house.

He looks through the house and spots a small bedroom, one that didn’t look gross or smell. Jonas grabs his luggage from the car and sets up in the room. There is a candle next the bed, good thing as the house has no electricity.

He lights the candle and reads the book The Old Plantation. 

The story is about a young man, a Northerner, who comes to the South on business. One night, he drives his car up to an old Southern plantation. He decides to spend the night in the old house, even though he is all alone there…

Jonas is freaked out! but also curious, maybe just a little bit more:

In the story, the young man has just turned in for the night, after having gone out on the veranda for awhile. His face is still swollen from a mosquito bite he has gotten there. He scratches the bite.

Jonas realizes he is scratching his bite! He keeps reading:

The young man in the story sees a book by his bed stand. The title of the book is The Old Plantation. He picks it up and begins to read. As he reads the first chapter, his face takes on a look of fear. Then, slowly, a look of understanding comes over his face.

What is it? What does he understand?

Jonas keeps reading:

The young man continues to read The Old Plantation. The more he reads, the more frightened he becomes. Finally, he finishes the book. Then the young man lays the book back down on the nightstand. He knows there is nothing he can do. Nothing he can do…but wait…

Eagerly, Jonas turns the page but it is blank!

WHAT!

The rest of the book is blank!

Jonas puts the book away. Then he hears a car coming up. A person opening the door and sees…

Himself.

Thoughts After Reading:

A great short story.

For more Tales From the Midnight Hour, go to The Jigsaw Puzzle

For more short stories, go to Voices in the Coalbin

For more land developers, go to Snagged

 

Voices in the Coalbin

“Voices in the Coalbin” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

This was a great one.

Mike and Laurie met, married, and life was good. Mike a junior partner in his father’s law firm and Laurie a well-known soprano opera singer. They had a nice home which they were decorating.

But then that all changed. Every night she has the same nightmare, these people trying to take her and make her sing with them. She is afraid of everything and everywhere. She was raised by a hypochondriac, abusive grandmother who tried to have her fear everything. Laurie tried to break it, but it looks as of it has a firm grip on her.

Oh no!

Her therapist told Mike that it would be nice to go away somewhere. So he decided that they should go to his grandparents cabin in Milwaukee. Mike has all these great memories from his childhood but when they get there is it all gloomy and dark. It turns out there is a cold storm overhead.

They start looking through the house trying to sort what they might want from the cabin before it sells. As they search through the closets, Mike finds an old Victrola. He winds it up and starts playing Chinatown. A song that Laurie remembers from childhood.

Laurie freaks out when she hears it

And it turns out that her grandmother used to play that sing and she told her the voices were trapped in the coalbin. Laurie never went in the basement and coalbin ever again, and she still hasn’t since.

The two go down to the coalbin, Laurie feeling strong. And then the two go to bed.

The next morning Mike wakes up happy, and sees that Laurie is gone. He searches everywhere but the last trace was Laurie’s footsteps in the basement.

They find her body, she drowned in the river. But when they do the autopsy they find coal dust.

What?!

And later, when Mike is going through the house again-he listens to the Victrola-and hears Laurie’s voice on the record.

WHAT!

Great story, great ending.

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go toDefinitely, A Crime of Passion

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Stowaway

For more short stories, go to Zero Hour

Zero Hour

“Zero Hour” from The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

It’s just a normal day for the Morris family. Mrs. Morris is taking care of the home and little Mink is playing with her friends. Except today Mink is grabbing all kinds of things and running around with her friends more excited than usual playing Invasion.

While they are playing, Mrs. Morris notices that the kids won’t let a 12 year old play with them as he is too old.

Hmm…

She hears how serious the kids are with Mink demanding and ordering about, organizing like a general. She runs out and about everywhere, as it is a “matter of life and death.”

Oh kids

They have to hurry as Drill needs them to finish the Invasion. Drill is from outer space and needs help to come to their dimension. Drill and his compatriots have been trying to invade Earth for years and couldn’t make it. Then they decided to use kids under nine and their imagination. They promise the kids they can get and do whatever they want when they arrive.

“Drill says I won’t have to take baths,’ said Mink.

‘Oh, he does, does he?’

‘He told all the kids that. No more baths. And we can stay up till ten o’clock and go to two televisor shows on Saturday ‘stead of one!’

