Series:Mystery & Suspense Short Stories Collection
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Hard-Boiled
Sheriff Kyle of Deadeye, Nevada, is headed east to the nation's capital and he's about to discover that the law can be even wilder in the big city than in the Wild West. It's a fact that hits home when he's the one accused ... of murder.
Kyle's come to the city to give a report to his senator on the misdeeds of Nevada's filthy rich copper kings. But before he has a chance, he's knocked unconscious, later coming to alongside his senator—now dead, with Kyle's knife imbedded in the corpse.
Welcome to Washington D.C., where corruption, intrigue and murder are all in a day's work. Kyle's got no alibi, no memory, and apparently doesn't have a prayer ... unless he can find a way to outwit, outfox and outmaneuver the masters of deception and double-crosses.
Also includes the mysteries They Killed Him Dead, in which a respected homicide detective solves a murder several times over, only to be proved wrong again and again, to the amusement of his fellow cops; Mad Dog Murder, the story of a patrol officer who dreams of joining the homicide squad, and finds that the ticket to advancement—and romance—may be a Pekinese dog; and The Blow Torch Murders, in which every criminal in town is eager to turn himself in ... and the reason is a real killer.
"... some of the most carefully and beautifully crafted trade paperbacks of our time." —Mystery Scene
Much like Kyle, L. Ron Hubbard was born and bred on the western frontier and made his way east to explore and experience life in Washington, D.C. But unlike the sheriff, Mr. Hubbard enjoyed his time in the capital, where he went to college at Georgetown. He came to know the ins and outs of the city as well as he knew the arroyos and canyons of the west, giving him the kind of insights he needed to write stories like Killers Law.
Killer’s Law Glossary
Stories from the Golden Age reflect the words and expressions used in the 1930s and 1940s, adding unique flavor and authenticity to the tales. While a character’s speech may often reflect regional origins, it also can convey attitudes common in the day. So that readers can better grasp such cultural and historical terms, uncommon words or expressions of the era, the following glossary has been provided.
beetling: frowning; scowling.
Black Maria: patrol wagon; an enclosed truck or van used by the police to transport prisoners.
bloodhounding: relentlessly pursuing someone or something.
bowler: derby; a hard felt hat with a rounded crown and narrow brim, created by James Lock & Co, a firm founded in 1676 in London. The prototype was made in 1850 for a customer of Lock’s by Thomas and William Bowler, hat makers in Southwark, England. At first it was dubbed the iron hat because it was hard enough to protect the head, and later picked up the name bowler because of its makers’ family name. In the US it became known as a derby from its association with the Kentucky Derby.
bracelets: a pair of handcuffs.
bulldog-toed shoes: shoes with thick soles and high rounded toes.
bullpen: a holding cell where prisoners are confined together temporarily; in the 1800s, jails and holding cells were nicknamed bullpens, in respect of many police officers’ bullish features—strength and short temper.
bumping off: killing, especially murdering.
cat-and-cream: variation of “the cat that got the cream”; someone who looks very pleased with himself or self-satisfied.
clipper: a very fast sailing ship of the nineteenth century that had multiple masts and square sails.
Colt: an automatic pistol manufactured by the Colt Firearms Company, founded in 1847 by Samuel Colt (1814–1862) who revolutionized the firearms industry with his inventions.
dead to rights: to have enough proof to show that someone has done something wrong.
Fates: the Fates, in classical mythology, are the three goddesses Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, who control human destiny.
flatfoot: a police officer; cop; a patrolman walking a regular beat.
gangway: a narrow, movable platform or ramp forming a bridge by which to board or leave a ship.
gink: a fellow.
G-men: government men; agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
greasy: fat of body; bulky.
half-seas over: almost drunk.
hard-boiled hat: derby; a man’s stiff felt hat with dome-shaped crown and narrow brim.
harness bull: a uniformed police officer.
hell’s bells: an interjection indicating irritation, annoyance or surprise.
juice: electricity, in reference to electrocution for the death penalty.
Limited: a train line making only a limited number of stops en route.
liquid air: air in its liquid state, intensely cold and bluish.
material witness: a witness whose testimony is both relevant to the matter at issue and required in order to resolve the matter.
Mick: term for a person of Irish birth or descent.
moll: a female companion of a gangster.
mouthpiece: a lawyer, especially a criminal lawyer.
muff: a short tube of fur or warm cloth, into which hands are placed in order to keep them warm.
mugs: hoodlums; thugs; criminals.
numbers racket: an illegal daily lottery.
Old Home Week: a yearly reunion and celebration lasting a week and consisting of existing and previous residents of a community. This tradition dates back to 1901. The first reunion was held for fifty to sixty men who had previously attended a school together and was called the “Old Boys’ Reunion.” From there it grew to include the community and its name changed to “Old Home Week.”
Palo Alto hat: a wide-brimmed slouch hat with a chinstrap most commonly worn as part of a military uniform, resembling the original Stetson that was called “Boss of the Plains.”
pay station: a coin-operated telephone.
peddler: someone who sells illegal drugs to people.
pince-nez: a pair of glasses held on the face by a spring that grips the nose.
puncher: a hired hand who tends cattle and performs other duties on horseback.
roadster: an open-top automobile with a single seat in front for two or three persons, a fabric top and either a luggage compartment or a rumble seat in back. A rumble seat is an upholstered exterior seat with a hinged lid that opens to form the back of the seat when in use.
Rock Creek Park: Rock Creek Park Historic District; a national park reserve in Washington, DC.
rogues’ gallery: a set of photographs of known criminals that the police show to crime witnesses for possible identification.
Roman candle: a type of fireworks giving off flaming colored balls and sparks.
rubber hose: a piece of hose made of rubber, used to beat people as a form of torture or in order to obtain a full or partial confession and to elicit information. A rubber hose was used because its blows, while painful, leave only slight marks on the body of the person beaten.
Scheherazade: the female narrator of The Arabian Nights, who during one thousand and one adventurous nights saved her life by entertaining her husband, the king, with stories.
singing soprano: being vocal about informing on someone else or confessing to the police.
skullcap: nightcap; a light, close-fitting, brimless cap, usually worn indoors or at night to provide warmth while sleeping.
slug: a bullet.
snow: cocaine or heroin in the form of a white powder.
Stetson: as the most popular broad-brimmed hat in the West, it became the generic name for hat. John B. Stetson was a master hat maker and founder of the company that has been making Stetsons since 1865.
trick: shift; the portion of the day scheduled for working.
Vesuvius: a blow torch model manufactured by the American Stove Company, of St. Louis, Missouri. It is named after an active volcano in southwestern Italy, near Naples.