Mark Clayton is charged with murdering his shrewish wife after one of their frequent arguments. On the surface, Eleanor Clayton appeared to be a "plain Jane" type. Maris discovers she was ...
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Mark Clayton is charged with murdering his shrewish wife after one of their frequent arguments. On the surface, Eleanor Clayton appeared to be a "plain Jane" type. Maris discovers she was secretly a high-stakes gambler who'd run up a debt of $9,000 at a local gaming house and was feeling pressure to pay. Written by
Jay Phelps <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eleanor and Mark Clayton are a married couple who clearly don't like each other. She is constantly demanding money from him and accuses him of having an affair with his secretary. After their quarrel, he storms out. Later Eleanor is found shot to death and Mark is arrested for her murder. Herbert Maris' secretary asks him to meet with Mark's secretary, Ann Sherman. Ann tells Maris that Mark has an alibi since he was with her until midnight. But it wasn't an affair, it was really a business meeting. When Maris tells Lt. Weston this, he doesn't buy it and is convinced it's a fake alibi. Weston tells Maris that Eleanor had no enemies and no friends. As often in mysteries (back in the day when everyone smoked and advertising match books were ubiquitous), a clue is provided by a match book, in this case one imprinted with the name of a local gambling casino. When Maris goes to the club, all of the employees deny ever having seen Eleanor but a woman barfly tells Maris she had seen Eleanor in the club lots of times and that she had indeed gambled there. The barfly, Lillian, tells Maris she can't talk more in the club and asks Maris to meet her later in her apartment. Why do potential informants do this? Nine times out of ten, they'll be murdered before they tell all they know. And so she is. Even so, Maris figures it out and lays a trap for the real culprits. Interesting that this story was written by Robert Bloch who is best known for writing Pscho.
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