Once Upon a Dreadful Time ★★★★☆

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Title: Once Upon a Dreadful Time
Series: ———-
Editor: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Crime Fiction
Pages: 166
Words: 65.5K



Synopsis:

From the Inside Cover & ToC

MURDERERS TO REMEMBER

Greedy husbands, hen-pecking wives, fickle bachelors, nosey spinsters, grumbling servants, wronged maidens, crooked executives, jealous siblings—these are the unsung heroes and heroines of crime. Where professionals rarely execute an inspirational murder, these mere amateurs persecute and kill with passionate ingenuity. But, alas, all too often the brilliance of their acts has to be admired by them alone. For a perfect crime, by definition, must go undetected.

In this volume you are given a rare opportunity to ob serve, with their reluctant permission, these dedicated masters of murder at their ingenious best. It is an experience you are likely never to forget.

DEPARTMENT OF THE DEPARTED

     Alfred J. Hitchcock

A LITTLE PUSH FROM CAPPY FLEERS

     Gilbert Ralston

THE SAFE STREET

     Paul Eiden

NO ONE ON THE LINE

     Robert Arthur

ANTIQUE

     Hal Ellson

SUSPICION IS NOT ENOUGH

     Richard Hardwick

A FAMILY AFFAIR

     Talmage Powell

GRANNY’S BIRTHDAY

     Fredric Brown

THIRD PARTY IN THE CASE

     Philip Ketchum

HILL JUSTICE

     John Faulkner

IF THIS BE MADNESS

     Lawrence Block

ANATOMY OF AN ANATOMY

     Donald E. Westlake

A COOL SWIM ON A HOT DAY

     Fletcher Flora

BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA

     Hal Dresner

BODIES JUST WON’T STAY PUT

     Tom MacPherson

THE DANGERFIELD SAGA

     C. B. Gilford

NUMBER ONE SUSPECT

     Richard Deming

My Thoughts:

This was a very good collection but at the same time it was really, really weird. Being about murder, well, what do you expect? So, some stories were about good guy murdering some scum who deserved it but who had eluded justice. Other stories were about 2 badguys falling out and trying to off each other. While others were about annoying people who get murdered and you feel ok with it. Some were about people getting murdered and the murderer getting away with it, sometimes that was good and sometimes it was a bad thing.

So this really ran the whole gamut. Some stories were fantastic vigilante justice and others were just horrible murder. And the thing was, you could never tell going into a story which part of the spectrum you’d end up on. It was just the right sort of unsettled feeling I’d expect from an Alfred Hitchcock presentation.

“Granny’s Birthday” was probably the most unsettling, as it involved a whole family, led by their Matriarch, as they kill two people who are not part of the family. It was a very short story, no more than a couple of pages, but man, was it intense and shockingly abrupt.

Outside the occasional twinge of “what did I just read?”, I really enjoyed my time with this collection. Overall, the stories edited by Hitchcock are all quite entertaining.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

25 thoughts on “Once Upon a Dreadful Time ★★★★☆

    1. Considering he directed many more films and edited many more books, I’m forced to say that it seems to have worked out pretty well for him.
      When one got tired, he just put it on the charger and used the spare….

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You’ve never heard of the behemoth known as the HMU (Hitchcock Media Universe)?

          On a serious note, he was the editor. He had a magazine and all these schlupps sent in submissions hoping to get published…

          Like

            1. MUTINY!!!!
              Trying to cap dear ol’ harmless wouldn’t hurt a fly Booky. Shaaaaaame on you.

              By gum, if I ever catch any of you ever trying to cap me again I’ll keelhaul the lot of you and feed you to the sharks!

              Liked by 1 person

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