Murder as a Fine Art

Title: Murder as a Fine Art
Published by: Mulholland Books
Pages: 368
Buy the Book: AmazonBarnes & NobleIndieBoundBooks-A-Million


“Like Michelangelo in painting, a great murderer carries his art to a colossal sublimity.”--Thomas De Quincey 

Murder As a Fine Art is the first in my three-book Victorian mystery/thriller series. Each novel has a backdrop of a real 1800s crime that paralyzed England: the Radcliffe Highway mass murders, the numerous attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria, and the first murder on an English train (on 1800s English trains, no one could hear you scream).

Each novel also features a notorious real-life English personality of the 1800s: Thomas De Quincey, the so-called opium-eater. A half century before Freud, De Quincey invented the word  "subconscious" and the concept that "the human mind is composed of chasms and sunless abysses, layer upon layer, in which there are secret chambers where alien natures can hide undetected." You can imagine how Scotland Yard reacted to this theory during the infancy of criminology when the police were proud merely to have discovered how to make plaster casts of footprints.

The other novels in the series are Inspector of the Dead  and Ruler of the Night as well as a short story, The Opium-Eater.

Here's a description of Murder As a Fine Art.

Long before Jack the Ripper, the shocking Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811 were the first publicized mass killings in English history. Never fully explained, they paralyzed London and all of England.

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Forty-three years later, the equally notorious Thomas De Quincey wrote a ground-breaking essay "Postscript: On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts" in which he meticulously reproduced the Radcliffe highway multiple murders in blood-spattered detail, making readers feel they're both the murderer and the victims.

In Murder As a Fine Art, shortly after this terror-drenched essay is published, a family is killed in the same horrific way as the earlier murders. It seems someone is using De Quincey's essay as an inspiration—and a blueprint. And De Quincey himself is the obvious suspect. Aided by his brilliant daughter Emily and two determined Scotland Yard detectives, he must uncover the truth before more blood is shed and London itself becomes the next victim.

In this acclaimed novel, gaslit London becomes a battleground between a literary star and a demented murderer. Their lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten. As Entertainment Weekly noted, you’ll believe you’re on the harrowing fogbound streets of 1854 London.

Thomas De Quincey Biography

Praise for Murder as a Fine Art

Winner of the Macavity and Nero Awards.

"One of the 10 best mystery/thrillers of 2013."--Publishers Weekly and Bookpages

"One of the 5 best thrillers of 2013."--Library Journal and the Providence Journal

"One of the best mystery/thrillers of 2013."--Strand magazine

"A brilliant crime thriller. . . . Everything works--the horrifying depiction of the murders, the asides explaining the impact of train travel on English society, nail-biting action sequences--making this book an epitome of the intelligent page-turner."--Publishers Weekly

"Stunning....The drama feels shockingly real because Morrell's thorough and erudite research the people and culture of the British Empire's heyday informs every page of the novel. Morrell takes the genre into new artistic territory."--Associated Press

"Morrell's masterful blend of fact and fiction reads like a nineteenth=century novel, evoking 1854 London with such finesse that you'll hear the hooves clattering on cobblestones, the racket of dustmen, and the shrill call of vendors."--Entertainment Weekly

"Hot-blooded....David Morrell writes action scenes like nobody's business."--New York Times Book Review

"One of David Morrell's best....Highly entertaining....An inspired blend of innovation, history and gore. Murder is rarely this much fun."--Washington Post

Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. "David Morrell's mystery is written as a nineteenth-century novel, and narrator Matthew Wolfe helps transport listeners back to the 1850s. He switches from character to character with ease, although he doesn't attempt a female voice for the sole female main character. A wonderfully written book with equally wonderful narration that fits it perfectly."

"Murder As a Fine Art is a masterpiece--I don't use that word lightly--a fantastic historical thriller, beautifully written, intricately plotted, and populated with unforgettable characters. It brilliantly recreates the London of gaslit streets, fogs, hansom cabs, and Scotland Yard. I was spellbound."--Douglas Preston

Read more reviews

See the really cool trailer --  Click here.

See more details about the book -- the eye-catching ad.

See David Talk about Murder and the notorious opium-eater Thomas De Quincey (3 min video). Click here.

Hear David talk about how he nearly lost his hands in a factory machine and why he felt compelled to go to 1854 London (19 minutes). Click here.

Watch David's video interview about the weirdness of 1854 London. How much did an upper-class woman's clothes weigh? Thirty seven pounds! To see the interview (12 minutes), click here. 

Watch another video interview in which David talks about Rambo and First Blood before discussing the fascinating background of Murder as a Fine Art (18 minutes). Click here.

Watch David at a bookstore event. being interviewed by Barbara Peters, owner of the Poisoned Pen (50 minutes). Click here.