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The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories by Bruno Fischer

The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories by Bruno Fischer

The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories – four hard-boiled stories of murder, blackmail, kidnapping and death by Bruno Fischer.

Book Details

Book Details

The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories – four hard-boiled stories of murder, blackmail, kidnapping and death by Bruno Fischer.

The Letter Death Wrote (1946) – When you try to help an old flame, don’t be surprised if you get burned.

A Grave Is Waiting (1952) – The lovely lady with the very red lips had a lovely proposition—to which any gentleman with guts would reply: Nuts!

Murder Turns the Curve (1948) – When Is An Accident Not An Accident?

Mind Your Own Murder (1945) – If you intend to meddle in other folk’s affairs, first be certain that they won’t resent it. No man has the right to hit a woman, Hagen thought. But what if the woman doesn’t object?
Chapter I
Chapter II – Strong Poison
Chapter III – A Frightened Little Girl
Chapter IV – With Fire and Gun
Chapter V – Flames for the Finish

Bruno Fischer (1908-1992) was a prolific pulp writer and 1950’s paperback novelist. Fischer also wrote under the pseudonym of Russell Gray. His writing style has been compared with that of Cornell Woolrich.

The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories contains 9 illustrations.

MD1945 06 The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories by Bruno Fischer
Mammoth Detective 1945-06

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Read Excerpt

Excerpt: The Letter Death Wrote

I  WAS knotting my necktie when the doorbell rang. Bert yelled from the bathroom: “If that’s the tailor with my tux, pay him, Mike.”

I went to the door. It wasn’t a tailor. It was Karen Weber. There was a time I would have lost my breath just looking at her dark beauty. Now I only scowled at her.

“Aren’t you inviting me in, Mike?” Karen asked.

I fingered the untied necktie dangling from my collar. “Sure, Karen— only I’m in a terrific hurry.”

Karen swept past me across the foyer. Just inside the living room she stopped. Bert Young was through with his shower and had started to shave. I knew this because Bert couldn’t hold a razor in his hand without his tenor bursting loose. His off-key interpretation of Loch Lomond filled the apartment.

“So Bert’s in?” Karen said, suddenly very grave.

I didn’t like this one bit. Everything between Karen and myself had ended months ago. She had accepted it without emotion and had gone on to other men. She knew that Fran Barton and I were to be married.

“I’m in a hurry,” I muttered again.

Karen didn’t seem to hear me. She stood listening to Bert singing, then suddenly swung to me and put her hands on my chest. I squirmed inwardly. I would hate Bert to see us like this—or, in fact, for him to know that Karen was visiting me in the apartment.

“Mike,” she whispered, “I’m in trouble. I’m being blackmailed.”

I felt somewhat embarrassed; it was like looking into a room you weren’t supposed to. But I also felt relieved. She was probably going to ask a favor, which was legitimate coming from an old flame.

“Where do I come in?” I asked.

“I need your help. You’re not only a friend; you’re a lawyer. This man wants five thousand dollars in return for some letters.”

“What letters?” I muttered.

“Letters I should have known better than to write.” She watched my face anxiously. “I don’t have to tell you what’s in them, do I?”

“No,” I said. I preferred not knowing. “Who has the letters?”

Karen’s mouth opened just as Bert stopped singing. She waited until he let go with Home on the Range. Then she said: “John Sherman.”

I think I jumped a little at the name. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised. About a year ago I’d met Sherman at a small informal party in Karen’s apartment. He had seemed to be just another of Karen’s respectable youngish bachelor friends, like Bert and myself. Six months later Karen had come to me and had asked me to defend him in court. I had found out then that John Sherman was a rather slick confidence man who had been involved in some shady stock manipulation.

I don’t like taking such cases, especially when I have a pretty good idea that the guy is guilty; but Karen had insisted and in those days I hadn’t been able to refuse her anything. I had managed to get him off with a mere three-month sentence.

“Didn’t Sherman go to Philadelphia after he got out of jail?” I asked.

“He came back a few days ago after he got hold of the letters. He’s back at his old house at 39 Maple Drive.” Her palms were again on my chest. “He demands five thousand dollars. I haven’t that much.”

I wondered how I could squirm out of a loan. I needed every cent I had to furnish a home for Fran and me.

But Karen didn’t want money. She said: “All I’ve been able to raise is two thousand dollars. John Sherman refuses to take it from me. But you, Mike—”

“Wait a minute,” I broke in. “He was your pal. You asked me to take his case.”

Her red mouth went crooked. “He wanted to be more than a pal when he got out of jail. I turned him down. That’s one reason for the blackmail. The other—well, you know what he is.”

I knew. A smooth article. From confidence man to blackmailer is only a single step.

“I see,” I said. “You think he owes me a favor for getting him off with only three months when he expected to serve a couple of years at least. But look, Karen, blackmailers have no sense of ethics or gratitude.”

“You’re a lawyer, Mike. You know how to handle these things. He insists on having five thousand dollars by tonight and I have only two thousand and I’m frantic. You’re the only real friend I have.”

I found I was holding the ends of my necktie and sawing my collar with it. “Okay,” I said.

Karen took a fat roll of bills out of her bag and handed it to me. The top bill was a twenty; probably the others were no larger. She said: “He expects me at once, Mike, so please don’t delay.”

“Tonight?” I looked at my watch. “I can’t go tonight. I’m taking Fran out to dinner at seven-thirty.”

She again moved in close to me, and in my nostrils was the heady perfume of her hair. “Mike, it has to be tonight. John Sherman said he’d wait till nine. After that—”

Excerpt From: Bruno Fischer. “The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories.”

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The Letter Death Wrote and Other Stories by Bruno Fischer
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