A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
1/28/1981 The Absence of Emily is noticed.
January 28, 1981. The issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine bearing this date had Jack Ritchie's phizzog on the cover and one of his best stories inside. "The Absence of Emily" was narrated by a man whose second wife has disappeared. His sister-in-law is keenly aware of that - and of the suspicious death of his first wife. But things are much more complicated -and funnier -- than it seems.
The story brought Ritchie a well-deserved Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and was later made into a short film.
Milwaukee's Ritchie was one of the greatest authors of humorous short mysteries. Another of his tales, "The Green Heart," became the movie A New Leaf, and later, a Broadway musical. He died a year after winning his Edgar.