Death in the Dark

Stacey Bishop. Locked Room International, $24.99 trade paper (190p) ISBN 978-1-537598-02-4
Originally published in the U.K. in 1930, the first U.S. edition of this fiendishly clever puzzle mystery by Bishop, the pseudonym of American composer George Antheil (1900–1959), will delight fans of impossible-seeming crimes. New York City criminologist Stephan Bayard gets an early morning call from prosecutor Howard Wayson, who reports that concert manager Dave Denny has been killed in his Upper East Side apartment under bizarre circumstances. Denny was shot in the forehead from a distance in a dark room, though there seems to have been no way that anyone could have fired a gun so accurately under the circumstances. The dead man’s expression suggests that he both saw his murderer and was shocked by the killer’s identity. Wayson, who was a guest at a recent party in the apartment, can’t figure out how any of its five surviving occupants could have pulled the trigger. Though the solution isn’t quite a match for the mystifying setup, Bishop does a plausible job of explaining how the crime was committed. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/2017
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