First Edition at

May 1969 issue

In the excerpt below, Inspector Bozo of Clowntown’s homicide squad mulls over the conflict between clowns and mimes, in “A Dirge for Clowntown,” by James Powell.

…Bozo decided clowns resented mimes not because the pigeons preferred their imaginary bread crumbs to a clown’s substantial ones or because a mime’s invisible tears seemed larger, his silent laughter louder than clown sorrow or joy. No, in the end he decided that the mimes made the clowns feel clumsy, coarse, material and utterly earth bound. Not that that justified mimebashing. …. Mimebashing was the crime of the moment among trendy clown criminals, a shameful business made all the more so by the victims’ peaceful natures.

©1989 James Powell

“A Dirge for Clowntown” first appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, winning the Ellery Queen Readers’ Award in 1989.

James Powell will answer some questions next week.

© Can Stock Photo / prometeus

Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor