A Crime in Rhyme

A couple of months ago I was browsing some backposts at The Invisible Event and came across JJ’s celebration of John Dickson Carr 110th birthday which led me to Brad’s contribution at ahsweetmysteryblog which contained the challenge to complete a GAD mystery poem.

Being too nervous to watch Trump (Judd, not Donald) possibly throw away a massive lead in the World Snooker Championship, I set my mind on a task that no one had tried in the previous two and a half years, the results are below, the dotted line indicates where Brad left off and I continued. I hope you enjoy!

Lord Burlington Brown

Was a man of renown,

Finding modern age devils

And hunting them down.


“Evil lurks,” so he said.

“I have stalked the undead!

I’ve seen sights that would fill

Any mortal with dread!”


At his club he held court.

And although he was short,

He weighed full twenty stone

And would not give up port.


There he sat like a whale,

And each member regale

With his exploits so grim

That the others turned pale.


Though one man you could tell

Thought the stories were swell

‘Twas Lord Burlington’s pal,

Dr. Gideon Fell.


“Good Lord, Brown!” Fell would say,

“I admire the way

You dispatched twenty zombies

Ere night turned to day.


“Now please tell me again

How you drew up the plan

To lay waste to the werewolf

Who walked like a man.”


“Listen, Fell,” said old Brown,

“No, sir, put your drink down,

And accompany me

Back to old Camden town.


“I’ve invited some friends

For a quiet weekend.

There’s a serious matter

To which I must attend.


“Would it give you a fright

If I told you outright

We’ll encounter the Devonshire

Vampire tonight?”


Fell let out a great wheeze

And cried, “Burlington, geez,

If you do know the Vampire

Then out with it, please!


If this isn’t a jest

And the Vampire’s your guest

Name him now! I’ll call Hadley

To make the arrest.”


“I will not name the ghoul.

Sorry, that is my rule.”

To which Fell simply spluttered,

“Brown, don’t be a fool!”


“I don’t think that I can

Quite accede to your plan

Till the last piece of evidence

Falls in my hand.


“With the skill of a lover

I’ll blow the fiend’s cover

By tomorrow at midnight

I’ll hand the man over!”


Thus, with feelings of dread,

Dr. Fell shook his head

For he sensed by tomorrow

His friend would be dead.


And he knew by the time

We were half through this rhyme

That he’d soon have to face

An impossible crime!

*     *     *     *     *

Fell repaired to Brown’s manse

By the seat of his pants.

He would capture the Strangler

If given the chance.


But his train journey led

To a dark night of dread

For the lord of the manor

Fell soon learned was dead.


In a hut in the wood

In that same neighborhood

They discovered Lord Burlington

Finished for good.


In a chair he was sittin’,

His throat had been bitten,

And the door was too small

For the late Lord to fit in.


And standing outside

Of this strange homicide

Were four guests who insisted

They’d nothing to hide:


The dead man’s stepson Mark

His fiancée Miss Park

And two builders, both brothers,

Named John and Jim Park.


One of this fine quartet

Had killed Brown, Fell would bet.

Were they also the Vampire?

He wasn’t sure yet.


No more happened that night
Hadley arrived at first light
Fell met the early train
Then showed him the site.

“I still don’t yet know
How he entered so low?”
“It’s clear,” Hadley said,
There’s a big open window.”

Fell shook his great head
And angrily said
“Brad omitted that fact
We’ve all been misled.”

There was a sound in the trees
Fell started to wheeze
Something dropped from above
They all fell to their knees.

Three shapes most assorted
With faces weirdly distorted
A trio not of this world
And so Fell retorted:

“We have been taken for fools,
Someone’s broken Knox’ rules.
This place is haunted.
He was killed by some ghouls!”

“Get back to hell!”
Bellowed Gideon Fell.
The three disappeared
To where, no one can tell.

You may say it’s unfair
But I really don’t care
As with Death Watch
Much good is still there.

If you can come up with a genuine fairplay solution then please let me know.

One thought on “A Crime in Rhyme”

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