Get three hardcovers for just $55! Descriptions below.
Frances Noyes Hart, The Bellamy Trial
A murder trial scandalizes the upper echelons of Long Island society, and the reader is on the jury…
The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife Madeleine, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand―a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town―and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgement on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end.
Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.
Dorothy B. Hughes, Dread Journey
A movie star fears for her life on a train journey from Los Angeles to Chicago…
Hollywood big-shot Vivien Spender has waited ages to produce the work that will be his masterpiece: a film adaptation of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. He’s spent years grooming young starlets for the lead role, only to discard each one when a newer, fresher face enters his view. Afterwards, these rejected women all immediately fall from grace; excised from the world of pictures, they end up in rehab, or jail, or worse. But Kitten Agnew, the most recent to encounter this impending doom, won’t be gotten rid of so easily―her contract simply doesn’t allow for it. Accompanied by Mr. Spender on a train journey from Los Angeles to Chicago, she begins to fear that the producer might be considering a deadly alternative. Either way, it’s clear that something is going to happen before they reach their destination, and as the train barrels through America’s heartland, the tension accelerates towards an inescapable finale.
Reprinted for the first time in over twenty years, Dread Journey is a taut thriller that exemplifies Dorothy B. Hughes’s greatest strengths as a writer―namely, her sharpened prose and mastery of psychological suspense. While its fine-tuned plot is just as exciting as it was in 1945, when the novel was first published, and its portrayal of Hollywood’s less savory elements remains all-too-relevant today, the book’s characters and setting provide pure Golden Age fare, sure to please any devotee of classic mystery novels.
Patrick Quentin, A Puzzle for Fools
A wave of murders rocks a sanitarium―and it's up to the patients to stop them
Broadway producer Peter Duluth sought solace in a bottle after his wife’s death; now, two years later and desperate to dry out, he enters a sanitarium, hoping to break his dependence on drink―but the institution doesn’t quite offer the rest and relaxation he expected. Strange, malevolent occurrences plague the hospital; and among other inexplicable events, Peter hears his own voice with an ominous warning: “There will be murder.” It soon becomes clear that a homicidal maniac is on the loose, and, with a staff every bit as erratic as its idiosyncratic patients, it seems everyone is a suspect―even Duluth’s new romantic interest, Iris Pattison. Charged by the baffled head of the ward with solving the crimes, it’s up to Peter to clear her name before the killer strikes again.
Reprinted for the first time in over thirty years, A Puzzle for Fools is the atmospheric and complex mystery that first introduced Peter Duluth; the character and his love interest Iris went on to star in eight more novels, two of which were adapted for film.