By Isaac Asimov
Everybody knew that Ralph Neufeld used to be a cautious younger chemist, specifically his professor, Lou Brade. that is why Ralph's unintended loss of life as a result of a confusion of chemical compounds struck Brade as hugely not likely. The police agreed.
Someone on campus had switched bottles on bad Ralph and the outcome was once as lethal as were deliberate. the difficulty used to be all of the correct suspects have been within the improper locations while it happened...all the inaccurate suspects had the perfect motives...and the only individual so much certified to unravel the crime used to be already being referred to as the killer!
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Extra info for A Whiff of Death
He doesn't come in at all on Thursdays. " "How come he made the mistake then? " The plainclothesman's face was as round and as harmless as it had been a moment before, his expression was as artless, but Brade frowned. He said, "The absence of the vinegar smell might have been the point that proved fatal. When sodium cyanide is acidified, hydrogen cyanide is formed. This is a gas at boiling-water temperatures and would come fuming out with the steam. " "That's right. They acidify a cyanide and form the gas.
He would not have filled one, then gone back to the shelf like a zombie ajid gotten the acetate for the others. " Doris frowned. " "Now you want two unbelievable oversights. Mistaking cyanide for acetate is one; and then forgetting to empty a cyanide-filled flask is two. Good God, you don't fool around with a cyanide; even a chemist who's used to the stuff doesn't. He less than anyone, in fact. A chemist just couldn't be that distracted. They don't make distraction that complete. " Doris said nothing and for a while after Brade finished there was a silence in which the chemist's thoughts rang hollowly.
That's right. They acidify a cyanide and form the gas. Now Ralph was working in a hood with a fan built in that would carry off most of the fumes, but even so he could have caught the vinegar smell if it had been there. " "But instead of running, his first reaction was probably to lean closer and sniff harder. " "I think so. " "Uh huh. " Doheny lit a cigar with an expression of too-long-deferred contentment and said, "Let's get it straight now, Prof. " Doheny lifted the cyanide bottle from its place on the shelf and held it gingerly.
A Whiff of Death by Isaac Asimov