Death from a Top Hat (A Great Merlini Mystery)
Other Editions of This Title:
A detective steeped in the art of magic solves the mystifying murder of two occultists.
Now retired from the tour circuit on which he made his name, master magician The Great Merlini spends his days running a magic shop in New York’s Times Square and his nights moonlighting as a consultant for the NYPD. The cops call him when faced with crimes so impossible that they can only be comprehended by a magician’s mind. In the most recent case, two occultists are discovered dead in locked rooms, one spread out on a pentagram, both appearing to have been murdered under similar circumstances. The list of suspects includes an escape artist, a professional medium, and a ventriloquist, so it’s clear that the crimes took place in a realm that Merlini knows well. But in the end it will take his logical skills, and not his magical ones, to apprehend the killer.
Reprinted for the first time in over twenty years, Death from a Top Hat is an ingeniously-plotted puzzle set in the world of New York stage magic, which was at its pinnacle in the early twentieth century. In 1981, the novel was selected as one of the top ten locked room mysteries of all time by a panel of mystery-world luminaries that included Julian Symons, Edward D. Hoch, Ellery Queen’s co-creator Frederic Dannay, and Otto Penzler.
Praise For Death from a Top Hat (A Great Merlini Mystery)…
— Kirkus - Kirkus
A cornerstone of detective fiction.
— Dilys Winn - The New York Times
One of the all-time greatest impossible murder mysteries.
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
American Mystery Classics, 9781613161012, 312pp.
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
About the Author
Otto Penzler, the creator of American Mystery Classics, is also the founder of the Mysterious Press (1975), a literary crime imprint now associated with Grove/Atlantic; Mysterious Press.com (2011), an electronic-book publishing company; and New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop (1979). He has won a Raven, the Ellery Queen Award, two Edgars (for the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, 1977, and The Lineup, 2010), and lifetime achievement awards from Noircon and The Strand Magazine. He has edited more than 70 anthologies and written extensively about mystery fiction.