Rediscovered—a Chip Harrison short story!
In addition to the four novels (No Score, Chip Harrison Scores Again, Make Out With Murder, and The Topless Tulip Caper), Lawrence Block wrote two short stories about young Chip Harrison. “As Dark as Christmas Gets” first saw life as a special printing for friends of the Mysterious Bookshop, and has been widely anthologized and, for a couple of years now, eVailable as well. This story, “Death of the Mallory Queen,” preceded it by 13 years, and appeared initially in LB’s collection, Like a Lamb to Slaughter, and later in Enough Rope.
As you may know, the first two Chip Harrison books are sexy coming-of-age novels, with Chip as a sort of Lecher in the Wry. In Make Out With Murder he goes to work for private detective Leo Haig, and this story features Haig and Harrison, and is very much planted in the inner circles of mystery fiction. It also shows us Leo Haig, that road company Nero Wolfe, caught up in a New Age self-improvement project.
Another Amazon freebie during February from Lawrence Block and truth be told a slightly disappointing first outing for me with series character Chip Harrison. Our piece was dominated by Leo Haig his employer. Too much Haig and not enough Chip, in my opinion.
I’ll hope for better things when I crack open The Affairs of Chip Harrison at some point.
Our short tale concerns murder. Mavis Mallory hires Haig to investigate her own murder, something which has yet to occur - obviously. Convinced of the strength of her death-wish and unable to convince her to take precautions Haig allows events to unfold.
The 25th Anniversary celebration of Mallory’s Mystery Magazine gives ample opportunity for Mavis’s enemies within the publishing industry to grant her the wish. The celebratory event occurs and Mavis dies.
Haig assembles the cast later and explains what happens and who was doing what to whom.
3 from 5
Ok but I’ve come to expect a bit more from the author.
Harrison so far trails Keller, Scudder and Bernie in the enjoyment stakes. Tanner and Ehrengraf as yet untried.
Source copy – Amazon Freebie