short stories read – February 23

The Cases of Lieutenant Timothy Trant by Q. Patrick, Crippen & Landru 2019 Lost Classics Series, softcover story collection, mystery fiction, introduction by mystery historian Curtis Evans.

I bought this when it was published, and have just now taken it from the To Be Read shelf to read. This is the second collection of stories from Crippen & Landru to feature the works of Richard Webb and Hugh Wheeler, who were better known under their three pseudonyms, Q. Patrick, Patrick Quentin, and Jonathan Stagge.

These stories, most of which were written between 1946 and 1955 primarily for This Week and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, feature Lt. Timothy Trant, the New York homicide detective. Trant appeared in three novels early in the careers of the two men as works by Q Patrick, and would later return at the end of the Peter Duluth series under the Patrick Quentin name in Black Widow, where Duluth is the main suspect.

As Webb’s health declined, most of these short works (and the later novels) would be written by Wheeler alone. This is the first time that many of these stories have seen print, since their original publication over 50 years ago.

My Take:
These are light, enjoyable stories featuring a likable character. Two of the stories are longer, as noted, novella or novelette length, the rest of usual length. None are particularly challenging to the experienced mystery fiction reader, but reading this collection makes for a nice break from the more dark, sometimes grim mystery fiction that’s currently common.

Contents:
She Wrote Finis – (novella)
White Carnations
The Plaster Cat
The Corpse in the Closet
The Farewell Performance
The Wrong Envelope – (novelette)
Murder in One Scene
Town Blonde, Country Blonde
Who Killed The Mermaid?
Woman of Ice
Death and Canasta
Death on Saturday Night
Death on the Riviera
Girl Overboard
This Looks like Murder
Death Before Breakfast
Death at the Fair
The Glamorous Opening
Murder in the Alps
On the Day of the Rose Show
Going Going Gone!–2
Lioness vs. Panther–

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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10 Responses to short stories read – February 23

  1. Steve A Oerkfitz says:

    Haven’t read these but I remember reading stories by him in EQMM in the 60’s along with a lot of stories by Robert L. Fish, Edward Hoch, Lawrence Treat. .

  2. tracybham says:

    I don’t think I have read anything by these authors at all, although I have read about them. This sounds like a great collection and that cover is very stylish.

    I do have a Kindle version of a short story book by Patrick Quentin, with 12 stories. I will try that out when I have a chance.

    I was working on a short story post earlier today, but later we had a problem with our water heater and are trying to get someone in to come look at it, so that messed up my concentration and motivation to get a post ready for tomorrow.

    • Conventional wisdom says replace not repair with water heaters, Tracy. I hope you get the problem solved happily. I’ll look forward to your post.

      • tracybham says:

        It seems to have been a relatively easy thing to fix, it looks like when the water heater was installed a pipe on the top was installed incorrectly. All fixes not made yet but the plumber fixed it enough last night to stop the leak. I was wondering if we would have to replace.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve read the three Crippen & Landru collections:
    The Puzzles of Peter Duluth
    The Cases of Lieutenant Trant
    Hunt in the Dark & Other Fatal Pursuits (the newest one)

    I’ve enjoyed all of them, more than I expected to,

    • I knew you’d read them, Jeff, since you’re a C&L subscriber.

      I enjoyed these stories, though I probably would have liked them even more if I’d read them spread apart more instead of one right after the other.

  4. 1412064gk says:

    I’ve enjoyed every book by C&L that I’ve read. I’ll order this one NOW!

  5. stevelewis62 says:

    I don’t read the “more dark, sometimes grim mystery fiction that’s currently common,” so I don’t need a break from it. This fits right in with what I do read.

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