“Devotees of classic courtroom thrillers like Witness for the Prosecution will be enthralled by this reissue . . . Perry Mason fans will rejoice.” —Publishers Weekly
The trial of Stephen Bellamy and Susan Ives, accused of murdering Bellamy’s wife, lasts eight days. That’s eight days of witnesses (some reliable, some not), eight days of examination and cross-examination, and eight days of sensational courtroom theatrics lively enough to rouse the judge into frenzied calls for order. Ex-fiancés, houseworkers, and assorted family members are brought to the stand—a cross-section of this wealthy Long Island town—and each one only adds to the mystery of the case in all its sordid detail. A trial that seems straightforward at its outset grows increasingly confounding as it proceeds, and surprises abound; by the time the closing arguments are made, however, the reader, like the jury, is provided with all the evidence needed to pass judgment on the two defendants. Still, only the most astute among them will not be shocked by the verdict announced at the end.
Inspired by the most sensational murder trial of its day, The Bellamy Trial is a pioneering courtroom mystery, and one of the first of such books to popularize the form. It is included in the famed Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of the most definitive novels of the mystery genre.
“An ingenious and spirited job, which has clever characterization, strong suspense and real comic relief. The mystery is capitally created and sustained.” —New York Evening Post
“An enthralling story.” —The New York Times
“A must-read for nostalgia buffs, this seminal tale of legal intrigue holds up remarkably well even for casual fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
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