Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Death At Stonehenge - Norma Schier

Theme: Authors from the pages of AHMM

Story: Death At Stonehenge
Author: Norma Schier
Source: Alfred Hitchcock's Tales to Make You Quake And Quiver
Story Number: 92
The name of Norma Schier rang a bell but couldn't place it till a simple google search gave me the result - it was featured first by Tomcat and then later by Patrick on their blogs in reviewing the collection of short stories The Anagram Detectives. For a detailed analysis of the stories, please check here and here. This story written in 1969 is a late entry in the author's output though it looks like a deviation from the anagram puzzles. A simple search through the listing of AHMM magazines and anthologies didn't yield any other entry for her.
Chief Inspector Harlan Faulkner is called in to investigate the death of Felicity Carmichael, an archaeologist who was assisting the research activity at the Stonehenge site. The body at the Stonehenge site looks as though she was being sacrificed as part of a ritual but the Inspector who is extremely knowledgeable in the matter knows that the scene has been set up by a person of somewhat cracked brain.
Her  husband believes that she was having an affair with her fellow research scientist Donat but Donat claims that it was strictly a professional relationship. Donat has an alibi for the time of the crime - he was with another lady who also happens to be the consulting psychologist for Felicity. The clues are fairly provided for the reader to arrive at the solution before the Inspector lays his trap to nab the murderer - a person whose characteristics have been well anticipated by the Inspector!


  1. Thanks for mentioning the review and letting me know that this story is out there. It shows that anthologists have more to pick from than just the seemingly obligatory stories by Poe, Doyle and Futrelle.

  2. Good to know that Schier wasn't just a one shot writer who got published based on her very clever gimmick. Will have to keep an eye out for that Hitchcock anthology. I usually page though the TOC of those Hitchcock paperbacks hoping to stumble upon a Jonathan Craig story and now I'll have someone else to look for.

    1. I've found 3 Craig stories so far in the AHMM anthologies - "Call Me Nick" , "The Baby" & "This Day's Evil".