‘Well, Mr. Drill better mind his p’s and q’s. I’ll call up his mother and —‘

Mink went to the door. ‘We’re having trouble with guys like Pete Britz and Dale Jerrick. They’re growing up. They make fun. They’re worse than parents. They just won’t believe in Drill. They’re so snooty, ‘cause they’re growing up. You’d think they’d know better. They were little only a coupla years ago. I hate them worst. We’ll kill them first.’

‘Your father and I last?’

‘Drill says you’re dangerous. Know why? ‘Cause you don’t believe in Martians! They’re going to let us run the world. Well, not just us, but the kids over in the next block, too. I might be queen.’ She opened the door.

Mrs. Morris calls her friend in New York and finds out that the kids there are playing the same thing. It seems that this game and “Drill” have spread all over the nation.

The day continues and Mink tells her mom it will be soon, Drill is stuck halfway but they are working on it. Five o’clock is zero hour. Mr. Morris returns home from work and Mrs. Morris is struck with how quiet the street is. What are the children up to?

Then an explosion happens and all Mrs. Morris’ fears explode with it. Sh grabs her husband and runs up to the attic hoping to hide out there and escape that night. Her husband thinks she is crazy, but Mrs. Morris doesn’t care.

Footsteps come into the house:

Heavy feet. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty of them. Fifty persons crowding into the house. 295 The humming. The giggling of the children. ‘This way!’ cried Mink, below.

‘Who’s downstairs?’ roared Henry. ‘Who’s there!’

‘Hush. Oh, nononononono!’ said his wife weakly, holding him. ‘Please, be quiet. They might go away.’

‘Mom?’ called Mink. ‘Dad?’ A pause. ‘Where are you?’ Heavy footsteps, heavy, heavy, very heavy footsteps, came up the stairs. Mink leading them.

‘Mom?’ A hesitation. ‘Dad?’ A waiting, a silence.

Humming. Footsteps toward the attic. Mink’s first.

They trembled together in silence in the attic, Mr. and Mrs. Morris. For some reason the electric humming, the queer cold light suddenly visible under the door crack, the strange odor and the alien sound of eagerness in Mink’s voice finally got through to Henry Morris too. He stood, shivering, in the dark silence, his wife beside him.

‘Mom! Dad!’

Footsteps. A little humming sound. The attic-lock melted. The door opened. Mink peered inside, tall blue shadows behind her.

‘Peekaboo,’ said Mink.”

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Marionettes, Inc.

For more from The Illustrated Man, go to The Veldt

For more aliens, go to The Andromeda Strain

For more short stories, go to Stowaway

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Stowaway

“Stowaway” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Stewardess Carol is heartbroken over her breakup with Tom, the pilot. Not only does she have to deal with her emotional baggage, but remains by his side through all her hurt and pain as he flies the plane she is assigned to.

This flight from Danube to Frankfurt has its share of troubles as her fellow purser/flight attendant is sick so Carol has to take care of everyone on her own. A member of the underground resistance group has fled captivity, and they think he might be stowing away on the plane.

All the passengers and  workers are annoyed as the government police are keeping them by searching the plane.

That’s it?

Carol goes in the back to deal with her emotional thoughts when she spots it. A person hiding.

It’s the fugitive. Carol makes a snap second decision that changes everything, she decides to help hide him.

But then the police commissioner stays on the flight. Now Carol has two hours to Frankfurt, a fugitive, the police commissioner, and no place to hide him.

It was really good. The tension was great and well written.

For more by Mary Higgins Clark, go to Definitely, A Crime of Passion

For more from Death Wears a Beauty Mask, go to Death Wears a Beauty Mask

For more short stories, go to The Jigsaw Puzzle

For more stowaways, go to Emilie & the Hollow World

The Jigsaw Puzzle

“The Jigsaw Puzzle” by Unknown from Tales From the Midnight Hour edited by J.D. Stamper

Lisa has been searching for something to take home to do, but has found nothing. Then she spots a jigsaw puzzle box. It says 500 pieces and that it is The Strangest Jigsaw Puzzle in the World. Something about that calls to Lisa and she buys it.

Hmm…

Mr. Tuborg, the owner, doesn’t remember ever buying it-and sells it to her.

She stops to buy dinner and heads off for home. As soon as she gets to her room she starts making the puzzle and notices some similar things in the puzzle to her room.

In fact, the more Lisa puts the puzzle together the more it looks exactly like her room. Even she is in it.

The woman in the puzzle is terrified! Scared! Horrified!

Soon there is only one piece missing. Lisa doesn’t want to finish it, but can’t help herself. It’s just a puzzle right?

