Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon

A Bullet in the Ballet

Michael Joseph 1937
Wrapper artist Bip Pares

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This is something new in fiction a murder story against the hack-ground of ihe Russian ballet. Perhaps it is not quite fair to call it a murder story. It is more an amusing revelation of the strange, intimate world of the ballet. There are more I.uighs than thrills.

Earnest students of crime fiction may protest that the authors of this highly entertaining story do not. take murder seriously enough. At least nne of the characters would agree with them. The youthful Detective-Inspector Adam Quill was quite unable to persuade the members of the StroganolF Ballet that the murder of one Petroushka after another was of more importance than their own intrigues. The Stropanoff Ballet loses its

Petroushka three times within a month. On the first occasion it is thought to be a case of suicide, but on the other two the dancer taking the part is .s-hot during the progress of the ballet. The press rises in its usual way to and above the occasion, and the next time that Petroushka is to be done thi-theatre is filled with people who have come less to see a killct than another murder. But t he new Petroushka survives, for an odd but quite understandable reason, Les Sylphides, Lac des Cygnes, Casse-Noisette, Petrouslika and other ballets are tin- vivid luckcloth of this original story and the characters are drawn with an affectionate malice. A Bullet in the Ballet is, as we have indicated, much more than a murder story: it is an amusing skit on Russian character and the world of ballet dancers and balletomanes which the authors know so well.

Classic Crime Fiction

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