An Unexplained Death (Hardcover)

The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere

By Mikita Brottman

Henry Holt & Company, 9781250169143, 288pp.

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An Unexplained Death is an obsessive investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere--a once-grand hotel--and a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism

"The poster is new. I notice it right away, taped to a utility pole. Beneath the word 'Missing, ' printed in a bold, high-impact font, are two sepia-toned photographs of a man dressed in a bow tie and tux."

Most people would keep walking. Maybe they'd pay a bit closer attention to the local news that evening. Mikita Brottman spent ten years sifting through the details of the missing man's life and disappearance, and his purported suicide by jumping from the roof of her own apartment building, the Belvedere.

As Brottman delves into the murky circumstances surrounding Rey Rivera's death--which begins to look more and more like a murder--she contemplates the nature of and motives behind suicide, and uncovers a haunting pattern of guests at the Belvedere, when it was still a historic hotel, taking their own lives on the premises. Finally, she fearlessly takes us to the edge of her own morbid curiosity and asks us to consider our own darker impulses and obsessions.

About the Author

Mikita Brottman is an Oxford educated psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, including The Great Grisby and The Maximum Security Book Club. A professor of humanities at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, she lives with her partner David Sterritt and their French bulldog in Baltimore's Belvedere.