Murder as a Fine Art

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ALA Reading List Award for Best Mystery
GASLIT LONDON IS BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES IN DAVID MORRELL'S BRILLIANT HISTORICAL THRILLER.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier.

The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten.
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About the author

David Morrell is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become the successful Rambo film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. He has written 28 novels, and his work has been translated into 26 languages. He is also a former professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa and received his PhD from Penn State.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Mulholland Books
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Published on
May 7, 2013
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780316216777
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Thrillers / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE AGATHA AWARD FOR BEST HISTORICAL NOVEL • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST MYSTERIES OF THE YEAR BY THE SEATTLE TIMES

Laurie R. King’s novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, are critically acclaimed and beloved by readers for the author’s adept interplay of history and adventure. Now the intrepid duo is finally trying to take a little time for themselves—only to be swept up in a baffling case that will lead them from the idyllic panoramas of Japan to the depths of Oxford’s most revered institution.

After a lengthy case that had the couple traipsing all over India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California to deal with some family business that Russell has been neglecting for far too long. Along the way, they plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. The cruising steamer Thomas Carlyle is leaving Bombay, bound for Kobe. Though they’re not the vacationing types, Russell is looking forward to a change of focus—not to mention a chance to travel to a location Holmes has not visited before. The idea of the pair being on equal footing is enticing to a woman who often must race to catch up with her older, highly skilled husband.

Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer: not an unlikely career choice for a man richer in social connections than in pounds sterling. And then there’s the lithe, surprisingly fluent young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can’t shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be.

Once in Japan, Russell’s suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way. From the glorious city of Tokyo to the cavernous library at Oxford, Russell and Holmes race to solve a mystery involving international extortion, espionage, and the shocking secrets that, if revealed, could spark revolution—and topple an empire.

Praise for Dreaming Spies

“[Holmes and Russell’s] unusual partnership is, as always, a delight to observe, and King expertly combines rich historical detail, deftly drawn characters and taut suspense. For Holmes fans, mystery lovers and those interested in either Japan or Oxford, this novel is a multilayered and entirely enjoyable journey.”—Shelf Awareness

“Compulsively readable . . . Through astute, precise, and elegant writing, great attention to time and place, and beautifully realized characters, King has created a mystery series that is at once intelligent, reflective, and action filled.”—Library Journal

“A story that keeps the reader enthralled . . . one of the most consistently outstanding mystery series out there. Any time spent with the Russell-Holmes duo is a delight.”—Booklist

“Snappy prose and a captivating plot distinguish King’s fourteenth novel featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes. . . . Many will find the character deepened by his partnership with the spirited and clever Russell.”—Publishers Weekly

“The author continues to offer up incredible plotlines. . . . [Holmes and Russell’s] emotional bond only adds to the magic, suspense, and beauty of the original creation. King’s imagination continues to shine!”—Suspense Magazine

“[King] manages more surprises than usual in this graceful exercise in cultural tourism–cum-intrigue.”—Kirkus Reviews


From the Hardcover edition.
The notorious Opium-Eater returns in the sensational climax to David Morrell's acclaimed Victorian mystery trilogy.

1855. The railway has irrevocably altered English society, effectively changing geography and fueling the industrial revolution by shortening distances between cities: a whole day's journey can now be covered in a matter of hours. People marvel at their new freedom.

But train travel brings new dangers as well, with England's first death by train recorded on the very first day of railway operations in 1830. Twenty-five years later, England's first train murder occurs, paralyzing London with the unthinkable when a gentleman is stabbed to death in a safely locked first-class passenger compartment.

In the next compartment, the brilliant opium-eater Thomas De Quincey and his quick-witted daughter, Emily, discover the homicide in a most gruesome manner. Key witnesses and also resourceful sleuths, they join forces with their allies in Scotland Yard, Detective Ryan and his partner-in-training, Becker, to pursue the killer back into the fogbound streets of London, where other baffling murders occur. Ultimately, De Quincey must confront two ruthless adversaries: this terrifying enemy, and his own opium addiction which endangers his life and his tormented soul.

