Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Man Who Was Kicked to Death by Pablo Palacio

The current Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine has a story that is terribly inventive. Sadly, the author, Pablo Palacio, has been dead for some years. K.j.a. Wishnia has translated and introduced the story and it deserves to be known.

In the story, the narrator reads of a man who was kicked to death. The man had made his way to a police precinct before dying and when the police had asked who had kicked him and why, the victim's story is thin. Since the man dies soon after, the thin story is all there is. Or is it?

The narrator, after waiting a few days to see if more of the story comes out, takes it upon himself to investigate. Of course, he isn't a police officer and doesn't have anything more than the short news article, but he goes through a process of ratiocination (that's right, I said ratiocination...) that would have made Dupin envious. The narrator is clearly crazed, but he also seems to be clearly right in his deductions about the crime.

In any event, this is a story tha deserves to be read by many more and Wishnia and AHMM have done mystery lovers a great kindness. Here's hoping there are more Palacio stories out there.