Can maiden schoolteacher Miss Hildegarde Withers help Inspector Oscar Piper find the jewel-stealing cop-killer?
(from Alfred Hitchcock’s Daring Detectives, on loan from the RyanJessica Library)
Yeah, she can. Apparently these two teamed up to solve several mysteries over the years. And at the clever end of this caper, Inspector Piper delivers a crash course in cop-speak to the young sergeant whom one of the crooks had a crush on. I typed it up, so that you may study it and insert it into your everyday speech:
“You’ve been monkeying with a buzz saw, Romeo. This dame is the one who drove the getaway car, in blonde wig and glasses. Then she hopped out and came back to give us a wrong steer on the description of her boyfriend. Didn’t you, honey chile?”
I don’t read a lot of mysteries, but I know some people who are into them. Smart people.
It was actually fun guessing how the crime was perpetrated — admit it, you miss the interactive fiction of a good ol’ choose-your-own-adventure — but the who was never in doubt. A story this short has little room for a wild goose chase. If it turned out to be some guy named Ray who turned himself in at the end but otherwise made no appearance in the story, I’d be pretty pissed.
This was a 1982 softcover edition of a 1962 compendium, which also features stories by Agatha Christie, Eller Queen and John Dickson Carr. Nothing by Hitchcock himself; he’s more of a curator. Did you know how Alfred Hitchcock died? Interesting story, just heard this: Some guy named Ray killed him.