Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Edward at the Edge

"Edward at the Edge" by John Morgan Wilson, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, January, 2005

I had hopes for this story. From a technical standpoint, the English language technical standpoint, I had nothing to criticize. The story was quite easy to read with no rhetorical speed bumps to throw me out of the author's world. Unfortunately I can't say the same for other issues.

In the early part of the story while talking about a gun, a nine-millimeter Ruger, lent to another character, the main character makes the following statement: "It's a nine-millimeter. Nice gun, blue plate, doesn't weigh much. Bought it on impulse from a catalog last year." My God, where do I start? Mr. Wilson has obviously never physically handled such a weapon in his life. Ruger makes more than one kind of nine-mil but you won't find one that weighs less than about 2-1/2 pounds. It's "blue steel" or "blued steel" not blue plate, and you can't buy such a weapon through a catalog these days. This pretty much ruined the author's credibility for me.

And it just got worse. The whole case, a rather vigorous murder, rested on forensic trace evidence supposedly left less than an hour ago that was actually deposited during an athletic sexual encounter a month before the murder. I don't know a lot about forensic science, but I've gotta think that if a CSI crew is good enough to detect trace evidence after the passage of a month and multiple cleanings, they'd have to be a little suspicious about finding no evidence that the accused had recently entered or left the house, not to mention the lack of gunshot residue on the accused's hands and clothes.

I have been told, on occasion, that I am a picker of technical nits, that the things I notice would not be noticed or cared about by 99% of the general public. I'm an engineer. Deal with it! I have to say, though, that in this case the nit was the size of an elephant.

You're a skillful writer, Mr. Morgan. Next time, please do your research.


At 12:41 PM, Blogger ibrahim said...

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At 10:22 AM, Blogger Steve Soucy said...

I'm turning this short story into a short film - shooting in August. Would love for you to read my script - if you're at all interested! I can be reached at shsoucy@gmail.com. Thanks. Steve

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Jessa French said...

Great blog! I'd love to read this short story, but haven't been able to find it. (I don't have it's original publication and haven't found any leads online). Any assistance would be greatly appreciated! My email is: jessafrenchwebsite@gmail.com Thanks in advance!

At 8:56 AM, Blogger MackTheKnife said...

Jessa, the story was originally published in 2005 in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. If it's not on their website about the only place you might be able to find it would be a library or used book store.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Steve Soucy said...

I shared a copy of it.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Riyan Cilacap said...

Thank You Verry Much, Ijin nitip gan dan trimaksih atas infonya

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