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Leo Bruce

Die All Die Merrily

Peter Davies 1961
Jacket artwork by Biro

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SYNOPSIS
CAROLUS DEENE, schoolmaster-detective nonpareil, sums up towards the end of his latest case: "Just once or twice in a generation there is born a murderer, a murderer by vocation, and the startling thing is that he is virtually unrecognisable. He is not a schizophrenic—his mind is far from split, on the contrary he might be called single-minded. Sometimes he begins his career quite young, sometimes he waits till he is past middle age, but most often he achieves his masterpieces when in the prime of life. In this case we had such a murderer, one who simply was not interested in personal ties, who was as cold-blooded as a fish in Arctic waters, cruel, ruthless and utterly resolute, and yet who had the faculty possessed by such murderers of appearing a normal, even an amiable person. ". .. This was no impulsive killing, no crime of passion, not even a murder for greed, as it turned out. Here were the actions of someone whom the psychiatrist would call stark raving mad, and whom I consider to be that ram avis a murderer born, a murderer by natural talent, a murderer who would stop at nothing." Noel Coward has written, "What a witty writer Leo Bruce is!" And Bruce's rapidly-growing band of admirers will find his new story full of wit; but this time the accent is on the crime and the supreme ingenuity thereof.

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