Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

“The Crewel Needle” by Gerald Kersh

Saturday Shorts 81-01

Many is the good man I’ve known who has ruined himself by expecting too much justice. Now, I ask you, what sane man in this world really expects to get what he properly deserves?

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Look for “The Crewel Needle” in the The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries, available in our mystery section or as an eBook from Overdrive.

It’s early Sunday morning in London when Spindleberry Road is woken by the screams of a child at house #7. Our narrator is the first cop on the scene. He finds a room locked from the inside containing 8 year-old Titania and the body of her Aunt Lily. There’s no blood and no sign of death. Even when the coroner finds a small crewel needle lodged deep in Aunt Lily’s brain just behind the ear, the baffled authorities dismiss the case as some kind of freak accident. But our narrator is rightly suspicious and does a little investigating on his own. He uncovers a surprisingly clever murder plot that no one else is willing to accept.

“The Crewel Needle” is a brilliant, and somewhat vicious, little mystery tale. The plot is a puzzler that might take some familiarity with Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye the Science Guy to solve. The voice of our narrator is perfect—cynical, defeated, but insightful. I think he has more respect for the murderer than anyone else in the story. It’s a perfect place to start in this big anthology of locked room mysteries.

Review by Matthew

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This entry was posted on July 18, 2015 by in Book Review, Fiction, Mystery, Saturday Shorts, Short Stories.
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