When she finishes the puzzle she sees a terrifying creature behind the girl in the puzzle. Then she turns around and screams because there it is!

Thoughts After Reading:

A great spooky story.

For more short stories from The Midnight Hour, go to The Black Velvet Ribbon

For more short stories, go to Definitely, A Crime of Passion

Definitely, A Crime of Passion

“Definitely, A Crime of Passion” from Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

The former president, Henry Parker Britland IV, Secretary of State, Thomas Acker Shipman, has been arrested for murder of his ex-girlfriend, Arabella. He started dating not long after his wife died to a much, much younger woman. She left him, but guess that he didn’t want to give her up.

The turn of events was that he shot her and then went to bed. The housekeeper found the body in the morning.

What?!

This sounds extremely strange to the former President and his wife Sandra, “Sunday”. Him killing in a passion, doesn’t sound like the always calm and collected Thomas they know so well.

But even if he had a snapping point that caused him to do so, why would he go to bed after? That doesn’t sound right.

The two decide to investigate and found out that Henry broke up the relationship, not Arabella like the tabloids said.

Well if he did he wasn’t that “passionate” so why shoot her.

Hmm…

More and more doesn’t add up. So who is hiding the real truth?

Thoughts After Reading:

I didn’t like this as much I found it to be extremely obvious. I knew right away who the killer was and just found it comical that the former president and his wife were investigating.

But you know me, I don’t like Eleanor Roosevelt Investigates either.

For more Death Wears a Beauty Mask short stories, go to Death Wears a Beauty Mask

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Where Are You Now?

For more presidential investigators, go to The Hyde Park Murder

For more short stories, go to Conspiracy

Conspiracy

“Conspiracy” by Harold Swanton from Murder by Experts

A reporter is in a bad mood. His girlfriend has been cheating on him and now he is being sent to a town that is clearly going to be flooded to report on it.

As he is driving to the town, he passes the girlfriend’s apartment and gets an idea. This flooding is definitely going to happen, and when it does this town is gone-washed away. Why not kill his girlfriend and let the river wash the body away?

He heads to the girlfriend’s apartment and does the deed, but as he is, the water comes and the building starts swaying. He becomes disorientated and then he realizes that there is a man that witnessed everything.

He runs after them, but both are stopped and knocked out by a telephone pole hitting the water.

When he wakes up, he is in a hospital having been rescued. And to his surprise the other man is also in the room-but blinded from the accident.

He feels he is in the clear, but then a women’s murdered body is found and the man remembers having witnessed a man killing a woman.

The reporter is given the task of taking him to get more of the story when it turns out the man is not blind-he faked the whole thing!

He has a gun and plans to kill the reporter as he murdered his wife and doesn’t want any witnesses.

Imagine the irony! Both having killed their women and worried about being witnessed!

This reporter isn’t going down and manages to drive his way out and getting the gun from him and shooting him. So now he’s got his girlfriend killed, a great story, and feels fine about having killed the man-or does he?

For more posts on reporters, go to Loose Screw

For more short stories, go to The Hitchhiker

The Hitchhiker

“The Hitchhiker” from Suspense by Lucille Fletcher

You’ve probably heard this story before. It has been told many times and was even a Twilight Zone episode. No matter how many times one hears it, it still remains creepy.

Ronal Adams is traveling from Brooklyn, New York to California for a job. He decides to drive that way, instead of flying. His mother worries about him, but he assures her he will be just fine.

As he travels all is normal, but then he sees a hitchhiker. No matter how slow, or fast, or where he drives, the hitchhiker is always there.

He picks up a female hitchhiker, hoping that having her there will help but she doesn’t see the hitchhiker, leaves, and he still is chased by the hitchhiker.

Finally he stops and calls his mom-reaching out for something anything to prove he is sane. But he can’t reach her. It turns out she went into shock and had to go to the hospital when her son died in a car crash on his first day of leaving for California.

Ronald realizes and stops for the hitchhiker finally.

For more short stories, go to The Boscombe Valley Mystery

For more book reviews, go to Weak Flesh

The Boscombe Valley Mystery

July we always celebrate Sherlock Holmes as A Study in Scarlet was published July of 1888, making it 130 years old. Happy anniversary to our favorite detective!

“The Boscombe Valley Mystery” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

One day Watson is relaxing with his wife when he gets a note from Sherlock asking if he can join him for a few days on a case. Mary agrees it is a good idea as she believes Watson is in need of an adventure.

