Tag Archives: Suspense Magazine

Waldo Carlton Wright’s The Thing on the Snow



AHMM Jan. 1971 with Waldo Carlton Wright’s “Little Foxes Sleep Warm”

Stories from Suspense Magazine #3 Fall 1951: “The Thing on the Snow” by Waldo Carlton Wright


Categorized as “macabre,” this story is every bit its label. It involves an elderly couple, hard winters on their farm and ghastly intentions gone horribly long. Wright’s stories can also be found in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Mike Shayne.

Image from Galactic Central.

William Sambrot’s The Saboteur

suspense_3Stories from Suspense Magazine #3 Fall 1951: “The Saboteur” by William Sambrot

The third issue of Farrell Publishings’s Suspense Magazine starts with a bang. William Sambrot’s tale of espionage and terrorism remains timely. His description of a terrorist organization, their methods and their targets strikes a chilling sense of familiarity nearly 70 years later.
Special thanks to Alec Cizak for his insightful review of The Digest Enthusiast book six on Amazon this past Monday. Alec’s latest book Down on the Street was just published by Down & Out Books.
For those who have yet to join the rest of us digest enthusiasts, you can now purchase a postage paid bundle of all six volumes for $49.99 on eBay.

Ambrose Bierce’s A Horseman in the Sky

horseman_skyStories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “A Horseman in the Sky” by Ambrose Bierce

Bierce’s stories feature wit, irony and a healthy dose of skepticism about the human condition. Perhaps his most famous short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” was first published in The San Francisco Examiner. The Examiner was also the original source for this story, a fine example of the writer’s talent exploring a favorite theme of his: war—in this case the American Civil War.

F. Hugh Herbert’s Perfectly Calm Murder

KISS-2Stories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “The Perfectly Calm Murder”
by F. Hugh Herbert.

A man who has just murdered his much older wife, recounts how he came to the deed and where he slipped up in getting away with it.

Herbert was a playwright and screenwriter. His play, Kiss and Tell ran on broadway for years and was made into a film, released in 1945, starring Shirley Temple as Corliss Archer. A sequel, A Kiss for Corliss (1949), retitled as Almost a Bride, was scripted by Howard Dimsdale. The sequel co-stared David Niven and was Temple’s final film at the age of 21.

Richard Lewis’ “Maiden Beware”

Stories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “Maiden Beware” by Richard Lewis.

The first issue of Suspense announced, “In each issue, the magazine Suspense will present one of the distinguished scripts [from the radio program] which have made broadcasting history.”

The second issue’s radio script was the episode first broadcast on July
27, 1944 as “The Black Shawl” starring Margaret O’Sullivan and Dame Mae Whitty. A young woman is hired as a private companion and soon finds herself fearing bondage and slavery. Is it just her nerves or is something seriously wrong with her employer?

You can listen to episode #89 online here, along with hundreds of others.

Edith Saylor Abbot: “Evil Is the Night”

Stories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “Evil Is the Night” by Edith Saylor Abbot

Like the previous story in the issue, the tension in “Evil” is built through the imagination of the reader. The fiend may or may not be on-scene, but his rep positively dominates the page. And here again, as in the preceding “Pardon My Terror,” the final twist of “Evil” is unexpected and devastating.

This is the only story listed at Galactic Central for Ms. Abbot.

Irving Burstiner’s “Pardon My Terror”

msmm_2_1957_500Stories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “Pardon My Terror” by Irving Burstiner

Suspense Magazine editor Theodore Irwin wrote that submissions often seem to arrive in trends. A wave of “wife murders or ghost yarns.” For Suspense #2 there was a run on “fiends,” from which Irwin selected two, based on merit and because “. . . they serve to emphasize the vast differences writers can bring to the same theme.”

“Terror” is only just over three pages in length, yet Burstiner manages to add a clever twist to bring his story’s fiend to a satisfying end.

Burstiner also create a puzzle called “Find the Detective,” for Michael Shayne Mystery Magazine (Feb 1957).

Thomas A. Coffee’s World Within

suspense_2Stories from Suspense Magazine #2 Summer 1951: “World Within” by Thomas A. Coffee

Billed as a science adventure, Coffee’s story was a hoot. An investigator from the Board of Health quickly finds himself at peril from a Dr. Cyclops-type threat. Their battle inside the clinic soon morphs into a fantastic voyage at the cellular level. It’s a wild contest of wits and an exhilarating adventure ride.

I could find no information online about other stories by Coffee.