A small village is the scene of two brutal murders – and everyone is under suspicion.
A classic of crime fiction
The village of Pennycross is the scene of two brutal child murders within a few months. The villagers’ lives are monitored by a team of police, led by Chief Inspector Hunter, as they watch and wait, piecing together the clues to trap the killer before another life is lost.
Inspector Hunter comes to learn much about the inhabitants of Pennycross – who resort to their own drastic action when a suspicious character is seen running through the woods…
Agnes receives few compliments, and Henry Preble is not so bad-looking even if he does have a reputation for cornering girls at work. In the eyes of the world, knowing that you’re on the shelf at twenty-four can do strange things to a girl. So strange that you might wake up one morning with almost no recollection of the previous night’s events . . . Published for the first time in the UK, The Gardenia, the basis for Fritz Lang’s 1953 classic Hollywood noir film The Blue Gardenia, is a gripping story of suspense and a brilliant exposé of the press sensationalism of 1950s America.
This volume also contains Out of the Blue, which was made into a comedy film in 1947 starring George Brent and Carole Landis.
Contains four novellas: Stranger in the House; Sugar and Spice; The Murder in the Stork Club; Ruth.
In these deftly woven noir novellas, Vera Caspary draws on her own rich, independent life as a woman at a time of great social change, including her own experience of Manhattan’s Stork Club, which, from 1929 to 1965, was one of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world.
The title novella The Murder in the Stork Club features working-class detective Joe Collins, who is married to Sara Haworth, a writer of radio mysteries who belongs in Stork Club café society. Joe has to try to clear Sara’s name when an ex-lover is murdered shortly after she has dinner with him.
Kate and Allan Royce are driving home from a party in Westport, Connecticut one night when they see a girl in a beautiful but muddied dress wandering in the road and stop to pick her up. She is suffering from amnesia, so they name her Elizabeth X and take her into their home while the police try to establish her identity.
They are left in peace, until first a couple claim her as their daughter and then a psychiatrist arrives to say that she has escaped from his clinic. What does seem certain is that she is the child of wealthy parents.
But who really is Elizabeth X, and what has happened to her?
‘Vera Caspary and others were the forerunners of Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Laura Lippmann and of course, Paula Hawkins’ Irish Times
Renowned painter Henry Leveret is found shot dead in his downtown studio, and his estranged son, Michael, returns to his family and his father’s circle of friends in order to try to find out who killed him.
There are plenty of suspects: his gallery manager, Chandler Sprague, who is in love with Henry’s widow; his wealthy heiress assistant Janet Altheim, who was in love with him; and her lover Bruno, who resented Henry are just a few on Michael’s list.
But Leveret was writing a biography of sorts, his own confession, when he was shot. Was he about to reveal something, a secret that cost him his life?
Leni Neumann is rebuilding her life as a Jewish survivor in post-war Vienna, having lost her mother in a Nazi prison. As a singer going from café to café, she meets all kinds of people: good people, who want to leave the horrors of war behind; neurotics, who hope to restore days of perverse glory. Drawn by the splendid, strange new world in which she finds herself, Leni is easy prey for the forces that surround her.
Then she meets Gerhard, who offers her money, power, luxury and refinement, and Leni accepts his proposal. But Gerhard is a troubled man, and Leni finds herself forced to seek the truth about her marriage – a truth that may threaten her very life.
It’s 1920s Chicago, and Louise and Evvie, who have known each other since school, share an apartment. Worldly Evvie, a painter and dancer – supposedly married at seventeen and then divorced – is living on her alimony. Louise is a successful advertising copywriter and in love with her boss. Flouting the Prohibition, they party and enjoy a drink, and like the company of men. They’re independent, making their own way in the world, beyond the confines of marriage and motherhood.
But Louise’s life is rudely interrupted by the brutal murder of Evvie – a crime that involves family, friends and Chicago itself.
Stuart Howell is a promoter with a million-dollar proposition on the line.
Jean McVeigh is young, wealthy and lonely. Very lonely.
With Jean’s self-loathing making her prone to suicide attempts, Stuart sees a neat way to make a lot of money. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, and Jean is at first ecstatic to have landed herself such a catch.
Jean starts to doubt Stuart’s real intentions – doubt that goes into overdrive as he tests her accident-proneness on a balcony and forges her signature on a $100,000 note. And when confronted, exposed and humiliated, Stuart becomes a more desperate, and deadly, opponent.
But Jean starts to wise up to his treachery . . .
When popular young schoolteacher Nina Redfield reports to police the whereabouts of Bushie Neal, a criminal on the run, she sets off a chain of events over which she has no control.
Nina is about to leave for a Hallowe’en party at a friend’s house. An escort is sent to collect her, so it’s no surprise to Nina when a masked man in a Harlequin costume calls for her. But Nina and her escort never reach the party . . .
Could her past association with Bushie’s sworn enemy Nick Brazza have any connection to her disappearance? And has she been spirited to safety – or further into danger?
Out in the Rolls-Royce, Emmy Arkwright nearly collides with Nat Volck in Beverly Hills. Emmy and Nat are neighbours, yet belong to separate worlds: she is a wealthy, successful fashion designer; he is a doctor who trained during World War Two. But when Nat gets a call one night telling him Emmy has attempted suicide, they become inexorably linked.
Nat – bitter and uncomfortable in his California Cadillac practice – attends Emmy, and watches over her return to memory and to her old life, offering her the stability and security she badly needs.
But was it really attempted suicide – or is someone trying to kill Emmy?
John Ansell, the new editor of Truth and Crime magazine, takes his appointment, and the title of the magazine, at face value. Until his boss, President of Barclay-Truth Inc., Noble Barclay, rejects his ‘Unsolved Mystery of the Month’ article, an investigation into the death of Warren G. Wilson, household name in correspondence courses, who was found dead in his hotel room with a bullet in his back.
Noble Barclay, it turns out, is anything but noble, and a dangerous man to boot. But how will his employee face the dilemma of exposing the father of the woman he loves? And at what cost?
The exciting original of the Hitchcock film classic.
Iris Carr was young, wealthy, attractive – and bored. Despairing of her society friends, tired of skiing with the crowd, she decides to return to England alone by train. But she hadn’t bargained for the extraordinary Miss Froy – a lively, gossipy spinster who is determined to befriend her, nor had she expected Miss Froy’s sudden disappearance.
Certain that she has not imagined so bizarre a character, and outraged by the blank faces of the passengers who deny her existence, Iris vows to find her companion, unaware of the terrifying trail ahead, so wildly different from her notion of a comfortable journey home.