My Book Notes: “The Silent Informer”aka “Murder Stops the Music”, 1957 (Dr Basil Willing s.s.) by Helen McCloy


Esta entrada es bilingüe. Deplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión es español

ellery_queens_mystery_uk_195808My take: “Murder Stops the Music” is a short story by Helen McCloy featuring Dr Basil Willing. It was first published in This Week Jan 27 1957 and  then in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine July 1958 US issue as “The Silent Informer”. A month later it appeared in the UK issue of the same title magazine, and was later collected  at The Pleasant Assassin And Other Cases Of Dr. Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru Publishers, 2003).

The action takes place during the summer in Cape Cod (Massachusetts) around a charity event at the Village Hall. Gertrude Ehrental, a famous concert pianist, who three years ago bought the old Ashley place has  agreed to perform at the local festival. During her performance the light turns off. It seems a fuse has blown, but when the light returns, Gertrud Ehrental is found stabbed to death, slumped on the piano keyboard. All in all, a short but well-plotted mystery.  

About the Author: Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994). Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends’ school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst’s Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including the London Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1938, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar® by the same organisation for her criticism. She helped establish MWA’s New England Chapter in 1971, and was named an MWA Grand Master in 1990. Helen McCloy died in Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 December 1994. aged 90. Although, based on other sources, she died in 1992. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mr Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books.

Dr Basil Willing Mystery Series: Dance of Death (1938) (UK title: Design for Dying); The Man in the Moonlight (1940); The Deadly Truth (1941); Cue for Murder (1942); Who’s Calling (1942); The Goblin Market (1943); The One That Got Away (1945); Through a Glass, Darkly (1950); Alias Basil Willing (1951); The Long Body (1955); Two-Thirds of a Ghost (1956); The Singing Diamonds aka Surprise, Surprise (1965) short stories; Mister Splitfoot (1968); Burn This (1980); and The Pleasant Assassin and Other Cases of Dr Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru, 2003) short stories, some of which originally appeared in The Singing Diamonds.

Recommended short stories: “Through a Glass, Darkly” (1948); “The Singing Diamonds” (1949); “Murder Stops the Music” (1957); and “Murphy’s Law” (1979)

Helen McCloy at Golden Age of Detection Wiki

Helen McCloy – by Michael E. Grost

Murder in Mind by Christine Poulson

Helen McCloy (1904-1994) – pseudonym Helen Clarkson

“The Silent Informer” aka “Murder Stops the Music” by Helen McCloy

Mi opinión: “Murder Stops the Music” es un relato breve de Helen McCloy con el Dr. Basil Willing. Se publicó por primera vez en This Week el 27 de enero de 1957, y luego en la edición estadounidense de julio de 1958 de la revista Ellery Queen Mystery como “The Silent Informer”. Un mes después apareció en la edición británica de la revista del mismo título y más tarde se recopiló en The Pleasant Assassin And Other Cases Of Dr. Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru Publishers, 2003).

La acción tiene lugar durante el verano en Cape Cod (Massachusetts) en torno a un evento benéfico en el ayuntamiento. Gertrude Ehrental, una célebre concertista de piano, que compró hace tres años la antigua casa de Ashley, ha aceptado actuar en el festival local. Durante su actuación, la luz se apaga. Parece que se ha fundido un fusible, pero cuando vuelve la luz, Gertrud Ehrental es encontrada muerta a puñaladas, desplomada sobre el teclado del piano. En conjunto, un misterio breve pero con un buen argumento.

Biografía del autor: Helen Worrell Clarkson McCloy (1904-1994). Nacida en la ciudad de Nueva York, Helen McCloy se educó en Brooklyn, en la escuela Quaker Friends’, y luego estudió en la Sorbona de París. De 1927 a 1932 trabajó para el Universal News Service de Hearst, después trabajó de forma independiente como crítica de arte y colaboradora de varias publicaciones, incluido el London Morning Post. Poco después de su regreso a los Estados Unidos, publicó su primera novela, Dance of Death, en 1938, con su popular serie protagonizada por el psiquiatra-detective Basil Willing. La novela Through a Glass Darkly, un enigma en la tradición sobrenatural de John Dickson Carr, es la octava de la serie Basil Willing y generalmente está reconocida como su obra maestra. En 1946 McCloy se casó con el también autor Davis Dresser, famoso por sus novelas de Mike Shayne. Juntos fundaron la agencia literaria Halliday & McCloy y la Torquil Publishing Company. La pareja tuvo una hija, Chloe, y su matrimonio terminó en 1961. En 1950, Helen McCloy se convirtió en la primera mujer en presidir de Mystery Writers of America y en 1953 la misma organización le otorgó un Edgar® por sus reseñas. Contribuyó a crear la sección de Nueva Inglaterra de la MWA en 1971 y fue nombrada Gran Maestre de la MWA en 1990. Helen McCloy murió en Boston, Massachusetts, el 1 de diciembre de 1994. a los 90 años. Aunque, según otras fuentes, murió en 1992. En 1987 , el crítico y escritor de misterios HRF Keating incluyó su novela protagonizada por el Dr, Basil Willing Mr Splitfoot en una lista de los 100 mejores libros de crimen y misterio.

Serie de misterio del Dr. Basil Willing: Dance of Death (1938) (UK title: Design for Dying); The Man in the Moonlight (1940); The Deadly Truth (1941); Cue for Murder (1942); Who’s Calling (1942); The Goblin Market (1943); The One That Got Away (1945); Through a Glass, Darkly (1950); Alias Basil Willing (1951); The Long Body (1955); Two-Thirds of a Ghost (1956); The Singing Diamonds (1965) libro de relatos; Mister Splitfoot (1968); Burn This (1980); and The Pleasant Assassin and Other Cases of Dr Basil Willing (Crippen & Landru, 2003) relatos breves, algunos de ellos publicados originalmente en The Singing Diamonds.

Relatos breves recomendados: “Through a Glass, Darkly” (1948); “The Singing Diamonds” (1949); “Murder Stops the Music” (1957); y “Murphy’s Law” (1979)

3 thoughts on “My Book Notes: “The Silent Informer”aka “Murder Stops the Music”, 1957 (Dr Basil Willing s.s.) by Helen McCloy”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.