Lestrade has asked Holmes to look over a case as he is a bit unsure. Charles McCarthy is a well-off Australian expatriate. He has a son, James, and the two have been estranged for ages.

Witnesses say that McCarthy went out to the Bascombe Valley pond to meet someone, and then James also went out with a gun.

The lodge-keeper’s daughter saw the two fighting, and took off to get her parents, then heard James’ call for help as his father was dead.

James was of course arrested. But Alice Turner, daughter of McCarthy’s friend John Turner, believes in James innocence-as she loves him. She begs Holmes to save her guy, and Holmes intrigued by the case and convinced there is more than meets the eye, agrees.

Thoughts After Reading:

A great twist. And as always, a thought provoking mystery.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to A Case of Identity

For more short stories, go to The Black Velvet Ribbon

For more from The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, go toThe Red Headed League

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

For more estranged fathers, go to The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

 

 

The Black Velvet Ribbon

“The Black Velvet Ribbon” by Unknown from Tales From the Midnight Hour edited by J.D. Stamper

This is an old story that no one knows where it comes from originally. It is one you have probably heard before in a hundred different ways.

A man was a bachelor for 40 years, but then he meets a beautiful woman and falls in love. She dresses fashionable except for one thing-she wears a velvet ribbon around her neck.

Hmm…

He doesn’t think much of it and they get married-her all dressed in white except for one thing-the black ribbon.

Their lives continue and she never takes the ribbon off, no matter what she wears.

The thought of it consumes him and he ask her to take it off. She won’t and tells him that he’ll be sorry of she does.

He becomes obsessed with the ribbon and her secret. It’s all he thinks about day and night.

Then one night he can’t take it anymore and while she is sleeping cuts the ribbon off. As soon as that happens, her head falls and rolls away saying “You’ll be sorry…you’ll be sorry…”

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this story. It was one of those “spooky” ones that you always tell each other at sleepovers.

For more short stories, go to Marionettes, Inc.

For more reviews, go to A Talent for Trouble

 

Marionettes, Inc.

“Marionettes, Inc.” from The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Braling and Smith are very good friends, but haven’t spent a lot of time together since Braling got married. Braling’s wife is very dependent, and doesn’t let him do anything. That is just the beginning of their bad relationship, they only got married because she was going to go to the police and accuse him of rape if he didn’t.

10 years later and Braling feels trapped and so unhappy as he can’t do anything or go anywhere, just stuck at home with his needy wife.

Braling shows Smith how he has finally managed to escape his home. There is another Braling at home with his wife.

What?!

A month ago he went to a company called Marionettes, Inc. They charge from $7000 to $15000 for a humanoid plastic model.

Changed to $5,000 for Alfred Hitchcock’s Presents.

Braling has always wanted to go to Rio, and now he has his chance to do it.

Smith leaves, reading the business card and thinking about doing it himself as his wife loves him too much-it’s driving him crazy. He goes to his bankbook in preparation to write a check but discovers that $10,000 is missing!

He looks at his wife and realizes-she is a marionette. She is gone.

Meanwhile, with Smith heading home, Braling puts the marionette away in his box-but the marionette doesn’t like it.

He hates being put away, he resents that Braling gets to go to Rio, and he has fallen in love with Braling’s wife.

I think you see where this is going…

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Punishment Without Crime

For more on The Illustrated Man, go to The Veldt

For more short stories, go to A Case of Identity

A Case of Identity

“A Case of Identity” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This is a really interesting case as it is one that Sherlock solves, but doesn’t “solve” as he can never reveal the truth to the client as she wouldn’t believe it.

One day Sherlock is remarking to Watson he hasn’t had an interesting case. However, there may be one in the future, near future, as in the girl who is pacing outside their door.

“I have seen those symptoms before,’ said Holmes, throwing his cigarette into the fire. ‘Oscillation upon the pavement always means an affair de coeur. She would like advice, but is not sure that the matter is not too delicate for communication.”

This new client is Miss Mary Sutherland. After Holmes amazes her with his deductive abilities, she introduces her case.

She is here to seek help in finding a Mr. Hosmer Angel.

Mary’s father died not to long ago, and shortly after her mother remarried a Mr. Windibank, fifteen years her junior and five years older than Mary, and they sold the Sutherland plumbing business for £4700. Mary has £100 annual that she receives from her uncle Ned.

She lives at home, earning a side income of £60 at typing, and has a genial relationship with her mother and “father”. She signs over her her £100, as she wants to help at home and can do well off her side income.

