Friday, September 13, 2013

Give This Man a Hand: Killing Time and Other Stories (2007), by Joel Townsley Rogers

Small publisher Ramble House does some great work in the mystery line.

Case in point, this volume of short stories from the 1930s and 1940s by the American crime writer Joel Townsley Rogers (1896-1984), the second such volume by him that Ramble House has done: Killing Time. This book carries huzzahs from Ed Gorman, Bill Crider and Bill Pronzini, which should tell you something.

not a sci-fi collection, but rather
mystery stories tinged with horror
Rogers is one of those "one-work" mystery writers, whose name survives today on account of a single novel, The Red Right Hand (1945), despite the fact that he wrote a small number of additional novels as well as numerous short stories.  The longest story in Killing Time is, in fact, the original, novella version of The Red Right Hand.  Like the novel, it's a brilliant piece of work, about which I shall have more to say; but there are some other noteworthy pieces in this collection as well, including the title tale, one of the best mystery short stories I have ever read.

Check in later today, I really should have this full piece up by this afternoon.  Expect to see a few more pieces in the following week, despite the fact that my editing of the collection of essays in honor of  Doug Greene is keeping me heavily occupied (more on this soon too).

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