Thrilling Detective is really pleased to present our very first poem.
As always, we welcome your comments.

Detective Story
(with apologies to Raymond Chandler)

by Kathy Korty

She strolls in his office, slides into the chair,

her coif a smooth fall of platinum hair,

her lips a thin slash of Maybelline red--

and with smoldering eyes that could knock a man dead.

"My husband is missing," she croons to our man.

"The cops can't find him, but I think that you can."

She sways out the door like a tall, luscious dream,

and he eyes her silk stockings with one crooked seam.

He checks his informants, Benny, Reno, and Jake,

and Spider, the ex-cop who went on the take.

But on one missing man they can dig up no dirt--

"But his wife, my old pal, is one two-timing flirt."

As he tracks down his quarry, he's quite often slugged,

tied up and tortured, and once even drugged.

But this babe with the eyes keeps offering him loot,

tucking it into the pocket of his rumpled brown suit.

A tip from a barman puts him on the chase

to a dockside warehouse--and a gun in his face.

Miss Maybelline lips says, "I hired you to fail.

You were my little pigeon to keep the cops off my trail.

Yeah, I killed my husband. See, I wanted his dough.

Too bad for you, baby, now it's your turn to go."

This dame that he fell for with smoldering eyes,

had set him up good-- but now there she lies,

dead on the floor of a slug to the brain,

shot by the hubby she thought she had slain.

He returns to his room, a pea-green dim place,

drops his hat on the chair, rubs his hands on his face,

puts his gun with his socks in a chipped bureau drawer,

rubs his aching sore shoulder (souvenir from the war).

He starts to phone Betty, his good old ex-wife,

who couldn't put up with his private-eye life.

But he lights up a smoke, takes a sip of Jim Beam,

and thinks of a dame with one crooked seam.

Copyright (c) 1999 Kathy Korty

Kathy Korty lives in Lafayette, Indiana, where she's been teaching English to high school students for several years. As a kid, she read Nancy Drew, but The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes got her hooked on mysteries when she was in high school. Kathy confesses to a love for Raymond Chandler, but in the wider genre of mystery, her favorite authors are Thomas H. Cook and Robert Goddard. The Red Right Hand, by Joel Townsley Rogers, is the scariest mystery she has ever read, and it continues to be her favorite mystery novel. A few years ago Kathy began writing poetry, and she's had several articles about poetry published in The Amateur Poetry Journal.

Douglas McShane O'Brien is the 1948 sleuth Kathy's created, based loosely on her poem "Detective Story." Right now he roleplays a bit, but Kathy says he might have his own webpage soon.

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"And I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk."

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