Ruler of the Night is a riveting blend of fact and fiction which, like master storyteller David Morrell's previous De Quincey novels, "evokes Victorian London with such finesse that you'll hear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill calls of vendors" (Entertainment Weekly).
The most dangerous man in the world is back. David Morrell’s First Blood introduced Rambo, who joined the ranks of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, James Bond, and Harry Potter as an international thriller icon. In this further adventure, Rambo is in exile far from home in Thailand, vowing to renounce violence and war. When his country calls him once again, he refuses to accept. But then he learns that his former commanding officer, Colonel Trautman, the only man he trusts, has been captured by the Soviets on the Afghan border during a mission that Rambo rejected. For Rambo, it’s a call to arms—and a mission back into hell. This novelization and the film have many differences. Read the story that the film could have had, along with David Morrell’s in-depth introduction about Rambo and the book’s background.

David Morrell is the award-winning author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created His numerous other bestsellers include the classic spy trilogy: The Brotherhood of the Rose, the Fraternity of the Stone, and The League of Night and Fog. An Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity nominee, he is a recipient of three prestigious Stoker awards as well as the lifetime-achievement Thriller Master Award from the International Thriller Writers organization.

“David Morrell is, to me, the finest thriller writer living today, bar none.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Columbus Affair

“Morrell, an absolute master of the thriller, plays by his own rules and leaves you dazzled.”
—Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author of 77 Shadow Street

“The father of the modern action novel.”
—Vince Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Shot
The most dangerous man in the world is back. David Morrell’s First Blood introduced Rambo, who joined the ranks of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, James Bond, and Harry Potter as an international thriller icon. In this sequel, Rambo is in prison for his one-man war against a small-town police chief. His former commanding officer, Colonel Trautman, arrives with a promise to release him, with two conditions. First, Rambo must return to the Vietnamese prison camp from which he escaped and find the missing Americans rumored to be prisoners there. The second condition? Don’t rescue the prisoners. Only bring back photographs. Under no circumstances engage the enemy. For Rambo, the first part is difficult. But the second is impossible. This novelization and the film have many differences. Read the story that the film could have had, along with David Morrell’s in-depth introduction about Rambo and the book’s background.

David Morrell is the award-winning author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. His numerous other bestsellers include the classic spy trilogy: The Brotherhood of the Rose, the Fraternity of the Stone, and The League of Night and Fog. An Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity nominee, Morrell is a recipient of three prestigious Bram Stoker awards as well as the lifetime-achievement Thriller Master Award from the International Thriller Writers organization.

“David Morrell is, to me, the finest thriller writer living today, bar none.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Columbus Affair

“Morrell, an absolute master of the thriller, plays by his own rules and leaves you dazzled.”
—Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author of 77 Shadow Street

“The father of the modern action novel.”
—Vince Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Shot
From New York Times bestselling author, David Morrell, comes a classic thriller that introduced the character of Rambo, one of the most iconic action heroes of the twentieth century. Called “the father of the modern action novel,” FIRST BLOOD changed the genre. Although the book and the film adaptation have similarities, they are very different, especially its unexpected ending and its greater intensity. If you’ve only experienced the film, you’re in for a surprise. Once they were soldiers. Rambo, the ragged kid whose presence in town is considered a threat. And Teasle, the Chief of Police of Madison, Kentucky. Both have been trained to kill: Rambo in Vietnam, Teasle in Korea. They learned different military tactics, different ways of death and survival in two different wars. Now, without warning, they are enemies in a civilian combat that becomes a chase through the woods and mountains and caves above the town. As we follow them, we understand that once a man has been trained as a killer, perhaps he is changed forever. Award-winning FIRST BLOOD was published in 1972, was translated into 26 languages, and has never been out of print. It was one of the first novels to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. David’s novelizations for RAMBO (FIRST BLOOD PART II) and RAMBO III are available as e-books. They’re quite different from the films and include revealing introductions. See also David’s RAMBO AND ME: THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY. 

Critical reactions:

 “A fine novel. . . . When Johnny comes marching home this time, watch out.” —The New York Times Sunday Book Review 

“A first-rate thriller.” —Newsweek 

“One of the finest chase novels you will ever read.” —Minneapolis Tribune 

“A terrific thriller.” —Saturday Review 

“One hell of a hard, fast novel.” —John D. MacDonald

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