Sunday, October 15, 2006

"Dr. Ralph", by James R. Winter

From: Crime Scene Scotland

Dr. Ralph Culter had stopped off at the local bar for a quick one on the way home to his wife and the little ones when fate intervened in the form of a long, lean brunette named Trina. Now, you or I might be suspicious if an attractive woman suddenly found us irresistible, but Culter is not much for inconvenient questions. "Is it true what they say about you, Dr. Ralph?" asks Trina. If they say he's easy, then yes.

In short order they're having dinner at a discreet restaurant, where Trina reveals that she's always yearned to be a nurse, and Dr. Ralph reveals that he's yearned for her to be his nurse for at least an hour.

Experienced mystery readers will know that Trina isn't acting out of the goodness of her heart. She wants something, that much is clear - to us if not to Dr. Ralph. Winter is able to put a novel twist on this relatively routine plot, then he tops it with another surprise in the penultimate line.

Winter, of course, is best known for his stories featuring private investigator Nick Kepler, so this story is a bit of a change of pace - almost a cozy, certainly something that could be described as "mainstream". What's next, a sale to PLOTS WITH CATS?

1 comment:

Steven said...

Hey, wait. I'm selling a story to Plots with Cats...It's the perfect change of pace.