By Henry Kane
Originally released in 1948
When a lush brunette turns up without notice useless in a stranger’s mattress, and an old broker (who is “mostly legit”) settles down in a simple chair with a dagger in his again, and a big-time gambler drops all bets at the kitchen ground in a pool of blood—then Peter Chambers, fiction’s such a lot attention-grabbing, hard-boiled inner most eye, unearths himself staked out as sufferer quantity four in a costly video game of dying and foreign intrigue.
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Extra resources for Armchair in Hell (Peter Chambers)
But then, when it really hit me, I slapped my fist forward, hitting his fingers and knocking the lighter away. It winked out and clattered against the floor. I'd knocked over a glass and it rolled on the table top, the liquor and water dripping off the table's edge. There was no illumination behind Stone, only the reflection from those spotlights focused on the dance floor, but there was enough of a glow so that I could see him start to move. He seemed slumped in the chair, but was still upright.
I'm going out to see him now. " Senator Carter spoke for the first time since I'd come in this evening. "Perhaps we should wait here until Mr. Scott can report on what he learns. " Beasley shrugged, but Sebastian Wise got to his feet. "You can call me at home if anything important comes up. " He looked Page 21 Wailing Frail, A Shell Scott Detective Mystery at me and grinned. " He went out. After a little more conversation I was ready to leave. Paula stopped by me a moment at the door. " I told her I'd be back in no time, and she gave me a smile that would last me at least an hour.
Fortunately there were no ladies resting and when I came out I saw the word "Manager" on a door across from me, but the room beyond it was empty. I went back to where Stone lay. The big guy was still standing alongside the body. Satin wasn't in sight. I went through the curtained archway and down a narrow passageway to a hall lined with closed doors. I saw one door with a silver star on it and knocked. " "Shell Scott. " Satin opened the door. She held a cloth in her hand and was removing the make-up from her face; but she hadn't changed the outfit she wore in her act.