Death At Stonehenge by Norma Schier

by Arun

Theme: Authors from the pages of AHMM

Source: Alfred Hitchcock’s Tales to Make You Quake And Quiver

Story Number: 92

The name of Norma Schier rang a bell but couldn’t place it till a simple Google search gave me the result – she has authored a series of stories under various fictitious names, the anagram of the name corresponding to one of the great practitioners of the genre and the story itself  being a pastiche of  that author and the detective that he/she created .  All these stories have been collected in the volume The Anagram Detectives. This story written in 1969 is a late entry in the author’s output though it looks like a deviation from the stories featured in the anagram puzzles.

Chief Inspector Harlan Faulkner is called in to investigate the death of Felicity Carmichael, an archaeologist who was assisting the research activity at the Stonehenge site. The body at the Stonehenge site looks as though she was being sacrificed as part of a ritual but the Inspector who is extremely knowledgeable in the matter knows that the scene has been set up by a person of somewhat cracked brain.

Her  husband believes that she was having an affair with her fellow research scientist Donat but Donat claims that it was strictly a professional relationship. Donat has an alibi for the time of the crime – he was with another lady who also happens to be the consulting psychologist for Felicity. The clues are fairly provided for the reader to arrive at the solution before the Inspector lays his trap to nab the murderer – a person whose characteristics have been well anticipated by the Inspector!