"When This Man Dies" is a gem, a story that had to be written. Or maybe it just seems that way to me because I read it at an impressionable age---in this very volume, I believe. Until quite recently I remembered the story vividly but was unable to recall its title or author. I did my pathetic "Can you identify this story?" on another message board, where it was promptly named, and I was thereupon immediately reunited with it in Block's THE COLLECTED MYSTERY STORIES, which I had had lying around for years without opening.
Alfred Hitchcock (Harold Q. Masur) - Stories To Be Read With The Door Locked (Random House, 1975: BCA 1976)
Robert L. Fish - Hijack Adobe James - Tomorrow and Tomorrow Jerry Jacobson - Funeral In Another Town William Jeffrey - A Case For Quiet Charles W. Runyon - A Good Head For Murder Betty Ren Wright - The Invisible Cat Roald Dahl - Royal Jelly Isaac Asimov - Light Verse Richard Matheson - The Distributor John Keefauver - How Henry J. Littlefinger Licked The Hippies' Scheme To Take Over The Country By Tossing Pot In Postage Stamp Glue Jacques Futrelle - The Leak Harlan Ellison - All The Sounds Of Fear Waldo Carlton Wright - Little Foxes Sleep Warm Harold Q. Masur - The Graft Is Green Pat McGerr - View By The Moonlight John D. MacDonald - There Hangs Death! Warner Law - Lincoln's Doctor's Son's Dog Gary Brandner - Coyote Street Joseph Payne Brennan - Zombique Bill Pronzini - The Pattern Alan Dean Foster - Pipe Dream Theodore Sturgeon - Shottle Bop Jack Ritchie - The Magnum Gerald Kersh - Voices In The Dust Edward D. Hoch - The Odor Of Melting William P. McGivern - The Sound Of Murder Michael Gilbert - The Income Tax Mystery Joseph N. Gores - Watch For It Rex Stout - The Affair Of The Twisted Scarf
Jerry Jacobson - Funeral In Another Town: (Weird Tales, Fall 1973). From the short-lived first revival of the magazine with Sam Moskowicz in the editor's chair. Amis Bannerman, best-selling author (he's currently hacking out the 13th 'Scott McVey' mystery), unscrupulous defence lawyer and all round bastard, receives an invitation to the funeral of Guillotine Horror Magazine from it's publisher, Jonathan Quillesey. Bannerman had more to do with ruining the magazine than anyone when they were slow to pay him his exorbitant fee for one of his second stringers. Even when the cheque arrived, Bannerman fired off a statement to 150 top author's warning against Guillotine as an amateurish and most likely, fly-by-night operation.
Bannerman, his curiosity piqued, accepts the invitation. At the last moment, Quillesey changes the venue from the St. Cecilia Chapel, Minnesota, to the Quillesley Funeral Home, North Dakota, and Bannerman suspects he's the victim of a childish prank but he's not going to pull out now. Other than himself, there are only three mourners, Quillesley, his daughter Charlotte, and the magazine's editor, Colin Best, each of them black clad and suitably solemn. It's like they really plan to bury something. Or someone ...
Adobe James - Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Michael Winner's Death Wish in miniature (three pages). Each night, Paul Bosigian, ex-British Secret Service, disguises himself as a crippled old woman to rid the streets of muggers and rapists for what they did to his wife and daughter.
Joseph Payne Brennan - Zombique: Ex-Wall Street tycoon utilizes services of Haitian voodoo dolly to dispose of those who upset him. Described in tedious detail on malevolent dolls & co thread.
John Keefauver - How Henry J. Littlefinger Licked The Hippies' Scheme To Take Over The Country By Tossing Pot In Postage Stamp Glue: Hippie leader Large Daddy Throckmorton fatally entrusts wrong man with instigating the revolution. President Nixon inadvertently winds up stoned for months, but the war in 'Nam continues regardless. Not improbable that Keefauver, like the hero, put away a few hash brownies as he wrote.
Alfred Hitchcock's A Brief Darkness (Castle, 1988)
Brad Williams - Ley De Fuga Jack Ritchie - A Piece of the World Marguerite Dickinson - A Murderous Slice Richard Hardwick - High Tide Richard Deming - Number One Suspect Charles Willeford - Some Lucky License Robert Edmond Alter - A Habit for the Voyage Michael Zuroy - Diminishing Wife Douglas Craig - Jambalaya Harold Rolseth - Tight Fix Lawrence Treat - Homicide, Maybe James Holding - The Sunburned Fisherman Elijah Ellis - The Sheriff's Rainy Day Max Van Derveer - Hijack C.B. Gilford - Dream of a Murder Arthur Porges - Blood Will Tell Allen Lang - The Mark of Cain Lee Millar & Wayne Hamilton - A.C. from E.B. James H. Schmitz - Crime Buff Leo R. Ellis - Small Town Justice Carroll Mayers - Man with a Hobby Beatrice S. Smith - Obligations Larry Niven - $16,940.00 Talmage Powell - Bertillon's Odds Don Tothe - The Zigzag Line Pat Stadley - Something for the Club Ernest Savage - The Park Plaza Thefts Gary Brandner - Waiting for the Coroner Henry Slesar - Ruby Martinson's Poisoned Pen Stephen Wasylyk - The Desperate Theft Ann F. Woodward - The Girl from Ishikawa Brian Garfield - The Gun Law John H. Dirckx - A Bully's Downfall Lawrence Treat - A Matter of Arson Miel Tanburn - Faithful Viewer Kevin O'Donnell - Alternate
From the Blurb: In the files of Alfred Hitchcock we often encounter, as we should, the stuff of which nightmare is made. Sometimes subtly clad, so that its implications don't sink in all at once. But might not such things happen to us? Take Talmage Powell's story in the present volume, for instance - "Bertillon's Odds." The point is one we've probably all been brought up not to believe, ﬁnd it hard to believe. Because we'd much rather not. There are other nightmare situations. A man goes ﬁshing, comfortable with a homely and reassuring little improvisation he has absolutely no reason to distrust. He should. A husband wakes up after a quarrel with his wife, goes to work, and ﬁnds the cops waiting for him at the end of a long day. A dream intrudes and intrudes and intrudes until the dreamers mind is deranged. The very birds of the ﬁelds come forward with evidence against one. Hitchcock's stories have always, however, also been ﬁlled with humor. Some people hold that humor and crime don't mix; they evidently haven't been reading our magazine (or a lot of other crime fictions}. Jack Ritchie frequently sprang it on us in a gentle way; here his story of a young thief helping out his uncle ("A Piece of the World") is an appealing one. Michael Zuroy's "Diminishing Wife" sheds new light on the problem of the spouse murder. And blackmailers and do-ers-in of aging, wealthy gentlemen are cheerfully nailed themselves by Larry Niven and Gary Brandner.
The inclusion of copyright details for stories which don't actually feature here-in suggests this as another ringer.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.