Avram Davidson published 15 novels under his own name plus 218 short stories before he died at the age of 70 in 1993. And even though he was better known as a prizewinning creator of fantasies and science fiction, he was equally gifted as a mystery writer--as this collection of short pieces, lovingly compiled by Richard A. Lupoff and Davidson's widow, Grania Davis, amply proves.|
We know that writers of short stories need different sets of muscles to work their magic, which probably explains why Davidson never published a full-length mystery under his own name (although he ghosted several under the ubiquitous Ellery Queen byline). But stories in this volume such as "Thou Still Unravished Bride" (which Hitchcock made into a TV episode) and "The Cost of Kent Castwell" are perfectly contained worlds in miniature, richer than most novels.
"With a mere handful of syllables he could transport a reader to the deck of an ancient sailing vessel as it plied the waves of the sun-dappled Mediterranean, to a musty and mysterious little shop in a shadowy byway of Victorian London," Lupoff points out in his introduction. Another writer with similar talents was Arthur Conan Doyle, one of Davidson's heroes. Other examples of Avram's artistry available in paperback include The Avram Davidson Treasury and the Holmes-like The Adventures of Doctor Eszterhazy.
Source: Dick Adler, Amazon.com.
Like Bernard Malamud and Shirley Jackson, Avram Davidson brought a unique brand of charm, wit, and intrigue to the short-story form. His widow, author Grania Davis, and his longtime friend and admirer, noted mystery author Richard A. Lupoff, have compiled and introduced this loving tribute.
Collected here for the first time are Davidson's remarkable mystery tales, including:
-The 1840s murder investigations of New York's chief constable, Jacob Hays
-A sinister lesson in New England drift
-A bride who disappears on her wedding day
-A slavetrader and a deal gone terribly wrong
-Treachery in a nursing home
-A greedy antiquarian repents his ways
-Expatriates who will kill for a little peace and quiet
-And much ado about an exiled earl, Albanian Trotskyites, the Mafia, New Amsterdam river pirates, and the aspiring hooligans known as the Nafia (who "control all the gumball and India nut machines south of Vesey Street")
Davidson's unparalleled crime stories will thrill you like no other. This book is your invitation to explore the imagination of a rare talent.