Posted in Male Author, Short Story

Deal Me In, Week 44 ~ “The Case of the Nazi Canary”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“The Case of the Nazi Canary” by Michael Moorcock

Card picked: Seven of Spades
From: Thrilling Tales, edited by Michael Chabon

Thoughts: This “short” story was on the long side and caught me on the wrong week. Therefore, this is a little late.

I’m not too familiar with Moorcock despite his being a founding father of the sword and sorcery genre. This story is not part of that genre. Instead, it is one of a series involving “metatemporal” detectives  Sir Seaton Begg and Dr. Taffy Sinclair. Metatemporal would seem to refer to Moorcock’s propensity to drop these characters into whatever time period or setting he wants. (This isn’t evident to someone whose only experience is this story. I kept waiting for something timey-wimey to happen…) In the case of “The Case of the Nazi Canary,” Begg and Sinclair are sent to investigate the death of Adolph Hitler’s half-niece, Geli Raubal, in an alternate history Nazi Germany.

Hitler is the prime suspect, though Geli’s death is initially called a suicide. It’s rumored that his relationship with Geli was not entirely familial and he was possessive enough of her to forbid her leaving to Vienna. (This is all based on historical fact. Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half-niece died by a self-inflicted shot to the lung, which seems to be an odd method of committing suicide.) Begg and Sinclair are charged with, incongruously, clearing Hitler’s name.

“The Case of the Nazi Canary” is sort of a detective story parody. Begg and Sinclair investigate all the leads, interview all the suspects, and then, of course, are led back to the crime scene by Begg’s arch-nemesis to find the only real clue in the case. It was entertaining, but felt a little forced.

Is This Your Card?

Speaking of forces…