The Black Widowers’ guest is a low-profile psychic debunker who recently spent a night in a “haunted cabin” in Vermont. Although it was obviously a hoax, there is one aspect of the night which cannot be explained by the clumsily hidden speakers.
This is one of the Black Widower stories where Asimov breaks from the pattern of having a mystery solved by Henry. In this case, the guest, Marcellus DaRienzi, presents a puzzle to which he already knows the answer. It's a nice little puzzle, and a nice little solution. There are aspects to the story which don’t quite ring true, but having grown up on spend-the-night-in-the-haunted-house stories (not to mention Scooby-Doo), I have a certain sympathy for it.
|The Return of the Black Widowers|