Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Ripper Of Storyville - Edward D. Hoch

Story: The Ripper Of Storyville
Author: Edward D. Hoch
Source: The Ripper Of Storyville and Other Ben Snow Tales
The Ripper of Storyville is the first book collection of one of Hoch’s most imaginative creations, Ben Snow, the nineteenth century gunman who wanders through the West with two of his companions – his horse and his derringer pistol. Hoch combines ingenious plotting with a strong sense of time & place – thereby making it both Western and Historical mysteries. Snow is a fast draw and a crack shot and is often mistaken for Billy the Kid, and is hired for his shooting services. The first seven Ben Snow stories were written 30 years ago for The Saint Mystery Magazine. The series was resumed in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine after a break of 19 years; this collection features all the 7 written for SMM and 7 from the ones published in EQMM.
In the title story, Ben Snow travels from Texas to New Orleans to find Kinsman’s daughter Bess in the red light district of Storyville. Kinsman is on his deathbed and wants his daughter to come back and take over the millions that she is due for. The reason for hiring a gunman? Jack the Ripper is suspected to be operating in the area and already 2 prostitutes have met a gory end. And by the time Ben finds Bess, the body count has gone up to 3 and Bess is not in a mood to go back to her Father.  Ben not only has to persuade Bess to come back with him but he needs to keep her alive till the killer is caught. The 4th victim happens to be Bess’s own roommate. Snow has no other option but to investigate and find the link amongst the 4 women. … Which when he does with some clever deductions eventually leads to the fact that the Ripper’s final victim is none other than Bess!

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