Teaser Tuesday: Seabury Quinn, “The Horror on the Links”

So for a while now I’ve been reading a volume of collected stories by Seabury Quinn:

Have Moustache, Will Solve Crimes

The stories in this volume, which date from the 1920s and appeared in such magazines as Weird Tales*, are all short(ish) mysteries involving one Dr. Jules de Grandin and one Dr. Samuel Trowbridge. They very much follow in the tradition of the detective (de Grandin) and what Agatha Christie referred to as “the idiot friend” (Trowbridge), except in the case of these stories, Trowbridge pretty much really is an idiot; at least other idiot friends, like Poirot’s sometime-sidekick Captain Hastings, seem not to be entirely dim, and of course Nero Wolfe’s sidekick Archie Goodwin is not the slightest bit dim at all.

I read to the end the sensational account of the girls’ disappearances. The cases seemed fairly similar; each of the vanished young women had failed to return to her home and had never been accounted for in any manner, and in no instance, according to the newspaper, had there been any assignable reason for voluntary departure.

“Parbleu, but he was stupid, even for a journalist!” de Grandin asserted as I completed my inspection of the story. “Why, I wager even my good Friend Trowbridge has already noticed one important fact which this writer has treated as though it were as commonplace as the nose on his face.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, old chap,” I answered, “but looks to me as though the reporter had covered the case from every possible angle.”

“Ah? So?” he replied sarcastically. “Morbleu, we shall have to consult the oculist in your behalf when we return home, my friend.”

Seabury Quinn, The Horror on the Links

I have a tendency to skip over the introductions to compendia such as this, but for some reason I read the introduction to this one, and decided to take the advice it offered just to visit the collection once a week or so, thus reading the stories more in the manner they would have originally appeared, rather than taking them all at once. This means I’m going to be reading it for a good long time (the book is over 500 pages long and contains some 25 stories), but it also means I won’t get burned out from an overdose of Trowbridge’s being an idiot. There’s only so much stupid you can take in one sitting.

Now, normally, with a Teaser Tuesday, this would be the section at which I would include a few sentences from the book I’m currently working on, but, well, that hasn’t been going all that well, so the book-writing is on hold for the moment. If and when I pick it up again, that feature will return. But for now, perhaps I can interest you in a teaser from towards the end of what is by far my most popular book. It is, of course, the one with the dragon.

“She was going to take me,” he said again.  “She wanted to carry me off, too.”

“Of course she did,” Diasa said.  “She hates you.”

He turned, looking off toward the lake, and the receding form of the dragon.  “Why did she change her mind?”

“If I must guess?”  Diasa pointed at Prehn.  “But you can’t carry Ponn’s daughter around forever.”

James V. Viscosi, Dragon Stones

* A magazine from which I have plenty of rejection letters.

5 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Seabury Quinn, “The Horror on the Links”

  1. Good post. I have a friend novelist and we have, of late, felt that we would never write a book again, but we always do. I took a two year hiatus, once. Take all the time you need. Sometimes the river runs dry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “The Horror On The Links” sounds quite fascinating…..in fact a bit familiar as I remember Trowbridge from somewhere…..
    I loved your reference to Poirot’s sidekick Capt Hastings. Soemtimes he could be so clever & then dumb as a brick! I think Hastings was ‘comic relief’….
    My favorite Detective Duo are Sherlock Holmes & John Watson! Right from the beginning of the original Basil Rathbone movies to present day with Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman.
    Do you have a fave Duo James?
    I am sorry the writing is on hold…….I DO understand. I can barely put ‘pen to paper’ anymore. I hope you find your ‘writer’s mojo’ soon….
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen aka BellaSita Mum & ***purrss*** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

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