Intended as Hitchcock's 80th-birthday anthology, this instead sadly becomes a memorial volume--but, in any case, only one of...

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ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S TALES TO FILL YOU WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING

Intended as Hitchcock's 80th-birthday anthology, this instead sadly becomes a memorial volume--but, in any case, only one of the 30 stories here is worthy of close association with the late great Alfred: Ed McBain's ""Sadie When She Died"" is an 87th Precinct novel in miniature, fully satisfying on its own modest terms. As for the rest, they're mostly undistinguished Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine stories from the Fifties and early Sixties, crammed with dated psychology, professional crooks, wife-murderers, lame trick endings, and pallid prose. A few of the better entries: a voodoo-tinged, tongue-in-cheek Jack Ritchie story of three heirs forced to share a mansion and its perhaps-lethal cook (like much minor Ritchie, it goes on far too long); Raymond E. Banks' ""Lady With a Hobby,"" the hobby being murder-for-profit (or so her husband assumes); Pauline C. Smith's ""Scheme for Destruction""--which starts with an apparently kinky suicide and then neatly reveals the slightly less perverse motive underneath; and a dandy little short-short by Henry Slesar. Some variety is provided by touches of supernatural (Barry N. Malzberg, Charlotte Edwards, Mary Braund) and by an art-forgery tale from Dan J. Marlowe--but, all in all, a drearily second-rate gathering with only that McBain gem to interest the non-mystery-magazine audience.

Pub Date: July 1, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980