9780312199319 / 0312199317

Investigations of Avram Davidson


Publisher:St Martins Pr



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About the book:

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. --Dick Adler

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