Death In the Dark — A Literary Event

Death in the Dark, by Stacey Bishop (George Antheil) has been, up until now, the Moby Dick of detective fiction: spotted briefly in London in 1930 and almost impossible to find in the 86 years thereafter. Collectors have spend large sums (GBP 1800 in 2006) to buy this rarity, which LRI will be offering for $24.99 in March. Is it worth it? In his Introduction, Martin Edwards, winner of multiple awards for his instant classic The Golden Age of Murder and President of the Detection Club, says: “The reappearance of Death in the Dark, truly a one-of-a-kind detective novel, is long overdue and will be widely welcomed.” Martin quotes Julian Symons, in Bloody Murder, calling it “an extraordinary performance,” and Bob Adey, in Locked Room Murders, declaring it to be “an extraordinarily complex work.”

This first U.S. edition also includes a fascinating Afterword by Mauro Piccinini, an expert on Antheil, explaining how the book was actually an act of revenge. Antheil, an American who knew Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and a host of other expatriates, had been the darling of avant-garde Europe and brought his best-known work Ballet Mechanique–which featured 16 pianos, an electric buzzer and an aircraft propeller–to Carnegie Hall for a concert which was a disaster. Ruined, he retreated to Italy, where he wrote Death in the Dark, in which he figuratively murdered the concert’s organiser and his entire family. He was helped in this endeavour by no less than three, repeat three, winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature! There is more: Hedy Lamarr, the famous Hollywood actress, makes a (fully clothed) appearance in another astonishing episode. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say you can’t make this stuff up…

I’m pleased and flattered that Publishers Weekly not only gave it a starred review, 2016-1-2 PW Starred Review, but recognised that it was a sufficiently important literary event to warrant an interview:  2016-1-9 PW Interview


4 thoughts on “Death In the Dark — A Literary Event”

    1. I inadvertently and incorrectly activated the opportunity to purchase on February 26th and an icon appeared on Amazon which I was told couldn’t be removed.
      I am still working on last-minute changes, but the book is still scheduled for March release.
      Sorry for any misunderstandings caused by my initial error.
      Just to clarify, it will only be available in trade paperback

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