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Anthony Boucher


AnthonyboucherAnthony Boucher (born William Anthony Parker White) (1911 – 1968) was an American science fiction editor and author of mystery novels and short stories.

Boucher is best known for his work as an editor, critic, and radio writer/producer. He wrote only seven novels with ‘Nine Times Nine”, and ‘Rocket to The Morgue’, which has a Sci-Fi twist, being his two primary contributions to the locked room genre. In a 1981 poll of 17 detective story writers and reviewers, his novel ‘Nine Times Nine’ was voted as the ninth best locked room mystery of all time, and ‘Rocket to The Morgue’ is also listed.

He was particularly influential as an editor. Between 1942 and 1947 he acted as reviewer of mostly mystery fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to “Anthony Boucher”, White also employed the pseudonym “H. H. Holmes,” which was the name of a late 19th century American serial killer.

Boucher wrote short stories for many of the most distinguished popular fiction magazines in America, including Adventure, Astounding, Black Mask, Ed McBain’s Mystery Book, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Galaxy Science Fiction, The Master Detective, Unknown Worlds and Weird Tales. 

Bouchercon, one of the world’s premier annual mystery conventions was named after him. A rather surprising honor for a man who is too often forgotten by modern mystery fans. 

More on Anthony Boucher

More on Sister Ursula

Mystery.net Biography


Anthony Boucher Novels (AKA: H. H. Holmes)


LR Nine times NineNine Times Nine (1940)
Sister Ursula Series

 

Locked Room Review
****

Available in ebook and used paperback editions 

Book  eBook   Amazon.ca

Note: #9 on Hoch’s famous list of best locked room mysteries!

The man in the yellow robe had put a curse on Wolfe Harrigan – the ancient curse called the “Nine Times Nine”. And when Matt Duncan looked up from the croquet lawn that afternoon, he saw the man in the yellow robe in Wolfe Harrigan’s study.

Later the police discovered that at the time of the murder the man in the yellow robe was lecturing to a group of his followers miles away! How can a man be in two places at once? A miracle, perhaps?

Who better to explain miracles than Sister Ursula, a nun, whose childhood ambition was to become a policewoman.

More on: ‘Nine Times Nine


Solid KeyThe Case of The Solid Key (1941)
Fergus O’Breen Series

 

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback edition. 

Used book only

Note: Locked room murder in Hollywood!

 Hollywood is the setting, and it’s filled with actors and actresses who have movie stardom on their minds. Fergus O’Breen’s sister, Maureen. is a publicity agent at Metropolis Pictures. The victim is killed with the assistance of the proverbial ‘blunt object’ inside a locked room. 

More on: ‘The Case of The Solid Key


Rocket MorgueRocket to The Morgue (1942)
Sister Ursula Series

 

Best Review
****

Available in ebook and used paperback editions 

Book  eBook   Amazon.ca 

Notes: Also on Hoch’s famous list of best locked room mysteries!

A deadly net of danger tightens around Hilary Foulkes as an unseen enemy makes constant bizarre attempts on his life. Detective Terry Marshall and his unusual assistant, the inquisitive nun, Sister Ursula, work desperately against the clock to break the case – for Foulkes’s luck is due to run out at any moment. Rocket to the Morgue is the novel in which Anthony Boucher’s two interests, crime and SF, collide in double genre classic.

More on: ‘Rocket to The Morgue


Anthony Boucher Short Stories


Death Locked InElsewhen (1948)
Fegus O’Breen Series
Anthology: Death Locked In (1994) Ed. by Douglas G. Greene and Robert Adey

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback format
Also available in: The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher & Murder Plain And Fanciful (1948) Ed. by James Sandoe

Used book only

Notes: Light hearted sci-fi locked room story.

The victim is stabbed in a locked room while an innocent witness is present. A humorous tale involving time machines. Included in both Lacourb and Adey. 

Go to Anthologies: Recommended Reading for a full list of stories in this volume


Crook TourThe Anomaly of The Empty Man (1953)
Detective: Inspector Abrahams
Anthology: Crook Tour by members of MWA Ed. Bruno Fischer (1953)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback format.
Also available in: The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher

Used book only

Note: A very interesting story, found in a very interesting and original anthology!

A man disappears leaving all his clothes behind.  A bit of a Sherlock parody. 

Go to Anthologies: Recommended Reading for a full list of stories in this volume


Compleat BoucherGandolfus (1960)
Fergus O’Breen Series
Collection: The Compleat Boucher (1999)

Best Review
****

Available only in used paperback format.
Full title of this collection: The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher

Used book only

Notes: One of Boucher’s best short stories.

A murder takes place inside a locked room while under observation.  Did a disembodied extraterrestrial do the dirty work?

Also included in ‘The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher’

46 short stories, mainly sci-fi, but includes:
Elsewhen
The Anomaly of The Empty Man
Gandolfus
Does not include ‘The Smoke-Filled Locker Room’


LR ReaderThe Smoke-Filled Locker Room (1968)
Detective: Lieutenant Liebermann
Anthology: The Locked Room Reader (1968) Ed. by Hans S. Santesson

Best Review

****

Available only in used paperback format
Not available in: ‘The Compleat Boucher: The Complete Short Science Fiction & Fantasy of Anthony Boucher’

Used book only

Notes: A great story in a must read anthology!

Death occurs in a locked bathroom. A man’s throat is cut, but there is no sign of a weapon.  

Go to Anthologies: Recommended Reading for a full list of stories in this volume


Note: Exeunt Murders: The Best Mystery Stories of Anthony Boucher, edited by Francis M. Nevins, likely contains most of these stories, but we are still trying to confirm the stories contained in this volume. Will revise when research is completed.

Other great Anthony Boucher mystery titles all featuring Fergus O’Breen: 

The Case of the Seven of Calvary (1937)
The Case of the Crumpled Knave (1939)
The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars (1940)
The Case of the Seven Sneezes (1942)


Anthony Boucher Bibliography


The Locked Room Mystery home



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