Have you ever wanted to be a collaborator? Here’s your chance. I am, in a word, stuck.
I’m having difficulty finishing some research for a piece that will appear in a new reprint come Spring 2021. My brain is in a fog, my internet searches have turned up little, my reference books are lacking in a cross reference for a specific subgenre. Now I find myself as a last resort turning to my fellow readers and experts for help. Here’s your chance to be a research assistant. No pay, folks, just the minor boost to your ego and my undying gratitude.
Please let me know of any detective novels prior to 1950 that feature as the main story a murder by proxy plot. This is a story in which someone commits a murder for someone else, often the story will include the murder trade-off: “You kill this person for me and I’ll kill someone for you.” This is not the same as a character hiring a hitman to do a murder. No money is exchanged at all. The best known example is Strangers on a Train, but I know for a fact it is not the first mystery novel to use this now very well-known plot device. On my own I came up with only two obscure titles by little known writers, but I would like to know of any others preferably by better known, recognizable names.
So please leave your suggestions in the comments below. Give me the title, author, publication date, and the main plot in summary. Thanks in advance for your help. You may see your efforts in print in 2021!