AHMM, October 1969 at Goodreads
AHMM, October 1969 at The Alfred Hitchcock wiki
Overall Rating: 7/10
With pics of interior art coming in a day or two... [EDIT: this week I hope.]
Overall, a pretty good issue, with only one story I did not like. The bulk of the stories are forgettable, yet enjoyable enough to read, and many of the selections here managed to find their way into anthologies, including a few in Alfred Hitchcock Presents anthologies. My favourite story is the character-based "The Attitude of Murder," by Nedra Tyre, who I am not familiar with. Other good ones are: "Pardon My Death Ray" by the always enjoyable Jack Ritchie, "Killer in Town" by Max Van Derveer, and "Scream All the Way" by Michael Collins.
Jack B. Daggett's Lament by Frank Sisk 6/10
Narrator Al stops by a small town bar for a drink and something to eat. There he meets patron Jack B. Daggett, who, for the price of a few drinks, recounts his life history. A promising young chemist, he met a corrupt woman who guided him to marry a young and innocent orphaned named Christian, in order to gain access to her sizable inheritance. Of course, things became complicated when Jack fell in love with the woman.
Regular contributor Frank Sisk delivers a somewhat overlong but fairly good story. As most of his short stories, this one is character driven, featuring misconceptions and a small twist. This one tries hard to provide pathos, and with some editing could have easily been improved.
Killer in Town by Max Van Derveer 7/10
Sheriff Billy-Don Joe Glover is anticipating trouble as war hero Matthew Charles McLamp is slated to return to town. The son of the town's wealthiest citizen, years before he had killed a young girl in a traffic collision, and though rumours of his being inebriated behind the wheel pervaded the town, his wealthy father managed to help get him acquitted. Sheriff Glover is concerned that the victim's father would attempt some kind of revenge. While he was away, Matt's new bride Ertha moved into the Big House with his parents, and his dad hired a friend of theirs to chauffeur the lonely girl and keep her company as she awaits her husband's return.
The Waiting Room by Charles W. Runyon 6/10
A trio of thieves and killers on the run hole up in an abandoned service station, surrounded by police. Told through the point of view of Pawley, the leader, he reflects on the current situation and how he has dragged his brother John and his lover Shirley down to this point.
Pardon My Death Ray by Jack Ritchie 7/10
At a university campus, a man informs two instructors that he is from another planet, and that his people inadvertently launched a death ray at Earth that will kill everyone on the planet at ten after eight that evening.
A Little Time Off by Stephen Wasylyk 6/10
City detective Dave Malone is on a fishing vacation in the woods, and is wading with his reel when a small fishing boat explodes. He is enticed through guilt by local sheriff Tom Fulton to help investigate the incident, and they learn quickly enough that the boat's engine did not explode, but that instead the boat was blown up. It must be murder!
The Secret Savant by Edward D. Hoch 6/10
Missing persons expert Trainor is hired by a state university to locate esteemed Chemistry professor Ronald Croft, who vanished seemingly without a trace. Yet Croft locates him quite quickly, and learns that the professor is away to conduct an experiment related to his research on the connection between genes, chromosomes and criminal behaviour.
Scream All the Way by Michael Collins (Dennis Lynds) 7/10
One-armed detective Dan Fortune is hired to help guard a safe containing $250,000 in cash of bonus pay for the sales staff of a major rug company. Following a burglary attempt, the insurance company demanded that the safe be guarded at all times, and Fortune, along with a partner, must spend the night at The Sussex Towers to ensure the safety of the cash. On that first night, however, there is an unusual amount of traffic on the floor, and Fortune decides to investigate.
Thief in the Night by Carroll Mayers 6/10
Misogynist diamond thief Harry Tyson is vacationing at a sunny resort. On the balcony late one night, he witnesses a beautiful young woman commit what appears to be a robbery next door. When questioned by resort security the next morning, if he'd seen anything, Tyson keeps quiet, and instead searches for the woman so he can blackmail her.
Go Ahead and Talk by Liane Keen 5/10
An American visiting London following a long absence runs into an old friend in a pub. The friend, the wealthy recently widowed Peter Carstairs, invites our unnamed narrator to his home, and opens up about the difficulties he had with his beautiful and loving--though incredibly jealous--wife.
The Attitude of Murder by Nedra Tyre 7/10
On a beautiful day, the routine walk of retired Alexander Hull is extended, taking him to an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Having lost his hearing, Hall's perception of physical attributes has become heightened, or so he believes, and looking through an upstairs window he is convinced he has witnessed a murder. He is then struck with the dilemma that many an unwitting eyewitness to a possible crime has faced: how to convince the authorities?
Poof! by Syd Hoff 6/10
In the middle of the night, Charles Bergman hears a voice clearly informing him that the world will be coming to an end, and that he will be the sole remaining survivor. He immediately awakens, and kisses his wife goodbye, inadvertently waking her. We are meant to wonder whether Bargman has lost his grip on reality, or if really he is fated to become the last man on Earth. We do not wonder for long, as the story skips quickly to its conclusion.
Hand by William Brittain 6/10
A major traffic jam brings cars to a standstill. Edward Julian is stuck behind a green Chevy, frustrated at the delay, when he notices the vehicle to his left, its suspicious female driver, and a sheet in the back seat which is exposed to reveal a hand with a stream of blood. As with "Attitude of Murder," how does our unwitting eyewitness convince the police that a murder was committed? Particularly when the local homicide detective is overly tired from working two straight shifts?
Doing His Hamlet Thing by Lee Chisholm 6/10
At the Benigno police station, Lieutenant Michael O'Shea is facing his once high school English teacher. As a student, O`Shea had complained to Miss Dawson about Hamlet's methodical, inactive method, and his teacher's response was that Hamlet was taking his time, mulling things over as he tries to unravel the mysteries that abound in the plot. Now, as O'Shea interrogates Miss Dawson about the corpse of a small-time crook that was recently discovered nearby, along with some old clippings found in the dead man's wallet, O'Shea is taking his time piecing together his theory of the motives behind the man's death. He is doing his Hamlet thing.
Memory of a Murder by Clark Howard 5/10
Magazine writer Dan Briggs arrives in the small town of Lakeford to write about a thirty year-old murder for a series of unsolved cases. In October 1940, young Jennie Hunt was strangled in the cemetery grounds, and her boyfriend Billy Deever was believed by townsfolk to be the killer. Yet Deever disappeared that night, and has not been found in the twenty-nine years since the crime.