Mary used to go out and have fun while her father was alive, but Mr. Windibank never let’s them go anywhere. When they receive tickets to the gasfitter’s ball, in memoriam to her late father, Mary rebels. She decides to go, while her stepfather sulks off to France. She attends the dance with her mother and their old foreman, Mr. Hardy.

There she met Hosmer Angel. They continued to spend time together, as he asked her for walks, courting her. But then one day, her stepfather returns and no more is seen of Mr. Angel.

The two wrote letters and became engaged. However, he will not come around when her father is home.

He was a shy man, retiring, gentlemanly, soft voice, he had weak eyes like Mary and wore tinted glasses.

When her stepfather left, Hosmer Angel returned. They planned to get married and Hosmer made her swear on a bible that whatever happened she would always be true. Mary was worried about stepfather but her mother said to forget it. Mary was still worried as it felt underhanded and wrote to her stepfather, only to receive the letter back.

The day of the wedding Hosmer Angel placed Mary and her mother in a cab , following behind them. But when they reached the church, he had VANISHED!

Her mother and father were very upset and told Mary to forget him. He was just a cad and it wasn’t like he had borrowed money or married her and took off. But Mary can’t forget. She must know where her love is.

She advertised for him in the paper, but nothing. No one knows him and she has not heard from him again.

Where is he?

Sherlock agrees to the case and Mary leaves him to think on it.

Now Sherlock has picked up on many clues, one of which being the letters she received from her Betrothed, Hosmer Angel, were all typewritten, even the signature. Very odd.

He then writes two letters-one to a firm in the city, sand the second to Mr. Windibank.

The two wait for the reply.

The next day, Mr. Windibank answers the note and arrives at Baker Street. Sherlock discusses the case, the letters, etc-Mr. Windibank making a lot of bluster that he would like to catch the guy who did this to his daughter. But then Sherlock reveals who the guy is, Mr. Windibank.

Yes, Mr. Windibank was just a gold digger. He married the widow for her money and was also enjoying the money of the stepdaughter. He tried to do everything he could to keep her from marrying and taking her money with her.

First he never let her out or to any events, but soon Mary grew tired of this and rebelled. Windibank knew it was only a matter of time until she went somewhere and met someone, and he decided the only one she would meet would be himself.

He got his wife to help him and disguised himself. He wanted to distract Mary and knew the best way to hook her was to get her promise of undying love. And on the day of the wedding he entered the carriage on one side, exiting through the other to “vanish”. With such an event, he knew that Mary would never stop trying to look for her “fiancé” and that her heart would be stolen forever.

Thoughts After Reading:

The sad thing about this is that Mary is unlikely to believe him, so he decides to give that view up. But poor girl, how sad that her stepfather and MOTHER would conspire against her like that? I think this is one of the sadder stories in Sherlock Holmes. And now she will spend her life thinking and having her heart stolen by that jerk. And him, nothing he did was really against the law, but how horrible. Sherlock threatens to beat him with a whip for his treachery, but Wiindibank hurries away-fast. Too bad, I would have liked him to get his just desserts.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Red Headed League

For more from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more short stories, go to Punishment Without Crime

Punishment Without Crime

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“Punishment Without Crime” from Long After Midnight by Ray Bradbury

“You wish to kill your wife?”

George Hill wants his wife dead, yet he doesn’t want her dead. He’s asked a dozen questions about her and gives a photo.

He loves his wife Katherine, but she does not love him. No she has been having an affair with Leonard Phelps, of all people.

When he awakes from his fits and sleep he is brought into a room with KATHERINE!!!

But how can it be? Magic?

No science. Marionettes Inc. has created an android of his wife, a perfect vision. George wants to kill his wife, but not actually kill her, instead having an android created.

But killing an android is illegal. At first George doesn’t want to do it, He wants to take this new wife, new Katherine and live with her. But then she starts talking about Leonard and he does it. Bang shot.

He faints and the next day he awakes. He walks out satisfied, but then he is arrested. He and all the others involved with the plot are sentenced to death.

Even though he  didn’t actually kill her, he will pay for the crime. Katherine comes to see him, going off with Leonard, and winning.

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Thoughts After Reading:

It was sad but it made me think of Blade Runner. I really wish that George life didn’t have to go out that way.

For more short stories, go to The Tell-Tale Heart

For more Ray Bradbury stories, go to The Veldt

For more stories from Long After Midnight, go to The Utterly Perfect Murder

For more stories where the husband wishes to murder his wife, go to The October Game